Living in New England for almost all of my life I have learned that if you don’t go outside to play during in the winter, you will get stir crazy, grumpy, and fat. If you’re looking for something to do outside during your next snow day, take a look at the following resources.
When I was about seven years old my great aunt and uncle gave me a copy of The American Boy’s Handy Book. The book is filled with fun ideas and directions for all kinds of outdoor activities including building snow forts, making ice boats, and building snow statues. When my daughters get a little bit older I’ll use some of the activities in the book with them. The American Boy’s Handy Book is more than 100 years old, but is still in print. You can also find it in its entirety for free on Google Books.
NOVA, as a part of their program on Denali, has directions for building a snow cave and directions for building an Igloo.
Boys’ Life offers a list of outdoor winter games as well as directions for building igloos and snow shelters.
If you live in an area where it frequently snows, ask at your local bike shop about fat bike rentals. It’s a fun way to ride a bike on cross-country ski trails. Many places in my area rent fat bikes by the hour ($12-$20) or by the day (less than $50).
I mention skiing in my Instagram posts fairly regularly during the winter. You might think that you’re too old to try or that it’s too expensive to try it. You’re never too old to try it. As for the expense, if you stay away from the big brand name resorts, you will find that rentals and lessons are quite affordable. For example, there are two small ski mountains and one big resort in my county. The cost of rentals at the two smaller ones is 25-33% less than at the big resort. Use that savings to get a nice hot cocoa when you’re done.
Have you heard of snowshoe racing? I saw my first snowshoe race last weekend. If you’re a regular runner who is looking for something new to try in the winter, snowshoe racing might be for you.
The bottom line is that if you live in a cold climate, you’re going to have snow days. Yes, sitting on the couch with a good book or binging on Friends can be fun, but you can only watch so many Ross and Rachel moments before you have to get up and move. Get outside and prevent the winter crazies.