Baby, It’s Cold Outside- Let’s Play!

By Natalie Reehl

First comes the drop in temperature, then a couple flurries here are there, and then suddenly you wake up to five feet of snow and it’s undeniable: winter is here. Instead of becoming a hermit and relying on Netflix to get through the tundra months, take advantage of the snow and cold to do all the fun things you can’t do in the summer! While it seems like a daunting task to enjoy thirty-below and dodging icicles the size of your arm, seeing the outdoors as a cold-weather opportunity instead of an arctic nightmare can make the winter season enjoyable, even! Here we have a few ways to transform “dismal” to “dashing”.

Sledding Speedway

If the snow is piled high and the kids (or you!) are getting restless, create a fun speedway for plastic sleds to race on! Pack snow onto outdoor stairs or make your own mountains, and then when they are the perfect height and width line up the competitors and time who reaches the bottom first! It’s a real workout while also being exciting and definitely an activity that can’t be done in the summer. To amp it up, try going backwards on the sled! But remember: safety is key, kids.

 Ice Skating

Nothing says winter quite like outdoor ice skating. You don’t have to be an Olympian to enjoy the slippery slide of skates over ice on a frozen pond, so lace up and get ready for some super winter fun. And for the more skilled set, find a team or two, throw in some sticks and a puck and start up a competitive game of hockey while you’re at it!

Outdoor Market Shopping 

During the winter months, outdoor markets seem to pop up everywhere. Find a local outdoor market near you to enjoy great foods, charming merchandise and the heart-warming experience of wearing a puffy coat, hat, gloves and scarf to take red-cheeked photos. Lots of outdoor markets offer specialty foods such as German delicacies like potato pancakes or bratwurst and warm red wine, or French foods like crepes and fresh pastries.  Bon apetit!

Skiing and Snowboarding

Winter is the season that Extreme Sports lovers crave. If you’re looking to kick your winter fun up a notch, then head to the mountains for some high-octane downhill fun. One word of caution: if words like “alpine,” “slalom,” “slopestyle” and “half-pipe” aren’t already a part of your vocabulary, take it slow and start out with a few lessons. And by all means, become BFFs with the bunny slopes until you’re ready to walk on the wilder side.


Winter-Themed Photo Shoot

Why not kick off the New Year with a new profile pic? Get your friends together and drive (or walk if you’re really adventurous) out to a scenic area near you, and take bright, beautiful photos of you enjoying the cold! Throw on some jeans, boots, layers of sweaters and add some red lipstick to pop against the blue and grey backgrounds the winter tends to give us- the recipe for a photo that stands out! Also, take photos with each other to frame and keep forever, or to send out to family! Afterwards go to someone’s house for drinks and a movie and let the warmth crawl back into your bones.

Blindfolded Snowman Making

We’ve all built a snowman before- but have you ever made one without looking? Find an old tie or bandana and take burns blindfolding each other to see whose snowman turns out better- and who completely misses the ball. The requirements: A bottom, midsection, and head, complete with buttons and a nose (and don’t forget arms!). Hilarity will ensue and it will be the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon when the snow has just fallen and sunshine is peaking out from behind clouds.

Have any suggestions for staying creative and active when it’s chilly out? Let us know in the comments section below!

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