Winter is a season full of joy and happiness. The weather is usually cold and dry, which makes it perfect for outdoor activities. There are plenty of things you can do outdoors during the winter, from skiing to ice skating.
Here are 15 of the best winter family activities to try out. They include indoor and outdoor options, and they’re suitable for everyone.
1. Go Skiing
Downhill skiing might be just what you need to shake off those winter blues. There are many great places for some downhill skiing and snowboarding fun. Here are five options that will make you feel like a kid again.
Wilmot Mountain Ski Resort – This is one of the best places to take the kids for some downhill skiing and snowboarding.
They offer lessons for beginners and intermediate skiers, and boarders. You’ll find beginner slopes, mogul runs, and a terrain park. If you’re looking for a challenge, try out the “Big Air.”
Devil’s Head Ski Area – located in Merrimack, New Hampshire, Devil’s Head offers cross-country skiing and downhill skiing. They also host special events throughout the season.
If you’ve ever wanted to try sledding, we have some good news: it’s incredibly easy to find a spot where you can enjoy the thrill of sliding down a hill on a snowmobile.
However, you might consider checking out the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, WI. This hotel offers guests a variety of fun things to do while staying there, including sledding.
The resort even has a special area set aside just for sledding. You’ll find plenty of spots to go sledding near the hotel, making it easier than ever to enjoy the rush of riding down a snowy slope.
3. Dog Sledding
Dog-lead sledding is something many people think of during the cold months of the year. However, there are plenty of opportunities to do this activity throughout the summer, too.
If you’re looking for a way to spend quality time with your family, consider taking advantage of the opportunity to experience dog sledding.
Several companies around the world offer this type of adventure. These experiences usually take about three hours, depending on how long you want to spend on the trail.
You’ll start off by meeting your guide, learning about mushing history, and getting comfortable with the dogs.
After that, you’ll head out onto the snow-covered trails, where you’ll learn how to control the team and work together to keep everyone safe.
Once you’ve had enough of the training portion of the day, you’ll be able to hop into the sleds and hit the trails.
Snow tubing is one of those winter activities that people love to hate. But overall, we think tubing is pretty great.
Here’s why: You can go faster than skiing or sledding. Plus, you’re usually sitting down when you do it. So you can take your time and relax. Also, you can choose to ride alone or with friends.
And what’s better than riding with friends? Snow tubing with friends. There’s something special about sharing the experience with someone else.
Snow tubing is an affordable winter activity suitable for the whole family. It does not require the skills of skiing or snowboarding, so it’s great for children and adults. Read this article to learn more about snow tubing with kids.
5. Holiday Lights
Seeing Christmas lights is a fantastic way to kick off the holiday season. But there are many different ways to do it. And some states offer better options than others. Check out these Christmas Light Tours in the USA.
Wisconsin offers some of the most beautiful light displays around. Here are some of our favorite spots to see holiday lights.
The Celebration of Light event in Oshkosh is a great option for those who want to enjoy the holidays without traveling too far. Thousands of people gather each evening to watch the lights come to life.
There are several different events taking place simultaneously, including parades, concerts, caroling, and fireworks.
Sheboygan is home to the largest collection of holiday lights in the world. More than 2 million LED lights illuminate the streets, buildings, trees, and parks throughout the city. This display takes place every night from November through January.
6. Ice Skating
There are so many areas to enjoy skating in winter, including some large lakes and rivers. And there are even some indoor options too.
But it doesn’t matter where you go ice skating – whether on a river or a frozen lake or indoors, there are still things you need to know before hitting the ice.
For starters, you’ll want to ensure that you know how to skate properly. You don’t want to fall down and hurt yourself, and you certainly don’t want to injure someone else. So make sure you learn how to skate properly.
And if you’ve never skated before, you’ll probably want to take lessons. This way, you’ll be able to avoid falling over and injuring yourself.
7. Searching For Christmas Trees
Christmas isn’t complete without a tree. But where do you go to find the perfect one? Luckily, there are lots of options. You could head to a local Christmas tree farm to find your perfect tree.
There are several places to buy a pre-cut tree, including Walmart and Target or your local farmers market, or a pop-up Christmas tree lot. And don’t forget about online retailers if you prefer a pre-lit or artificial tree.
8. Winter Festivals
There are some great winter festivals out there. From snow sculpture competitions to cocoa crawls, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the season.
Here are just a few of the many events taking place across the state of Wisconsin during the holiday season.
The largest snow sculpting competition in North America takes place yearly at the Lake Geneva Resort. Visitors can watch teams compete for the coveted gold medal and $10,000 prize.
There are also special activities for kids, including a cocoa crawl, a scavenger hunt, face painting, and more.
The Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony tradition dates back to 1872 and continues today. Thousands gather around the lakefront in downtown Appleton to see the lights illuminate the city skyline.
9. Zip Line Tours
The most popular zip-lining season is spring, but there are plenty of options during the colder months. If you’re looking for something different, we’ve got some great ideas for you.
So how exactly does a zip line tour work? A guide leads guests on a journey across the ice and snow.
They start off by walking alongside the river or lake, and then they climb into a harness attached to a cable. Once they’re ready, they’ll zip across the water at speeds up to 50 miles per hour.
10. Ice Fishing
Ice fishing is, in fact, one of the most common winter sports. You don’t need a boat; you can simply use a rod and reel. However, there are some things you’ll want to keep in mind before heading out into the cold.
First, you’ll want to be prepared. This includes having the proper equipment, knowing what to look for, and being able to tell whether the ice is safe. Finally, you’ll want to be aware of safety precautions.
11. Christmas Markets
You don’t have to travel far to see a Christmas market in the US. Many small villages around the country host their own events throughout the month of December.
Most places host several outdoor stalls selling handcrafts, sweets, and local specialties. Inside the centers, you’ll find a variety of shops and boutiques filled with high-quality merchandise.
12. Observing Wildlife
South Lake Howard Nature Park is located just outside of Orlando, Florida. In addition to being a popular spot for locals to take walks and bike rides, the park offers visitors a chance to view nature up close.
There are also educational signs to provide information about the local ecosystem. These signs explain how the park works and what animals live there.
13. Riding The Polar Express!
If you want to take your kids to ride the Polar Express in Ohio this holiday season, here are several great places to go.
First off, there is the Historic Dennison Rail Road Depot Museum in Dennison, where you can ride the Polar Express. The second option is the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in Chagrin Falls, which offers several trains throughout the month of December.
The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad offers The Polar Express experience from Bryson City, North Carolina. The hour-long round-trip passenger excursion comes to life for a journey through the mountains for a special visit to the “North Pole.”
14. Touring Ice Caves
We love ice fishing during the cold months, and now there’s an even better reason to head north to Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.
Ice caves are magical, unlike anywhere else you’ll ever see, and it’s easy to understand why people travel thousands of miles to experience them. The formations look like something straight out of a fairy tale.
15. Exploring Milwaukee
Milwaukee is a beautiful place to live throughout the year, but it shines during the winter. Whether you’re looking to explore the area or simply relax, it’s a great place to visit with children and teens.
With plenty of things to see and do, there is no better way to spend your days in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, than by heading outside and experiencing everything this wonderful city offers.
If you want to ensure that your family has a wonderful holiday season, then these activities will be just what you need. Try these affordable and fun winter activities for families. You can also use them as an excuse to travel and go somewhere festive and cold at the best time of the year.
For more about family travel, check out these posts:
How to Pack for a Winter Road Trip with Kids
Complete Guide to Snow Tubing in the Poconos for Families
Top Family Vacation Destinations in the US
North Carolina Snow Tubing with Kids: Most Popular Resorts
Snow Tubing with Children in the Asheville – Western NC
Best Spring Break Destinations for Families