Winter is supposed to be the time for us to stay inside, warm and cozy by the fireplace. There’s nothing better on a cold winter’s day than staying inside all day with a good book and warm drink, but that may not be the best use of your time. Getting active and going outside are vital for our health, even in winter. Here are 20 random outdoor winter activities to help you stay active all winter long.
20 random outdoor winter activities for adults
Sledding isn’t just for kids, adults can (and should) have just as much fun with it. Plus, it’s an easy, fairly low key way to get outside and have some fun if there’s snow.
2. Hiking or snowshoe hiking
If you love to hike, there’s no reason to limit your hiking to warm weather. If there’s snow on the ground, strap on a pair of snowshoes just like these and go see what your favorite trails are like when they’re covered in snow- it’s a totally different experience.
Otherwise, I recommend some good winter hiking boots and some of these merino wool socks from Danish Endurance to keep your feet warm in the winter.
Skiing is a wintertime classic for a reason: it’s exciting, challenging, and anyone can learn to do it. It’s not just fun, it’s also a great core and leg exercise that can really help to keep you in shape all winter long.
Considered by some to be more exciting than skiing, snowboarding is another winter activity that provides a great balance of fun and exercise. You can go snowboarding any place you can ski, and the skills you need for both are pretty similar.
There’s a serenity to the landscape in winter that you can’t experience any other time of year. Taking a winter camping trip can be a great way to de-stress and enjoy the great outdoors, and you can enjoy some of the most popular camping destinations without the crowds they see in the summer months.
6. Ice skating
What better way to enjoy the winter than skating on a frozen pond or in an outdoor ice rink? Ice skating is always a fun way to get yourself off the couch, and if you don’t know how to ice-skate, it’s never too late to learn.
7. Ice fishing
It may not be especially active, but ice fishing is nonetheless a great way to enjoy the outdoors in winter. Plus, you might just catch dinner while you’re out on the ice.
8. Snow tubing
Think of this as extreme sledding- you’re still sliding down a snow covered hillside or mountainside, but the tube is a lot less predictable than a sled. You’ll spin around, take unexpected turns, and you can fit more than one person on the tube. Here’s an example of a popular snow tube on Amazon.
9. Make a bonfire
Sitting around a warm fire on a cold night is one of life’s great pleasures, especially when you’re joined by friends and family. Light a big bonfire and invite your friends over, maybe even roast some marshmallows and make s’mores.
10. Build a snowman
Yes, adults can build snowmen, and it’s every bit as much fun as it was when you were a kid. Doing something “childish” can really help relieve stress and building a snowman gets you in the spirit to get outside and enjoy the snow even more.
11. Cross-country skiing
Sometimes called Nordic skiing, this sport doesn’t have much in common with the downhill skiing we’re more familiar with. It’s much closer to hiking, but you go faster because you’re on skis, which makes it a bit more of a thrill than hiking.
12. Going ice climbing
Climbing up frozen waterfalls with ice axes and crampons is a real winter sport, and it’s growing in popularity. There are probably professional services in your area offering guided climbs that are perfectly safe, and you’ll get to see some stunning winter scenery.
13. Go dog sledding
You can book a one-day sledding trip or a multi-day excursion in some places, but either way, this is such a unique experience that you just can’t pass it up. It’s one of the coolest ways to travel through the back country in the winter, and the dogs enjoy it just as much as you do.
14. Ice hockey
The ultimate winter team sport, ice hockey is a perfect way to stay active this winter, especially if you’re the competitive sort. Don’t worry if you’ve never played before, if you can already ice-skate you’ve got the most important skill mastered.
15. Fat biking
Fat bikes have big, thick (“fat”) tires that let them handle terrain and conditions most bikes can’t. They’re ideal for cycling through snow in the winter, and lots of mountain bike enthusiasts have really taken to the sport of fat biking as a means of enjoying their favorite activity all year long.
16. Take a walk
Sometimes you just need a good walk. The quiet and solitude are refreshing in their own right, but there’s something about the snow, ice, and the still, quiet winter air that amplifies the effect. Just bundle up first!
17. Polar bear plunge
Here’s another random winter activity for adults, and this one is not for the faint of heart, but it’s appealing for some types of people. The polar bear plunge involves diving into a freezing cold body of water in the middle of winter, usually as a stunt to help raise money for charity, but sometimes just for fun.
18. Go look at Christmas lights
It seems like every city has at least one neighborhood where every house goes way overboard on the holiday decorations. Taking a stroll through them and admiring the lights and other decorations is always a pleasant way to spend the evening. Other places in your town may be known for going all out with Christmas decorations each year. One house in my state makes a little Christmas village on their property each year and charge people to drive through it.
Pretty much the snow version of dirt biking; renting snowmobiles is a fun way to spend a day outside doing something crazy and mildly dangerous. Most snow mobile rental places offer hands-on instructions in the use of a snowmobile for those who haven’t used one before.
20. Play with your dog in the snow
Do you have a dog? He or she might be glad for a little change in scenery. Take your dog outside, throw the ball around, chase them around a bit, and let them enjoy the snow.