Family-friendly winter activities

By Metro Creative
Recreation & Fitness

Many people may run indoors when the temperatures outside approach or dip below freezing. But the truly adventurous see no reason why a little cold weather should keep them cooped up indoors for months at a time.

Sports and other physical activities can provide the perfect respite from the cabin fever that can settle in during long winters. Families looking to get some quality time outdoors together this winter can enjoy a host of activities in the great outdoors, even if the temperatures are a tad on the chilly side.

Sledding: Sledding may remind adults of their childhoods and turn kids’ snow days into fun afternoons they will never forget. Kids can seemingly ride their sleds and toboggans down snowy hills all day long, but even parents get a kick out of racing kids downhill or sharing a sled with their youngsters. While older kids can typically handle sleds on their own, parents should ride along with toddlers to prevent falls and handle steering duties. When sledding, keep a close eye for any signs that suggest kids might be getting too cold, such as shivering or clothes that are soaked through.
Snowshoeing: Parents may not know that many retailers sell snowshoes for children. While snowshoeing can be physically demanding, it’s also a fun way for families that like family walks to continue those traditions even if there are a few inches of snow on the ground. Make sure kids are bundled up, paying extra attention to their footwear. Kids will enjoy snowshoeing more if their boots are both comfortable and capable of keeping their feet warm.

Snowman building: Perhaps no outdoor winter activity is more conducive to family fun than building a snowman. The season’s first substantial snowfall provides the perfect opportunity for parents and their children to start building some snowmen. While snowman building is unlikely to find its way onto any gym schedules, building a snowman provides a great workout. Lifting snow is great strength training, while pushing snow to form Frosty’s body is a great way to get in some cardiovascular exercise.

Skiing and snowboarding: The earlier youngsters start skiing and/or snowboarding, the more likely such activities will prove second nature. Many resorts offer skiing and snowboarding lessons to kids and adults, so parents can book weekend getaways for the family to nearby resorts and foster a love of winter sports in youngsters. While it’s tempting to huddle up indoors when winter hits full swing, families who embrace the great outdoors when the temperatures dip can avoid cabin fever and enjoy one another’s company along the way