Family Fun: Indoor-Outdoor Winter Activities

January 2015

by hannah

Winter started off by taunting us in December with days of ample sunshine and unseasonably warm temperatures, so it is especially hard to accept that winter is here in full force with harsh temperatures and blowing snow. However, blustery weather doesn’t give us a free pass on being physically active. With the right preparation, there's still exploring to be done in the winter wonderland or for those achingly cold days, opportunities for indoor play are countless. So grab your cold gear and your family/friends and beat those winter blues!

Snow is not the bully we often perceive it to be, it's actually a magical form of precipitation that can lead to new venues of outdoor exploration. Now hiking along our many forest-lined trails means renting a pair of snowshoes and bringing along a thermos of hot chocolate. That's not all, use the check list below for you and yours to explore outdoor recreation:

Outdoor Winter Activities:

  • Skiing at Red Lodge
  • Sledding in Pioneer Park
  • Ice Skating at Veteran’s Park
  • Building a snowman
  • Snowball fights: adults versus kids!
  • Snowshoeing in our National Forests
  • Check out the animals at ZooMontana (many of the animals are especially playful in the snow!)
  • Fetch with your family pet
  • Shoveling your driveway but don't stop there, help your neighbor out!
  • On especially warm days, grab the entire clan and strike out on a family walk or bike ride. Don't forget your pets!

Remember, while the colder weather is enchanting, it should also be done in moderation, especially in below freezing temperatures. Winter's harmful effects are harsher to those that are young or elderly, so ensure extra clothing is layered appropriately and mini breaks inside are taken to re-heat extremities.

When those winter temperatures do drop below freezing and the wind is relentless, bring the outside, inside! Inside, snow is just as magical and a wonderful craft supply children will enjoy until it's gone. Fill your bathtub with fluffy snow and build a snowman on a tropical vacation. Break out the food coloring and transform dull white snow into a rainbow of colors. Grab some fruit juice and use some snow to make winter snow cones! And when the snow runs out, and you're looking for more indoor activities to hide you from winter's brutal grasp, try these out:

Indoor Activities to Beat the Winter Blues: 

  • Building blanket forts creates a winter hideout
  • Collecting toys and clothes everyone has outgrown for donation
  • Make a winter reading list for the entire family
  • Break out a family favorite board game and add little twists; like every time you pass “GO” in Monopoly, you have to also do 20 jumping jacks, 15 sit-ups or 10 push-ups
  • Have a family of basketball enthusiasts? Modify your game for a living room version using a waste basket as the hoop and knotted socks as the ball. Sure there's no dribbling, but you'll have to work harder to pass and shoot, meaning the laughs are sure to come.
  • If you have a kid friendly home, never be afraid to hit up your favorite search engine (or Pinterest) for recipes for playdough, modeling clay or discovery sand! (Try this one out for starters: http://homeschoolgameschool.com/2014/12/07/homemade-no-cook-play-dough/)

Whether it's indoors or outdoors, make sure you take time this winter for some quality play time with your family/friends. Winter can be a cruel season due to its seemingly never ending appearance, but being active and sharing some laughs will certainly make the season seem cherry and bright. The start of a new year is the perfect time to try new things and start the year spending time with those you care about.

About Simply Hannah...A child-like heart, with an adventurous spirit, Hannah enjoys spending her time exploring Montana and working out. Being freshly married, Hannah and her husband, Derik, are staring their happily ever after, along with their wild & free dog, Toby.