Winter has hit in Minnesota and it’s definitely here to stay for a while. Of course, that makes my kids happy since they love all of the outdoor winter activities for kids!
Winter on our Minnesota dairy farm means a lot of work for our family but a lot of fun too!
While some years, we don’t get our first real snow till after Christmas, this year, we had a snowstorm in October already. Thankfully, that melted away and gave us a short reprieve but we’ve been having regular snowfall for the last month and it’s showing as the entire landscape is nothing but fluffy white.
We don’t let the cold weather keep us from enjoying winter fun. There are so many outdoor play options and the fresh air is good for kids!
- Fun Activities with Snow
- Other Outdoor Activities for Kids
- Helpful Tips for Outdoor Winter Activities for Kids
Fun Activities with Snow
Sadly, too many people think that winter means you have to just sit indoors all day long this time of the year. That’s just not the case though, especially if you live somewhere like Minnesota, where we get a lot of fresh snow.
There are plenty of fun winter sports and activities that are snow-based and are a great way to have fun outside all winter long! In fact, some of the best ways to enjoy winter are with snow play!
Kids love playing in the snow and sledding is definitely at the top of most kids’ lists! You are never too old to go sled riding! FOR REAL! The hard part is definitely trekking back up the hill but boy is it good exercise!
We still go regular sledding down the hill behind the local school but heading to the Ski Mountain for snow tubing is so much better!
We have taken the kids a couple of times now and it is SO..MUCH..FUN! We went down that hill dozens of times and jumped on the little escalator pulley which then hauled both our tube as well as bodies back to the top of the hill.
Seriously a must-do.
Make Snow Angels
This is one of those timeless snow traditions little kids must do in their childhood!
Have a Snowball Fight
My older kids love having a snowball fight! This is a great activity since you really don’t need any supplies. Win win!
Build A Snow Fort
Building a snow fort is so much fun! We use Rubbermaid bins and pack those with snow and then stack them up. It’s easy and a great way to make snowball fights even more fun!
Make Snow Pictures
Kids love creating masterpieces in the snow and it’s so easy to create masterpieces by snow spray painting. Simply fill a spray bottle with water, add a little bit of food coloring, and let them spray away! Buy multiple bottles so they can have a variety of colors to choose from.
Down Hill Skiing, Cross-Country Skiing Or Snowboarding
Grab a friend and hit up your local mountain, ski hill, or ski resort for this one. While younger children need to be closely supervised by an adult, skiing is an excellent way to get outside and enjoy winter.
Even if you’ve never gone before, it’s loads of fun. Start out on the bunny slope and practice till you get the main skills down. (To be clear, there’s no shame in hanging out on that bunny slope the entire day either if that’s where you decide you’re comfortable being!) There are usually instructors available at ski resorts as well if you need extra help.
Once you’ve mastered the bunny slope and worked up the courage, head over and jump on the ski lift for a ride to the top of the mountain. Then pick the course you want to try and head back down!
Don’t forget to take a break in the lodge and warm up with a nice hot mug of cocoa. They usually have a gorgeous fire blazing as well.
My teenage son LOVES to snowmobile! If you live out in the country, there’s probably a lot of places to go with a snowmobile, including country trails. If you’re not sure where to go, ask around for the location of your local approved trails.
Driving or riding along on a snowmobile is a huge favorite pastime of almost everyone I know; kids and adults alike! Just be sure to always wear a helmet!
Also, our kids love to get pulled behind the snowmobile in a large ice fishing sled so that’s always an option too.
Build A Snowman
While you need the right weather conditions to be able to make the best snowman, there is definitely no age limit to the fun. Head out with your spouse or friend for a competition even!
Take the the whole family outdoors together and challenge everyone to a snowman family-building activity where you make an entire snow family. (Each person can create a snowman mirroring themselves.)
My kids even just love when we drive around on a hunt to see the snowmen that people have built in their yards. So not only will you get to enjoy the process of creating your snowman, it may even bring joy to others too!
Make Snow Cream or Snow Cones
If you have freshly fallen snow, gather some of it up and make snow cream (snow ice cream) or snow cones.
Use Snow in Your Water Table
Water tables are fun for more items than water, like snow! Fill your water table outside with snow for exciting winter play or even bring it inside for a bit of fun until it melts. Preschoolers love this fun way to use a water table.
Other Outdoor Activities for Kids
There are lots of other fun outdoor winter activities that don’t require snow. Here are some more fun activities for kids in the cold winter months.
Another local favorite in Minnesota (the land of 10,000 lakes) is ice fishing! Double-check ice conditions before heading out onto the lake but ice fishing is a great winter activity for all ages on cold days.
See if the towns in your area hold any winter festivals. If they do, they likely have a lot of fun things planned for kids!
Play Ice Hockey
Ice hockey is a very fun outdoor sport! If you don’t have hockey sticks and a puck you can play a casual game using brooms and a stone (or something similar).
Feed the Birds & Other Outdoor Critters
Our family loves to bird watch all year long but especially in the winter. It’s so beautiful to look out at the freshly fallen snow and see cardinals eating at our bird feeder. Just remember that if you set up a feeder you’ll want to keep it stocked all winter long since the birds will keep returning for more.
You can make homemade bird feeders by covering a pine cone or carved-out apple in peanut butter, rolling it in birdseed, and then hanging it from a tree in your yard.
You can also make a homemade squirrel feeder too. We love watching them outside!
Find a local ice rink and give ice skating a try this year. On approved surfaces, ice skating is extremely safe and quite fun. It’s also great exercise! If you don’t own ice skates, look for an indoor or outdoor rink where skates are either free or can be rented for a small fee.
Take A Winter Nature Walk
As long as temperatures and conditions are safe, you can head on out to enjoy a leisurely walk during winter. It’s a great way to combat cabin fever!
You can visit your local park or just take a walk through your neighborhood and have a great time just taking in the winter scenery.
Older more adventurous kids might even enjoy a winter hike!
Plan a Winter Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts aren’t just for the spring, summer, and fall! Plan a winter nature scavenger hunt for your kids and they are sure to have a blast, even in their own backyard!
Helpful Tips for Outdoor Winter Activities for Kids
No matter what the weather, it’s always important to dress according to the elements but in the winter, it’s even more vital. You want to protect yourself and your kids by keeping warm, avoiding frostbite, and escaping hypothermia.
Make sure kids have warm boots, waterproof gloves or mittens, a warm hat, scarf, snow pants, and of course a warm winter coat.
Once your kids come back inside, whip up some hot chocolate or hot cocoa and a batch of soup to heat them from the inside out! We have a variety of tried and true soup recipes we think your family will love.