It might be chilly outside, but there are numerous ways to still enjoy nature and the great outdoors. Uncover fun and unique winter activities, discover how to create a cozy outdoor space, and read about several creative ideas for hosting small and distanced outdoor gatherings.
Fun Outdoor Activities:
Go ice-skating! Before you glide across the ice, think about picking a theme and taking it to another level. Break out your bellbottoms and peace signs for a fun 70s skate, or maybe don funky futuristic apparel.
If you’re looking for a way to stay in shape even if after it snows, snowshoeing is an excellent outdoor exercise. It’s also a fun way to see friends while keeping a safe distance and enjoying the beautiful fresh air. If you’re trying to save money this year and lift-tickets for skiing and snowboarding are a bit pricy, snowshoeing is a great alternative. Once you’ve mastered snowshoeing basics, it’s an easy activity for people of all ages.
Treehouses are cool, but have you ever built an igloo? Not only are igloos sturdy and can last all winter, but it can be a fun and physical way to spend time with your family and friends. When choosing the perfect spot in your backyard, look for an area where the snow is at least two feet deep. Outline the circle on the ground and pack the snow down. Using a snow saw or knife, carefully saw blocks about 3 feet long and 14 inches high. While you are constructing the first row, remember to angle the blocks to slightly tile inward so the igloo curves. Use a shovel to make an entrance after you place the final brick. Once you are finished, strengthen the walls from outside the igloo with more snow.
Build a snow castle instead of a sandcastle. You can use the same tools as you would to make sandcastles, such as buckets and shovels. Make your snow fortress vibrant and colorful by filling squirt bottles with water and food coloring and painting the snow in different colors.
Instead of making a snowman, make an entire collection of snow animals. You could also build fun snow aliens and at nighttime place glowsticks inside their eyes, so they glow!
Blow bubbles outside and watch magical ice crystals form as they freeze. The kids will love it; it’s truly mesmerizing to watch. Simply place bubble mixture in a small bowl and place it in the freezer for about 20 minutes to lower the temperature. After you take it out give it a quick stir, go outside and blow your bubbles. Be patient, many will pop, but once one sticks to a surface and begins freezing, it’s beautiful. For the best results this activity should be done on a cold day when the temperature is between 1-15 degrees.
Get colorful and use the snow as a canvas! Fill several spray or squirt bottles with water and put a few drops of food coloring into each one. Let the kids paint the snow with fun colors.
How to Create a Cozy Outdoor Space in Winter:
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t warm up an outdoor space with pops of color. Make a space feel visually warm and inviting by incorporating colorful pillows or blankets to your outdoor area. If your chairs don’t have covers, buy bright and fun cushions to liven them up.
Make your very own outdoor fire pit for toasty fun all winter long. If you don’t have space or your county doesn’t allow firepits, you can still create a cozy ambiance with a tabletop fire bowl. Carefully place a small can of clean-burning, gel-alcohol fuel in a 10-12 inch diameter terra-cotta container or concrete container. Place fire glass around the bottom of the can and then light it up.
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Lights are a great and easy way to create an enchanting outdoor atmosphere. Illuminate the sky with warm string lights, add LED’s to your planters, or place candles in tall glass lanterns.
Add an outdoor rug to the patio for a bit of panache and flair.
Decorate your lawn or backyard with beautiful and colorful ice balls. Add a couple of drops of food coloring into a balloon and then slowly fill it with water. After you tie the balloon, place it outside and wait for it to freeze. Once they are solid, cut and peel the balloon off. They are beautiful to look at and will make your yard look magical.
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If you have a covered porch or outdoor space with a roof, add shades or curtains to help block some of the wind. It also can help an outdoor space look warm and inviting.
Ideas for Hosting Small Gatherings Outdoors:
Keep a basket inside filled with faux fur, cozy blankets so when guests come over everyone can grab a blanket on their way outside and stay nice and warm. Another amazing option that will keep your toes nice and warm are heated throw blankets.
Offer your guests hand warmers to hold and keep their fingers nice and toasty.
Time for layers! Fill a cute storage basket with clean hats, scarves, and other garments that guests can borrow. Just remember to wash them all once someone has used them.
Play games outdoors so you are moving and can stay warmer. Grab some bean bags and play cornhole or put on a throwback playlist and dance the night away.
Buy an outdoor heater to really warm you and your guests up. A free-standing propane heater is a convenient option that can heat about 16-18 square feet of deck space.