100+ Ways to Get Kids Outdoors:: Outdoor Winter Activities

Chelsea Hansler // February 1

Winter. For some, it may merely mean the seasons change slightly and the weather is a tad cooler. For others, it may mean many long, cold months with children bouncing off the walls, plagued with cabin fever. Well, how does the saying go? “Kids can’t bounce off the walls if you remove the walls.” And I couldn’t agree more. If you're looking for outdoor activities this winter for the kiddos, you've come to the right place!

Outdoor Winter Activities

100 Outdoor Winter Activities for Kids

1. Build a snowman

Let your kids get creative and build their very own snowman with snowballs, sticks, and accessories like hats and scarves.

2. Have a snowball fight

Engage in a friendly snowball fight with your kids, dividing into teams and creating forts for added excitement. No real snow? That's okay. We love fake snow at our house!

3. Go ice skating

Take your kids to a local ice rink or a frozen pond to enjoy the thrill of ice skating.

4. Try sledding

Find a nearby hill and go sledding with your kids. It's a classic winter activity that brings lots of laughter and fun.

5. Build an igloo

Teach your kids how to build an igloo using packed snow. It's an excellent opportunity to learn about winter shelters.

6. Make snow angels

Show your kids how to lie down in the snow and create beautiful snow angels by moving their arms and legs. Ahhhhhh, love snow angels!

7. Go on a winter nature walk

Explore the winter landscape with your kids, observing the unique features and beauty of the season.

8. Feed the birds

Hang bird feeders and fill them with birdseed to attract various bird species. Your kids will enjoy watching the birds come to visit.

9. Create snow sculptures

Encourage your kids to unleash their artistic skills by creating sculptures using snow and molds.

10. Go on a winter scavenger hunt

Prepare a list of winter-themed items and challenge your kids to find them during an outdoor scavenger hunt.

11. Try cross-country skiing

Introduce your kids to cross-country skiing, a fantastic winter sport that combines fitness and exploration.

12. Decorate a tree with edible treats for wildlife

Hang strings of popcorn, birdseed ornaments, and fruit slices on trees to provide food for birds and other wildlife.

13. Go on a horse-drawn sleigh ride

Find a local farm or winter resort that offers horse-drawn sleigh rides and enjoy a magical winter experience.

14. Collect pinecones and make bird feeders

Gather pinecones, coat them with peanut butter, and roll them in birdseed. Hang them outside as homemade bird feeders.

15. Build a snow maze

Create a snow maze in your backyard or a nearby park using shovels or snowbanks.

16. Go on a winter camping adventure

If you're equipped and prepared, plan a winter camping trip with your kids, experiencing the unique challenges and beauty of camping in the cold.

17. Try ice fishing

If you have access to a frozen lake or pond, introduce your kids to ice fishing and teach them the basics of catching fish through the ice.

18. Go on a nighttime winter stargazing session

Bundle up and lie down on a blanket with your kids to gaze at the winter night sky, identifying constellations and enjoying the peacefulness.

19. Create a winter obstacle course

Set up an obstacle course in the snow, including tunnels, hurdles, and balance beams, for your kids to navigate and have fun.

20. Organize a Winter Olympics

Host a mini winter Olympics in your backyard, featuring events like snowball throwing, sledding races, and ice skating competitions.

21. Create ice art

Fill containers with water and add natural materials like leaves or berries. Let them freeze and use the ice blocks to create colorful sculptures.

22. Go on a winter nature scavenger hunt

Create a list of winter-themed items to find, such as pine cones, icicles, animal footprints, and different types of winter plants.

23. Have a winter picnic

Bundle up and pack a thermos of hot cocoa, sandwiches, and snacks. Find a scenic spot and enjoy a cozy picnic in the winter wonderland.

24. Play winter-themed charades

Write down winter-related words or activities on cards. Take turns acting them out while others guess.

25. Go on a winter photo safari

Give each child a camera or smartphone and go on a photo adventure, capturing the beauty of winter through their lens.

26. Create frozen bubble art

Blow bubbles outside in freezing temperatures and watch as they freeze and create stunning patterns. Take photos to preserve the frozen bubble art.

27. Build a snow maze

Create a maze-like structure in the snow using walls and paths. Challenge your kids to navigate through the maze.

28. Have a winter-themed treasure hunt

Hide small winter-themed items or treasures in the snow and create clues or a map for your kids to follow.

29. Go on a winter wildlife spotting adventure

Bundle up and head to a local park or forest to spot wildlife such as birds, squirrels, or deer that are more visible during winter.

30. Make frozen treats

Mix fruit juice with water, pour the mixture into popsicle molds, and leave them outside to freeze. Enjoy refreshing homemade popsicles.

31. Create a winter-themed obstacle course

Set up a fun obstacle course in your yard, including crawling under “snow” (sheets or blankets), jumping over “icy” obstacles, and balancing on logs.

32. Go on a winter geocaching adventure

Search for hidden geocaches using a GPS device or smartphone app. Winter adds an extra challenge to this outdoor treasure-hunting activity.

33. Build a mini ice rink

Using a tarp, create a small ice rink in your backyard. Fill it with water and let it freeze. Enjoy ice skating without leaving home.

34. Go on a winter birdwatching expedition

Set up bird feeders in your yard or visit a local park known for winter bird species. Observe and identify different birds that visit during the season.

35. Make winter-themed crafts

Engage in crafts like creating snowflake decorations, designing winter-themed greeting cards, or making paper snowflakes.

36. Try snowshoeing

Rent or buy snowshoes and take your kids on a snowshoeing adventure. Explore trails or create your own paths in the snowy wilderness.

37. Have a winter-themed costume parade

Encourage your kids to dress up in their favorite winter-themed costumes and organize a parade in your backyard or neighborhood.

38. Build a winter fort

Use shovels and molds to create a snow fort or castle. Enhance the experience by adding tunnels, rooms, and even furniture made of snow.

39. Have a winter bonfire

Gather around a cozy bonfire with your kids, roast marshmallows, and enjoy storytelling or singing winter songs.

40. Go on a winter-themed scavenger hunt

Create a list of winter items to find, such as pinecones, icicles, mittens, hot cocoa packets, and snowflake-shaped objects.

41. Build a mini snow village

Construct a charming snow village using small containers as houses and decorating them with twigs, rocks, and other natural materials.

42. Go on a winter photo walk

Take your kids for a stroll in a picturesque winter setting and encourage them to capture beautiful photos of nature and winter scenery.

43. Make winter-themed wind chimes

Collect items like pinecones, shells, and bells, and string them together with yarn or fishing line to create delightful wind chimes that jingle in the winter breeze.

44. Organize a snowshoe race

Set up a snowshoe race course in your backyard or a nearby park and challenge your kids and their friends to a friendly competition.

45. Go on a winter treasure hunt

Hide small treasures or treats in the snow and let your kids search for them using clues or a treasure map.

46. Create snow art

Use spray bottles filled with colored water to paint or draw on the snow, letting your kids unleash their creativity in a unique winter canvas.

47. Go on a winter bike ride

If weather conditions allow, bundle up and go for a bike ride with your kids, enjoying the crisp air and the thrill of cycling in a winter landscape.

48. Have a snowshoe relay race

Divide into teams and set up a relay race using snowshoes. Each team member must complete a designated course before tagging the next teammate.

49. Create a winter-themed obstacle course

Design an obstacle course in your backyard with challenges like crawling through tunnels, climbing over snowbanks, and balancing on logs.

50. Go on a winter birdhouse building project

Build birdhouses using recycled materials and place them strategically in your yard to provide shelter for birds during the winter months.

51. Have a winter-themed movie marathon

Set up a cozy outdoor movie area with blankets and a projector. Watch winter-themed movies while enjoying hot cocoa and popcorn.

52. Go on a winter camping trip

Pitch a tent and camp overnight in a winter wonderland. Teach your kids camping skills and enjoy the unique experience of sleeping in the cold.

53. Have a snowball target practice

Create targets in the snow using colored spray paint or objects. Take turns throwing snowballs and aiming for the targets.

54. Go on a winter tree identification walk

Learn about different tree species by identifying them based on their bark, branches, and winter characteristics.

55. Try winter disc golf

Set up a disc golf course in the snow and play this popular frisbee game with a winter twist.

56. Have a winter-themed dance party

Create a playlist of winter-themed songs and have a dance party in your living room.

57. Go on a winter night hike

Bundle up and embark on a nighttime adventure, using flashlights or headlamps to explore nature trails and observe the winter night sky.

58. Have a snowflake-catching contest

Give each child a piece of dark construction paper and see who can catch the most unique and intricate snowflakes on their paper.

59. Create a winter-themed sensory bin

Fill a large bin with fake snow, pinecones, small winter toys, and textured objects for your kids to explore and play with using their senses.

60. Try winter geology exploration

Study rocks and minerals that are unique to winter environments, such as ice formations, frost crystals, or frozen waterfalls.

61. Have a winter-themed science experiment day

Engage in hands-on experiments like making snow volcanoes, exploring the effects of cold temperatures on different materials, or conducting ice melt races.

62. Go on a winter color hunt

Challenge your kids to find objects or natural elements of various colors in the winter landscape, creating a colorful collection.

63. Make frozen sun catchers

Fill small containers with water, add food coloring, and place decorative items like leaves or flowers inside. Once frozen, hang them outside as beautiful sun catchers.

64. Go on a winter camping-themed backyard sleepover

Set up tents, make s'mores over a fire pit, and enjoy a cozy winter-themed sleepover in your own backyard.

65. Have a winter-themed fashion show

Encourage your kids to create unique winter outfits using layers, hats, scarves, and gloves. Have a fashion show to showcase their creative styles.

66. Go on a winter architectural tour

Take a walk in your neighborhood or a nearby town to admire and appreciate the architecture and charm of winter-decorated houses and buildings.

67. Have a winter nature journaling session

Bring notebooks and pencils and spend time observing and documenting winter scenes, wildlife, and plant life in a nature journal.

68. Create a winter-themed storybook

Encourage your kids to write and illustrate their own winter-themed storybook, featuring characters and adventures set in a snowy world.

69. Go on a winter treasure map adventure

Draw a treasure map of your backyard or a nearby park, incorporating winter-themed landmarks and hidden treasures to find.

70. Have a winter-themed science fair

Explore scientific concepts related to winter, such as how snowflakes form, the effects of cold temperatures on objects, or the properties of ice.

71. Go on a winter wildlife photography expedition

Equip your kids with cameras or smartphones and venture into nature to capture stunning photos of winter wildlife in their natural habitats.

72. Make winter-themed origami

Learn to fold paper into winter-inspired shapes like snowflakes, penguins, or snowmen. Display them as decorations or give them as gifts.

73. Go on a winter moonlit walk

Take a leisurely stroll under the moonlight with your kids, appreciating the serene beauty of the winter night sky.

74. Have a winter-themed puppet show

Create puppets using socks or paper bags, and put on a winter-themed puppet show with your kids, showcasing their storytelling skills.

75. Go on a winter wetland exploration

Visit a local wetland area and learn about the unique adaptations of plants and animals that thrive in winter conditions.

76. Make hot cocoa from scratch

Mix cocoa powder, sugar, and warm milk to create delicious homemade hot cocoa. Experiment with toppings like whipped cream, marshmallows, or cinnamon.

77. Go on a winter farm visit

Visit a nearby farm that offers winter activities such as feeding animals, riding sleighs, or exploring winter crops.

78. Have a winter-themed storytelling night

Gather around a cozy fire or snuggle up indoors and take turns telling or reading winter-themed stories or folktales.

79. Go on a winter bird migration watching excursion

Research bird migration patterns in your region and go to a designated area to observe the arrival or departure of migratory birds.

80. Have a winter-themed talent show

Encourage your kids to showcase their talents with a winter twist, such as singing winter songs, performing winter-themed dances, or doing winter-inspired magic tricks.

81. Go on a winter creek or river exploration

Visit a local creek or river and observe how the water flow and landscape change during the winter months.

82. Create winter-themed collages

Gather old magazines, scissors, and glue, and let your kids create winter-themed collages by cutting out and arranging pictures and words that represent the season.

83. Go on a winter meteor shower watching night

Research upcoming meteor showers and find a dark location to observe shooting stars and celestial wonders in the winter night sky.

84. Have a winter-themed baking session

Bake winter-inspired treats like snowflake-shaped cookies, gingerbread houses, or warm apple pies, involving your kids in the preparation and decoration.

85. Go on a winter neighborhood clean-up

Grab gloves and garbage bags, and work together with your kids to clean up litter and debris in your neighborhood or a local park.

86. Create a winter-themed time capsule

Collect items that represent the current winter season, such as photographs, drawings, and small mementos. Bury the time capsule in a safe place to be opened in the future.

87. Go on a winter treehouse building project

Design and construct a small treehouse or fort using materials like wood, ropes, and tarps. Add winter-themed decorations for a cozy touch.

88. Have a winter-themed yoga session

Guide your kids through winter-themed yoga poses, incorporating animal movements, snowflake stretches, and relaxation techniques.

89. Go on a winter rock painting adventure

Collect smooth rocks and paint them with winter-themed designs or inspirational messages. Hide them in your community for others to find and enjoy.

90. Have a winter-inspired science magic show

Perform simple science experiments with a winter twist, such as creating instant snow, making ice crystals grow, or exploring the science behind hot cocoa.

91. Go on a winter beachcombing excursion

Visit a nearby beach during winter and search for unique seashells, driftwood, or other treasures that have washed ashore.

92. Have a winter-themed karaoke night

Sing your favorite winter songs and holiday tunes together as a family, using a karaoke machine or online platforms.

93. Go on a winter urban exploration

Explore your city or town during winter, discovering hidden parks, historical sites, or unique winter decorations.

94. Have a winter-themed puzzle-solving challenge

Set up winter-themed puzzles or brain teasers for your kids to solve individually or as a team, fostering problem-solving skills and creativity.

95. Go on a winter botanical garden visit

Visit a local botanical garden that offers winter exhibits, showcasing unique winter flora, indoor tropical gardens, or themed light displays.

96. Have a winter-themed game night

Gather your favorite board games or card games and enjoy a cozy night indoors, playing games with a winter or holiday theme.

97. Go on a winter stargazing adventure

Find a spot away from city lights, lay down blankets, and gaze up at the winter night sky, identifying constellations and learning about astronomy.

98. Have a winter nature-inspired music session

Collect natural objects like pinecones, branches, and leaves to use as instruments. Create unique winter-themed rhythms and melodies together.

99. Go on a winter farm-to-table experience

Visit a local farm or farmers market, learn about winter produce and products, and prepare a meal using fresh, seasonal ingredients.

100. Have a winter-themed gratitude journaling session

Reflect on the joys and blessings of the winter season, encouraging your kids to write or draw things they are grateful for during wintertime.

10 Items You Need for Ice Fishing with Kids

Commonly asked questions about getting those kiddos outdoors for winter activities:

What can you do outside on a winter day?

On a winter day, you can engage in various outdoor activities such as ice skating, building snowmen, having snowball fights, skiing, snowboarding, or simply taking a walk in the crisp winter air. These activities allow you to enjoy the beauty of the season while staying active and embracing the cold weather.

What to do outside when it's cold with no snow?

When it's cold outside but there's no snow, you still have plenty of options to enjoy the outdoors. You can go for a hike or nature walk, visit a local park or botanical garden, try out winter birdwatching, have a picnic with warm beverages, or explore winter markets and festivals. Embrace the chilly weather and find joy in the seasonal activities available to you.

What activities can you do when it's cold?

When it's cold outside, you can still have fun with various activities. Consider visiting indoor attractions like museums, art galleries, or indoor amusement parks. You can also try out new hobbies such as baking, crafting, painting, or reading. Gathering with friends for board game nights or movie marathons can also be a great way to spend time indoors while enjoying each other's company.

Outdoor winter activities can be at your fingertips. So, bundle up and get those little ones outside!  

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About the Author

Chelsea Hansler

Hunter, mother, wife, artist, gardener, homesteader; these are a few of the titles that best describe Chelsea. She is a wife and a mother to two beautiful 4- and 5-year-old “babies”. After serving time in the Canadian Armed Forces, she moved to a tiny home in Northern Ontario, Canada. They are surrounded by thousands of acres of crown land and closer to home you will find her abundance of chickens, a mini horse, 2 cows, and their hounds. They strive to live a simple country life, hunting, gathering, and growing their own food. Everything her family does revolves around the outdoors and living this lifestyle. Chelsea is an artist, creating one-of-a-kind pieces focused mainly on this lifestyle.