When it's finally time to wind down for the winter, it can be hard to stay busy, but it doesn't have to be with a little creativity and some planning. Here are a few fun ways you can stay busy this winter.
Winter walk/hike: This one never gets old. Each season of hiking has something new to offer. Make sure to dress warm and bring water. It’s important to hydrate, even in the cold. Use the I-phone/Android app called AllTrails to look up walks and hikes near you.
Build a fire and have hot cocoa: Get a fire going out in your backyard, bundle up with big blankets and gloves, and bring a canister of hot cocoa to enjoy around the fire. Share stories and stay warm!
Visit a botanical garden: Get the family into the car and drive to your nearest botanical garden. These are often decorated for the holiday season with lights and can be a great evening adventure. Grab a treat on the way home to round out the fun.
Nature scavenger hunt: Check out a native plant book from your local library and head out on a hunt in your nearest nature reserve! Collect small samples of leaves, flowers, and fungi. Bring them back home and research each plant to discover what unique contribution it has to your local ecosystem.
Snowshoeing: Grab a pair of snowshoes from your local outdoor store (Costco sells them too) and drive out to a snowy hike. Throw on your snowshoes and take off into a winter wonderland.
Go sledding: If you live near an area where it snows, nothing beats a family sledding day. Pack lunch and hot cocoa for a full day of fun. Pro tip: Bring an extra pair of socks for the ride home.
Hit the ice rink: This is a fun one. If you have a skating rink in your area, get out of the house for some skating. Try not to fall, but if you do, we didn't see it. ;-)
Walk around an outdoor mall: Even just window shopping in the winter time can be fun, especially with the holiday music and decorations. Take pictures with Santa too while you’re at it.
Try a new recipe: One of the best (and tastiest) ways to pass time indoors is by trying a new recipe! Grab a cookbook and go to the store for ingredients or look in your pantry to see what you have. Then, search for a recipe online that includes what you already have and make a delicious meal for friends and family or keep it all to yourself. Yum!
Do a puzzle or play board games: Some of our favorite board games are Settlers of Catan, Sequence, or just a good card game. Set up the kitchen table, dim the lights and play some music. Put out your favorite snacks and make it a fun evening. Pro Tip: Do a puzzle exchange with neighbors to get some new ones in the rotation.
Build a fort and watch a movie: Whether you have kids or not, making an extra cozy fort with lots of pillows and blankets can make you feel like you are a kid again. Have a movie marathon with movie theatre style popcorn and candy from the dollar store.
Do an art project or craft: Get out your paint, paint brushes and paper and set up a painting station. Do a a useful and fun craft such as making holiday cards or gift tags. Let your creative juices flow, look around the house and see what you can make out of what you already have, or head to your local craft store and choose a fun new project for the whole family.
Bake cookies for your neighbors: What better time to be giving than the winter season. Your neighbors will love you for this one! Be sure to ask about any allergies before you start. Package the cookies in tins or boxes that you can find from your local craft store and include a note to make it extra special.
Video game tournament: This is a hit with both children and adults. We love to play Nintendo games to make us feel like we are a kid again. Set up a scoreboard and have a prize at the end for the winner.
We hope you are having a happy and healthy winter season. Be sure to spend plenty of time with friends and family and enjoy!