Outdoor Winter Activities to Try at Home

Avoid cabin fever by enjoying some fresh air and these fun activities!

Our winters in the Midwest can lead to a lot of cabin fever, but who says you can’t enjoy the outdoors during the colder months? With a little preparation and some creativity, your family will have a blast doing these fun activities together this winter season.

Paint snow

Since playing in the snow is fun, crafting with snow is even better! Plus, painting will take your snow angels and snowmen to the next level. Gather a few simple supplies (like food coloring and cornstarch) and head outside to create epic art on your front lawn. Here is a paint tutorial to try.

Build an obstacle course

Liven up your backyard snow play with a winter obstacle course. Gather some outdoor toys from around your house and garage, then get to building a series of obstacles. Have kids complete challenges like snowball throwing through a hula hoop, moving snow with a shovel and sledding down a hill.

Make bark rubbings

Do you know what species of trees are in your backyard? Making bark rubbings is fun and it’s also a great at-home science lesson for children. All you need is some paper and wax crayons to start your own tree identification guide. Here is a tutorial to get you started.

Identify animal prints

If you live near a park or nature preserve, it’s the perfect time to go hiking and check out tracks in the snow. Prints from deer, rabbits, opossums, squirrels, coyotes and more can be spotted in fresh snow. Have kids measure the tracks and check for other clues to help identify the animals. 

Blow bubbles

Blowing bubbles isn’t just a summer activity. You can create spectacular orbs of ice right in your own backyard. Frozen bubbles are beautiful, so don’t forget to take pictures! AccuWeather has a detailed tutorial.

Go on a treasure hunt

A backyard treasure hunt is the perfect boredom buster for when kids start to get restless with outdoor play. Creating the treasure is super easy, too. Pour water into an ice cube tray, then add a little food coloring and pop the trays into the freezer for a few hours. The result is colorful ice “gems” that kids can search for around the yard.

Play soccer

Grab a brightly colored soccer ball and play soccer in the snow as a family. You can easily create “goals” out of tree branches or other outdoor materials from around your yard. Note: The snowy terrain can make kicking and running a little challenging, so maybe save this activity for older kids.

Host a winter bonfire

Invite friends over for a cozy (and socially-distanced) backyard bonfire night. Have guests bundle up and gather around the fire pit with warm drinks and treats (s’mores anyone?). Hang sparkly twinkle lights around your patio to make the atmosphere even more magical.


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