There are so many fun things families can enjoy in the snow. Most communities boast of their local ski resorts and snowboarding parks, but those don’t have to be the only options for family winter fun.
Winter presents so many opportunities for families to create memories together. What might seem like an impassable barrier of weather is actually a prime time to get outside and enjoy the wonder of nature. This is the time when families gather by the fire for hot chocolate, board games, reading, and good conversations among other things.
We will highlight some of the fun things that you can enjoy as a family in the snow. These activities include but are not limited to:
Snowshoeing is a great way to get your kids moving and exploring new areas. This is a great activity to explore during winter. The point here is to get your point into action as a form of aerobic exercise. It is one of the most difficult things to do, and it is not only fun but also beneficial healthwise.
It is no doubt that snowshoeing is a relatively new activity for families to enjoy together. You don’t need any special equipment other than sturdy boots and warm clothing, but you’ll want to make sure that kids are equipped with the proper footwear and apparel as well.
Snowshoeing is a great way to get out and experience the winter wonderland during regular skiing hours. If you don’t want to purchase your own equipment, call around and check with local resorts and lodges to see if they rent or loan snowshoes.
2. Snow Tubing
Snow tubing has become common at many resorts, and it’s ridiculously a great fun activity! The fact that it requires minimal skill is one of its biggest selling points. In fact, many resorts have made snow tubing the main attraction at their facilities. It is a great way to spend your leisure with your family.
This is a must-try fun activity for the whole family. Kids and adults alike can enjoy zipping down groomed slopes, and it’s relatively easy to do- just sit on a big piece of plastic and slide!
For snow tubing, you can reserve your spot at a ski resort or tubing park for you and your family. If you don’t want to pay the high rates that most resorts charge for this activity, check with local parks and recreation departments to see if they offer tubing facilities.
3. Cross-Country Skiing
Cross-country skiing is a terrific workout that can be enjoyed by all family members. Once you have kids involved in year-round outdoor activity, they are less likely to be fixed electronically indoors during the winter.
This activity requires a little more effort, but it’s well worth the experience. The activity itself has many health benefits for both kids and adults. There are many resorts that offer special kid-friendly activities during ski school lessons to get young ones excited about spending time on skis.
The good news is that you don’t have to travel to Vermont or other scenic locales to cross-country ski. There are plenty of trails within driving distance from anywhere in the U.S., so you only need to call your local park district or forest preserve for more information about skiing facilities near you.
Remember, cross-country skis are usually rented along with other equipment at resorts, so you can call around to check on availability.
4. Ice Fishing
If you find yourself near a frozen body of water, you might want to try ice fishing! The sport offers a fun challenge for many, and it’s always more enjoyable when you have your family along.
Before heading out with the kids for ice fishing, there are several things to keep in mind:
- Always check the ice thickness before venturing onto the ice. Many locations offer an electronic device that measures ice depth/thickness so you don’t have to eyeball it.
- Remember that you must provide all your own equipment (sled, blankets for seating, etc.) as well as your own transportation since vehicles are prohibited from parking near the ice fishing locations.
- Be sure to dress appropriately; it may be much colder on a frozen lake than in town! Polypropylene and wool are highly recommended for cold-weather clothing.
- Make sure your kids understand that they should only go onto the ice with an adult; many locations require children to be accompanied by an adult at all times when on the ice.
- Make sure that all members of your family know how to swim and have a means of signaling for immediate help if needed.
- Ice Skating
- Sledding/Ski Joring
Safety Notes for Winter Activities
Winter sports and activities can take your family to fun places and memories that last a lifetime. Just make sure you are properly prepared!
These are a few safety tips for winter activities:
- Make sure that all family members have appropriate clothing for the activities you choose to do.
- When buying outfits, make sure they are flame-retardant and water-resistant for warmth and protection from elements. This can be especially important if your child will be playing on the ice.
- Always make sure to check with your local resorts, parks, etc. for updated conditions and information on weather-related closings of trails, activities, etc.
- Make sure you are prepared for emergencies by carrying a cell phone or GPS device wherever you go along with extra batteries, flashlights, blankets/sleeping bags, and other such items as appropriate for the activity you choose to do.
Sledding or Skijoring with Your Dog
Sledding with dogs is a great way to share some winter fun with your favorite furry friends! Sledding/skijoring with your dog is a blast, but there are several things to note before you hit the slopes:
- Dogs that aren’t used to cold weather may be more prone to injury due to the sudden chills of winter, so make sure they are prepared with cold-weather coats.
- Always be careful when skiing/sledding with your dog(s). Make sure you don’t pick up too much speed on any hill or drop that could cause your dog to lose footing or cause a possible hazard to your four-legged friend.
- Make sure both you and your dog(s) are prepared for emergencies, as above.
- Always be aware of conditions on the hill/slope you choose to ski down with your dog(s). Watch out for ice, snowdrifts, and other such obstacles that could cause your dog(s) to lose footing.
- Make sure that all the dogs involved are wearing identification tags and proper leashes so you can locate them if they become separated from the group.
These are the few fun activities that you can try with your family in the snow during winter. Of course, these are not only beneficial healthwise but also good for family bonding.