Fun Outdoor Winter Activities

Spend time enjoying the cold weather months by encouraging simple outdoor winter activities the whole family can enjoy!

Outdoor Adventuring with Kids

Outdoor adventuring as a family has become one of our absolute favorite activities!

From living the RV life and hitting up the lake when we can to hiking with our kids all year long.

Getting kids off screens and in tune with nature is so incredibly important, you guys!

Not only can it be wonderful for their mental health by taking a simple screen time detox but it can also work wonders for their physical health and overall well-being. 

From getting that much-needed vitamin D by soaking up the sun to working core muscles by staying active.

Full-Time RV Families that Roadschool

With that said, most outdoor adventuring for families tends to happen over the spring and summer months.

While we thoroughly enjoy our summer weather up north (minus fire season of course), it’s actually my least favorite time of the year nature adventuring and exploring.

Due to health reasons, I can’t be in direct sunlight or deal with extreme heat for long periods of time (one reason we chose the wonderful state of Montana for our home base), so I’m simply not the biggest fan of summertime.

That said, fall and winter have officially become our favorite times to get outside and explore as a family!

Making Winter Fun

While fall is wonderful for outdoor adventuring due to the sometimes awesome weather, winter can be just as fun (if not more), you guys!

Making Winter Fun Through Outdoor Winter Activities

If you are someone who struggles through the winter months because you tend to stay indoors, this one is totally for you!

Skip the winter blues and cabin fever by getting outside together as a family this year!

Outdoor Winter Activities

The key to enjoying outdoor family time in the winter is to start small.

Start by going outside for 5-10-minute increments, slowly inching that time up throughout the winter!

Check out some of my favorite reasons for getting outside with my kiddos during the winter months.

  • Winter Hiking

Winter hiking is my favorite outdoor winter activity by far, you guys!

Thanks to RV living, we are so incredibly blessed to be able to stay where we want over the winter.

Sometimes that means down south in central Texas for a warmer winter, while other times it means northwest Montana near Glacier National Park where we can enjoy a winter wonderland.

Hiking in Glacier National Park During Winter

That said, not everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful experience of exploring Glacier National Park during the winter.

My best advice is to hike where you can as often as you can!

If your views are lacking or the trail gets difficult, try adding in fun activities such as identifying animal tracks and collecting fun nature items to mix things up!

  • Winter Scavenger Hunts

Scavenger hunts are always a great go-to nature activity no matter the season!

With that said, winter scavenger hunting might take just a little more creativity — especially if there is snow on the ground.

Outdoor Winter Scavenger Hunts

Encourage kiddos to look for unique things more commonly found (or easier to spot) in the winter.

From looking for beaver dens and finding animal tracks to identifying trees and collecting pinecones.

Combine this activity with your winter hiking adventure and you’re golden, you guys!

  • Winter Bird Watching

While bird watching can technically be a year-round nature activity, there is just something magical about watching birds in the wintertime, you guys!

From the glistening white backdrop to seeing raptors up-close!

Winter Bird Watching Outdoor Activity

Consider creating a DIY bird feeder for bird watching at home or research local hot spots known for watching birds of prey.

We frequent a local dam where eagles gather during late winter-early spring and it is always a cool sight, you guys!

If you have bird-watching little ones, consider adding this free bird-watching worksheet to your winter bird-watching fun!

  • Outdoor Winter Shopping

While not a nature activity, getting outside during the winter can truly be as easy as shopping, you guys!

If you have an outdoor shopping mall near you and you simply don’t feel like doing something strenuous, this can be an easy way to track some outdoor hours!

Outdoor shopping areas also tend to have fun extras like sleigh rides around Christmas time or other outdoor winter-themed activities!

Plus, if temperatures are too cold you can easily pop into a store or cafe for a quick warm-up.

  • Outdoor Winter Warming

Last, but certainly not least, my favorite thing to do with my family outside in the winter is warming up!

While our favorite version of this involves sitting around a firepit bundled up with blankets and snow gear, you can totally warm up outside in other awesome ways during the winter months.

Stay Warm Outside in Winter

First, pack some hot cocoa, coffee, or tea on every adventure!

Drinking something warm outside during the winter months is a sure way to stay warm.

Finally, visit some hot springs!

Not going to lie, this one is totally on my bucket list, you guys!

Outdoor Snow Activities

One of the best reasons to get outside during the winter months is to play in the snow!

While playing at home can be great, sometimes getting out of the house for some extra special recreational (or competitive fun) is just what the doctor ordered!

Recreational Snow Sports

Check out some of these fun snow-packed recreational outdoor winter activities perfect for outdoor family time.

  • Skiing & snowboarding
  • Snowmobiling
  • Sledding

All three of these ideas are perfect for catching a little outside family time after the big snowfall! 

Consider splurging for a family pass to a local ski resort or stick with the budget-friendly option of sledding at the park, either way just get out there and make some awesome memories with your youngins!

If staying at home is more your style, these classic front yard (or backyard) winter snow activities are totally for you!

Outdoor Winter Snow Activities - Snowman with Pipe

Check out a few of the ways we make snow days at home even more fun by making, creating, and playing!

While all of these ideas can be great for the kiddos alone, they also make wonderful family activities.

Seriously though.

Building a snowman with Dad year after year is something my kids always, always looked forward to when they were little.

*Note: While building a snow igloo can be fun, it can also be very dangerous! Don’t forget to take precautions and possibly even consider using a dome-like structure with covering to prevent accidental cave-ins.

Catching Snowflakes

Last, but certainly not least, check out these fun ideas that are snow much fun! 

  • Decorate the snow 

Using spray bottles or squirt bottles you can easily create fun works of art in the snow! Utilize molds and you can build with your colorful creations by making a snow castle!

  • Catch snowflakes
  • Make snow ice cream
  • Shovel someone’s driveway

While technically making ice cream is an indoor activity, I simply had to include it on the list because gathering the snow from outside in anticipation of the upcoming treat is half the fun, you guys!

Winter Freezing Fun

Playing in the snow can be such a fun way to spend those cold winter days.

However, playing on the ice can be just as fun, you guys!

Recreational Ice Fun

Consider trying some of these fun outdoor ice activities perfect for wintertime in colder climates.  

  • Ice skating
  • Ice Fishing
  • Hockey

Ice skating is a classic family activity for us and it’s even more fun if you can do it on an outside rink! 

Seriously though.

We have experienced both indoor and outdoor skate and I will always prefer the outdoor version.

With that said, if skating isn’t your jam, ice fishing and hockey can be fun alternatives to getting a little outdoor time on the ice.

While getting on the ice can be a blast, sometimes staying home and getting creative with the kiddos can be even more enjoyable!

Check out this next one, you guys!

Outdoor Winter Activities with Ice

Consider staying home and turning those unwanted cold temperatures into a beautiful work of art!

  • Ice Creations

Creating with ice during the winter months can be such a fun way to pass the time, you guys!

Try making beautiful ice lanterns or frozen suncatchers (above) for starters.

Then, create something colorful by creating colored ice for a fun color-themed winter scavenger hunt or painting ice crystals!

If experimenting is more your family’s style, consider one of these options instead!

Sub Zero Temperature Experiments

Play around with those crazy sub-zero temperatures by trying these fun ideas!

  • Temperature Experiments

Some popular temperature experiments include throwing hot water to make snow, picking up pasta with a fork, and making wet clothes stand up by freeze-drying them outside.

However, you could also try some of these more unique backyard experiments such as crushing plastic bottles in the cold or creating freezing bubbles (above)! 

So many fun ideas, you guys!

Note: Any time you are doing backyard experiments, especially ones having to do with extreme temperatures. Use discretion and practice proper safety protocols.

Outdoor Winter Safety

Speaking of safety, staying safe outdoors in cold temperatures is no joke, you guys!

Enjoy Winter Safely

Safety is always key when it comes to playing, building, recreating, competing, exploring, creating, and experimenting outdoors in extreme temps.

Take the time to educate yourself on how to prepare for frigid temps and mounds of snow, it might just save your life.

More Winter-Themed Fun

Love these fun outdoor winter activities for the family? Sometimes, when the weather simply isn’t cooperating, you simply need to take the winter fun indoors.

Check out the kid activities section over on Life + Homeschool to get your hands on simple indoor activities perfect for winter time.

Enjoy the snow, you guys!