It can seem difficult to enjoy the winter without breaking the bank. Skiing and Snowboarding are expensive hobbies, but somehow they seems like the only things that you can do during the winter. That is not true!
There are many fun activities for you and your family to do during the winter that don’t cost a dime! Read on for 10 fun activities that you and your family can do that are basically free.
Before you do any activity in the snow, make sure that you prepare for the weather. Dress depending on the temperature. Wear layers. Put thermal underwear on under your pants, and an additional shirt under your jacket.
A good rule of thumb is to wear three layer. The outer layer should be something that you can easily put on or take off if you start to get warm, like a big coat. If you will not be nearby your home, make sure to bring a change of clothes in case your clothes get wet.
Go for a Walk
Get your exercise by taking a stroll outside. Your body will quickly warm up as you keep moving, and you can have quite the enjoyable time walking through your neighborhood or in a nearby park. In the winter, parks and walking trails are very private, as few people are willing to brave the cold weather.
Build a Fire Pit
It is quite the adventure to have a fire pit in your backyard during the winter. You can huddle close to the fire to stay warm and still reap the benefits of fresh air.
Remember that you can’t light a wet fire, so keep your firewood in a dry place until you are ready to start your fire. If you don’t have a fire pit in your backyard, here are some tips and tricks to create the ultimate backyard fire pit.
Build a Snowman
Release your inner child and build a snowman with the beautiful snow lying on your ground. After you build your base, give him (or her) a scarf, a hat, sticks for arms, and rocks or raisins for the eyes and mouth.
Don’t forget to give it a carrot nose! If you have friends over, have a snowman building contest to see who can create the tallest or best creature.
Construct a Snow Fort
Whether or not you get a lot of snow during the winter, you can create an impressive snow fort. There are many ways to build a snow fort with or without snow. If you have snow in your yard, you can either build a fortress or an ice cave. To build a fortress, pack buckets or milk cartons with snow and stack them as tall as you can.
To build an ice cave, create a huge pile of snow in the middle of your yard, and then hollow out a cave. If you do not have snow, fill empty milk cartons or pails with water, and let the cold air freeze them overnight. Stack them up to create an ice palace.
Paint the Snow
Painting snow is a fun, low hassle art project for any age. Fill spray bottles with colored water, (mix water with food coloring until you reach the desired color), and take them outside to create patterns, words, and pictures in the snow. You can also fill syrup bottles, water bottles, or anything else you can find to create your paintings.
Have an Outdoor Picnic
Take your normal lunch outside and host a picnic in the snow. Get a waterproof blanket to sit on so that you don’t become soaked, and pack warm food like soup and hot chocolate for the meal. Consider having your Valentine’s Day dinner outside this year. You will have a quiet, uninterrupted meal as no one else will be daring enough to join you in the snow!
If you don’t already have a sled, you can buy an inexpensive one from a local thrift store or Walmart for less than $10. Find a good hill nearby and slide down it! If you or your kids are daring enough, create little “jumps” made out of snow to make an extreme sledding experience. Sledding is more fun with friends, so invite another family to come with you.
Go Ice Skating
Ice Skating is an activity that does cost a bit more to do, but is still pretty inexpensive. Many ice skating rinks include the skate rental in the price, so you don’t have to purchase any additional gear to go.
They also tend to offer group discounts, so bring along a few friends or another family that you know. A few times a season, the rink will also do a discount or free skating day! Watch deal sites like Groupon or Livingsocial to see if you can get additional discounts for a local ice rink.
Set Up an Obstacle Course
If you have children or pets, set up an obstacle course in your yard using lawn furniture, your landscaping, snow paint (as described above) and anything else you can find. Time yourself and your children to see who can get through the course the fastest.
Take a blanket and a cup of hot cocoa or tea, and just sit on your porch and relax. The snow has a muting effect on the busy sounds of everyday life, and it can be quite enchanting to sit and watch the winter wonderland.
Make sure that you bundle up by putting on a hat, gloves, a warm coat and at least two pairs of pants (sweats on top of jeans works well, or leggings underneath your jeans). During this time you can reflect on how your life is going and what goals you want to accomplish in the next few months.