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A To-Do List to Get Your Family Outside

Winter is so pretty. So Pretty. It is also cold, and long, and cold. If you’re anything like me, you absolutely love winter right up until about Feb. 1 – then you’re ready for the smell of fresh flowers, running barefoot in the grass, and staying up late to watch the sunset turn into the night sky.

I try to embrace the winter months as much as I can. My family has a tradition of cutting down our own Christmas tree. We also enjoy watching our friend’s hockey games. Sledding is a must, and we even plan on trying to make an igloo this year!

However, as the cold months tend to linger and become even colder, my own children’s play tends to become limited to the indoors and the motivation to do anything outside drops drastically. (I’m no exception to this – I enjoy a warm cup of cocoa and a snuggly blanket over freezing temperatures, too.)

Though I’m reluctant to venture into our cold and snowy weather, I have made it a personal mission to get my kids up, active, and out the door through our long winter season. I’m a firm advocate that outdoor play should not be restricted to warm weather. With a little planning, and some proper clothing, winter can be just as enjoyable as summer! Let’s fight the social isolation that this season tends to bring with a few fun winter-play ideas. You could even make a “To-do” winter activity list and try to check off all of the things on your list by spring!

  • Go ice skating.
  • Go sledding.
  • Go skiing.
  • Build a snowperson.
  • Build a snow fort.
  • Go on a winter hike.
  • Go ice fishing.
  • Go on a winter scavenger hunt.
  • Take your dog for a walk.
  • Shovel snow for someone in need.
  • Catch snowflakes on your tongue.
  • Make snow paint and color your entire yard! (Food coloring and water in a spray bottle.)

There’s also a nifty website called Pinterest that has even more ideas for people like me who struggle with winter activity ideas.

Let’s face it, our bodies need the fresh air and Vitamin D; both are beneficial for our physical and mental well-being. So, encourage your kiddos (and yourself if you have to) to pick an activity and get out there and play!

I promise to get out there with my family, too – unless my favorite holiday movie is on!


Mandy Runge is the vice president of development at the Children’s Museum of Eau Claire, a community partner of Chippewa Valley Family magazine.


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