Winter Activities During COVID: 8 Ways to Social Distance Outdoors

By Debbie Hanson

Dec 17, 2020

Eight winter activities during COVID that can keep your family active outdoors. Winter activities outdoors that can keep you healthy while social distancing

Colder weather has arrived, but that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck indoors. Layer up because there are plenty of ways to get outdoors and enjoy winter activities during COVID. In fact, experts agree that one of the best ways to stay healthy during the pandemic is to spend time outside in the fresh air.

Consider these eight winter activities that will help lift your spirits and beat the cold weather blues:

  1. Go ice fishing. Social distance at a family-friendly ice fishing event or plan a family ice fishing trip on a frozen lake or pond. Make sure everyone is snugly dressed in warm clothes from head to foot, bring along some live bait, and scope out a spot where you know there are plenty of panfish. Learn about ice fishing safety and gear before you go.
  2. Build a snowman. If you are looking for things to do when it’s cold outside, and there’s plenty of snow on the ground, build a snowman together as a family. Don’t forget to bring a carrot nose and a festive hat!
  3. Plan a night of stargazing. Winter night skies have much lower moisture levels than humid summer evenings do, which means there is less haze to blur your views of the heavens above. Plus, it gets dark out much earlier, so there’s no need to miss out on sleep to get the best starry views. When you bundle up and venture out this time of year, you’ll be amazed at how beautiful the night sky can be.
  4. Take the family ice skating. Add ice skating to your list of fun winter activities. Visit an outdoor skating rink during off-hours, either by renting out the entire rink or keeping you and your family a safe social distance from others.
  5. Go on a wintery hike. Hiking is one of the best outdoor winter activities that can help you and the whole family stay fit. Find a nature trail, state park, or forest preserve close to where you live and head off on a winter wonderland hike.
  6. Try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Wondering how to stay active in cold weather? Learn how to cross-country ski or go snowshoeing. If you have questions about equipment and getting started, take a lesson or ask an experienced friend. Groomed novice trail systems on public lands are the best places to
  7. Get out the sleds. Sledding is one of the most inexpensive winter activities for the whole family, and one that means taking advantage of a freshly fallen snow. All you need to gleefully coast down a few powdery hills is a snow tube or toboggan.
  8. Look for animal tracks in the snow. Pick up an animal tracking guide, head to a local park, and have the family take turns identifying different critters who are passing through the winter landscape.

Stay healthy and active by making sure you get out to experience plenty of winter activities during COVID. Chilly weather doesn’t mean you have to be stuck inside. Dress for the conditions and discover how amazing this time of year can really be.

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.