5 Fun Outdoor Winter Activities for Families During the Coronavirus Pandemic

5 Fun Outdoor Winter Activities for Families During the Coronavirus Pandemic

It has almost been 10 months since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Many of us are understandably getting cabin fever from being cooped up in our homes so long with only our face mask protection and hand sanitizer for company! But with winter here, it can be hard to figure out what fun outdoor activities you and your family can safely partake in during these cold months.

Here are five winter activities that you can do with your loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic.

Safety First — Prepare for the Cold!

Before we dive into the activities, we wanted to take a moment to remind you that safety comes first, especially when it comes to winter. As the old Swedish adage goes, "There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing." To properly enjoy yourself outdoors during this cold season, you need great cold-weather gear. Sneakers, jeans, and a sweatshirt simply won't cut it.

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When deciding what to wear outside during these winter months, remember one word: Layering. Layers are an essential part of winter attire. Whether it's a sweater under your coat, thermal leggings under your pants, or a neck gaiter under your collar, bundle up! And don't forget a hat and some gloves.

You and your loved ones are much more likely to enjoy your time outdoors during winter if you're not cold and uncomfortable. So layer up with some high-quality outdoor clothing. Now, let's get back to that list of fun activities!

1. Ice Skating

Have a frozen pond or ice skating rink nearby? What are you waiting for, then? Ice skating is an excellent way to have some fun and get some exercise.

If your ice skating rink is indoors, don't hesitate to call the business owners and inquire about COVID-19 precautions they are taking. Make sure they are limiting the number of people that are allowed in the building at any one time. And don't forget your face masks.

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If you don't own a pair of ice skates, you can usually find a solid pair for a good price at your local thrift stores or on eBay.

It’s always enjoyable to go gliding around a frozen pond or ice skating rink. If you don’t own a pair of ice skates, check thrift stores first, as you can usually find a pair for a few dollars. You can also find used skates on eBay.

2. Plogging

Plogging is a Swedish fitness craze that is taking the world by storm. If you're not familiar with this activity, it's actually a combination of two words: "Plocka," the Swedish word for "to pick," and "jogging."

Basically, plogging is one part exercise and one part environmental responsibility. In this activity, you go jogging and pick up any litter you encounter. The Washington Post has reported that plogging is actually a more effective workout than jogging because you incorporate squats into your exercise. This translates to 50 more calories burned per 30-minute workout than jogging.

Besides typical cold-weather running gear like thermal running tights and a neck gaiter, you don't need much to begin plogging. Just bring a trash bag and some latex gloves and you're good to go!

3. Ice Fishing

Do you enjoy fishing? Then there's no reason to stop just because the weather gets cold! Ice fishing is a unique take on this classic activity. But be sure to practice caution when you try this activity. If the ice is not thick enough, you could fall through. Such an occurrence has turned fatal for many ice fishers.

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Always be sure to fish on ice that's at least 4 inches thick. Most bait shops and fishing stores will be abreast of local conditions, so don't hesitate to check in with them about the opportune times to go during winter months. Also, avoid rivers. It's harder for moving water to form thick ice, so stick with ponds and lakes.

4. Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing is an exhilarating experience that everyone in your family should try at least once. And the best part is that it's not as significant of an investment as you'd think — a good pair of snowshoes usually costs less than what you'd fork out for two days of skiing.

Snowshoes can last a long time if you take care of them properly, so this could end up becoming a winter tradition in your family. If you've never done it before, check out this informative guide for how to begin.

5. Camping

Believe it or not, camping can actually be really fun during winter! If you have the right gear, the experience can even turn into long-lasting memories that you and your family members often look back on with fondness.

If you're seeking solitude, then it's worth mentioning that you'll probably be the only ones out and about at your camping ground if you go during the winter. That means no battling for parking spots or amazing views at the campsite. You can also say goodbye to bugs such as ticks and poison ivy!

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After you set up your campsite, here are a few fun ways to enjoy yourself in the wild:

  • Snow tubing
  • Stargazing (This one's especially awesome because the atmosphere tends to be clearer in the winter.)
  • Build a bonfire and make s'mores.
  • Sledding
  • Winter hiking

Winter camping certainly has its challenges, and it demands specific (sometimes expensive) gear to get the job done. Make sure you have cold-weather clothing, cold-weather sleeping bags (a good rule of thumb is to have ones that are rated for 10 degrees lower than the lowest temperature you're expecting to encounter), sleeping pads, and a four-season tent.

Enjoy Your Winter Wonderland!

We hope this article inspires you and your loved ones to try a new outdoor activity this winter. It has definitely been difficult to stay indoors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hopefully, the items listed here give you some ideas to get outside and have some fun!

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