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10 Outdoor Winter Activities for Kids

When the lakes freeze over and snow begins to fall, there are still plenty of winter activities for kids to enjoy in the great outdoors. Skip the cabin fever, bundle up, be safe, and get your daily dose of fresh air while having fun as a family. Check out these ten winter outdoor activities for kids.

1. Track Local Wildlife

After fresh snow, one of the easiest and most educational winter activities for kids is to teach them to identify different types of animal tracks. If you have a wildlife field guide, bring it along.

2. Go Ice Skating

Find an outdoor ice skating rink or take the kids to go skating on a frozen pond. If you don't have skates, you can usually rent a pair at outdoor skating rinks or just check a few thrift stores to see if you can find a pair for a few dollars.

3. Try Ice Fishing

When fishing with kids, particularly during the winter, it's extra important to keep family trips safe and fun. Some states, such as Minnesota, even offer ice fishing weekends for kids and provide important information on ice fishing safety. Family fishing trips don't have to be limited to the warmest months of the year as long as everyone layers up and dresses appropriately for the cold conditions.

4. Build a Snow Fort

If you're looking for things to do outdoors in the winter as a family, you can build a fort out of snow together. Gather buckets, pans, and empty milk cartons to make the coolest snow castle ever.

5. Go Sledding or Tubing

Get a sled or an inner tube and coast down snow-covered hill. When it comes to winter family activities, it's hard to beat a weekend afternoon of sledding. Have some hot cocoa ready for afterwards.

6. Plan a Winter Picnic

Whether it's on a family fishing trip in an ice fishing shanty, or after a winter hike, pack a picnic lunch to make snowy day more fun. Take along a thermos of soup and few of your favorite comfort foods.

7. Make a Pine Cone Bird Feeder

Create a homemade bird feeder by coating a pinecone with peanut butter, and then sprinkling it with birdseed. Have the kids identify each bird species that comes to visit the feeder.

8. Have a Snowman-Building Contest

Set aside a winter day for a family snowman-building contest. See who can build the best snowman in a limited amount of time.

9. Make Snow Art

Mix food coloring and water in a spray bottle. Let kids create unique works of art in the snow using different colors.

10. Take a Hike

There's nothing that can compare to a winter hike. Bundle the family up and head to the nearest hiking trail or state park. Admire the snow-covered tree branches and feel the crunch beneath your feet.

Regardless of the colder weather, you can still combine nature and family time. Use these ideas or come up with your own winter activities for kids, just get outdoors whenever you can!


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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 shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.