Do you love nature? Don't let winter keep you indoors! Here are 10 ways to enjoy winter—and get outdoors in it.
1. Learn A New Winter Sport
Do you like to watch the Winter Olympics? A lot of the sports featured there can be learned with a little dedication, time, and training. Some examples of winter sports include skiing, snowboarding, hockey, and snowmobiling. Pick your favorite winter sport and do some research on it. Read books, watch videos on it, and talk to professionals about it. Then, get the equipment for it. Sporting goods can be bought online or at your local sports shop; you might be able to find some equipment for rent or used equipment for sale, too. Whatever sport you choose to learn, just have fun with it.
2. Build A Snow Fort
Want to feel like a little kid again? Build a snow fort! This is especially fun if you have kids, since they can help you build it. Get creative and think of ways to design it so that it looks unique. It can be as simple or as elaborate as you like—the choice is yours. Challenge someone to a snowball fight after building it and use the fort to protect you and store some snowballs!
3. Have A Snow Picnic
Picnics are so much fun. Who says you have to wait for warm weather? Try having a snow picnic instead. After the snow has just fallen, or while there's still snow on the ground, grab a big blanket, a picnic basket, and some extra blankets of your choice. Set up your picnic in any area you choose by laying the big blanket down first, then arranging the picnic basket and the food inside. Once everyone is settled and has their food, give them their own individual blankets to help them stay warm. They can place them on their lap while they eat, chat, and enjoy the beauty of fresh fallen snow. Bonus points if you serve a meal made from seasonal winter produce!
4. Go Skating
Have you tried to skate before? What about outdoors? If there's a frozen lake or pond near you that's safe to skate on, give it a go. There's nothing quite like skating on a frozen body of water. You can enjoy the winter scenery and improve your skating skills at the same time. Make sure to do this in the company of friends or family, to be on the safe side.
5. Visit A Winter Carnival
Winter carnivals can certainly liven up this (sometimes) bleak season. Try to see if there's one around you this season, and for how long. Usually these events include sports, snow statues, food, and music. It all depends on the location's specific traditions. One of the biggest winter festivals is the Saint Paul Winter Carnival, hosted in Saint Paul, Minnesota. If you'd like to go, do some planning ahead of time and make it a mini vacation!
6. Make Snow Angels
After snow falls, it's always a blast to make some snow angels. Just plop yourself onto the fresh snow, move your arms up and down, and then move your legs out and in. It's essentially like doing a jumping jack while lying down in snow. Really have fun with it: Once you stand up, you'll see your creation.
7. Look For Animal Tracks
Snow is great because it's easy to see any tracks left behind in them. That means it's easier than usual to notice when an animal has been on your lawn or in your backyard. After snowfall, go out and check to see if you can find any animal tracks. You don't have to limit this to just your home either: Looking for tracks at the local park is rewarding too. You might be surprised at what you find depending on where you live: Near ponds you may see duck tracks, near trees you may see squirrel tracks, and near woods you may see deer tracks. Once you find some, be sure to take a picture and try to identify them using a guide or by doing some research online.
8. Wrap Up In A Big Coat & Swing On A Swing Set
Swinging on a swing set is so much fun: Who says you have to be a kid to do it? Just wrap yourself in something warm, go out there and get swinging! There's a different feel to it than swinging in summer, but that's okay: Soak it in. If you don't have a swing set, head to a park you know has a swing set (that you can fit in—some swings are for babies, or lowered down too much). While you're swinging, take in the nippy breeze and the winter sky. What do you see?
9. Catch A Snowflake With Your Tongue
Snowflakes are unique: Each one has a different pattern. They're made up of water molecules, so as soon as they land on something warm, they start to melt. Try going out while it's snowing and catching one on your tongue. It will feel cold at first, then melt in your mouth. Let this moment take you in: Imagine you're a kid again and feel at wonder with the world.
10. Drink Hot Cocoa Outdoors
Hot cocoa is delicious, and a favorite come winter time. But why not try drinking it outside? You'll grow to appreciate its warmth even more as you sit on your porch, or in your backyard, surrounded by cold air. Let the heat from your mug warm your fingers and radiate into your body. Take that moment to reflect on what cold and warm mean to you, and to each other. We take each for granted, but when there's a balance of both, we live unburdened. Enjoy the season as you sit before it, drinking it in (literally).