Many people tend to stay indoors when the temperature drops, and to be fair, there’s no shortage of fun indoor winter activities. But if you’re wondering what to do on a snow day, nature has a lot to offer. In fact, there are several mental and physical benefits to spending time outdoors during the colder months. Exposure to the sun can improve your mood and the vitamin D your body absorbs helps fight disease. So bundle up and safely enjoy the cold with one of these outdoor activities.
1. Visit a hot spring
The water in a hot spring is significantly higher than the air temperature of the surrounding region, and perfect for thawing your cold body over the winter. Soaking in a hot spring is a warm and relaxing experience, but this retreat can require some advance planning. Most hot springs are in the West with far fewer in other regions of the United States.
2. Go dog sledding
When you’re looking for fun things to do outdoors, dog sledding is an exciting and unique winter activity where you can drive a team of dogs or just sit back and enjoy the ride. It’s also a great way to see miles of beautiful winter scenery. Although Alaska is the dog sled hub of the United States, there are many great tours available throughout the rest of the country so that individuals of any experience level can join in on the fun.
3. Build a snowman
Children will especially love being outside when the snow starts to fall. Grab a few things from the house on the way out – like a hat, scarf and carrot – and you’ll have what you need to build a snowman! Let the kids get creative by finding special additions around the yard like sticks for the arms and rocks for the eyes, mouth and buttons.
4. Build a snow fort
There really is no shortage of exciting snow activities that your family can enjoy in your own backyard. A snow fort is fun to build, plus the kids can enjoy hanging out inside the finished product. To ensure safety, never build alone or enclose the structure as a collapsing roof can cause serious injury.
5. Have a snowball fight
A snowball fight is the perfect solution if the whole family, or even the whole neighborhood, is stuck at home on a snow day. The more the merrier! It can be as simple as throwing a few snowballs back and forth, or it can be a more epic experience with forts, rules and strategy. Just make sure everyone plays fair and pays attention to younger kids so no one gets hurt.
6. Go ice fishing
If you love to fish, don’t let the cold stop you over the winter. Ice fishing is a fantastic excursion that involves fishing through a hole in the ice on a frozen body of water. Make sure you do your homework to find a safe fishing spot and show up prepared with the right equipment, such as auger, sled, ice rod and bait container. A successful ice fishing trip is a rewarding experience in itself, but is all the better when you can sit back and enjoy your catch.
7. Go tubing or sledding
Take advantage of all the nearby hills over the winter with a sledding adventure. Or if that’s not an option, find a nearby ski resort that offers tubing. Sledding and tubing provide an exciting adrenaline rush for young and old. For the youngest thrill seekers, you can start by simply pulling a sled or tube around the backyard.
8. Ice skating
Many people stick to indoor rinks for ice skating, but getting outside for this activity is a magical experience. Some states have ponds or lakes that are safe for skating over the winter. Or you can rent skates at an outdoor rink in a park or even in the heart of a metropolitan area. Ice skating makes for a great solo activity, romantic date or family and friend outing.
9. Go snowshoeing
If you enjoy exploring parks during the warmer seasons, snowshoes are the perfect way to extend the fun through the winter. It’s a form of hiking where you wear special shoes that distribute your weight so you don’t sink into the snow. Snowshoeing is one of many outdoor winter hobbies that are perfect for the whole family because all ages and skill levels can enjoy it together. It’s also good exercise and cheap. All you need to get started are warm, waterproof boots and snowshoes suitable for your weight, terrain and snow conditions. Adjustable poles with snow basket are optional, but recommended.
10. Go skiing or snowboarding
Skiing and snowboarding are among the most popular winter sports, with 470 ski resorts operating in the United States during the 2019-2020 season. Both skiing and snowboarding take you on an exciting ride across the snow, either with a pair of skis or a single snowboard attached to your boots. You’ll have no problem finding the perfect ski resort, whether you’re looking for a beginner package or a challenge on the slopes.
11. Ride an ATV
Take the winter fun up a notch with a ride on an all-terrain vehicle (ATV)! If you usually only ride in the warmer months, make sure you bundle up, wear protective gear, and properly prepare your ATV to keep you from getting caught in the cold. This includes adding fuel stabilizer to your gas, keeping your battery warm, and checking your spark plugs, oil, air filter, and tires. But accidents can still happen. It is important to understand the risks of ATV riding when purchasing ATV insurance so that you can be protected while enjoying your off-road adventures.
12. Go snowmobiling
If you are not familiar with snowmobiles, you may be surprised by the variety of uses for these motorized vehicles. Snowmobiling encompasses much more than just winter transportation. For many, snowmobiling is a great way to explore nature on or off trails. Snowmobiles are also used for cross-racing, a spectator sport similar to motocross, or off-road racing. If you’re looking for great snowmobile vacation spots this winter, you’re in luck. More cities, resorts and parks are embracing the booming snowmobile activity.
Snowmobile insurance is required in some states and is always a smart idea to avoid paying out of pocket for damages. Learn more about snowmobile protection so you’re protected on your next winter adventure!
This article is provided by Nationwide Insurance, a Bolder Insurance partner.
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