Wondering what you can do with your kids outside in the cold? There are so many fun outdoor winter activities for kids to keep them entertained and busy all winter long. There is no reason to stay stuck indoors with cabin fever on cold & snowy days.
These activities are a great way to get the kids outside and off their electronics to enjoy playing in the snow and exploring the many outdoor activities.
Our list of the best winter activities for kids will help you be ready with fun activity ideas so you won’t have to hear those dreaded words “I’m Bored”. Kids will be so excited to play these popular winter activities they’ll forget all about being bored (:
Plus the fresh air and outdoor play will help you forget the cold weather. Well, kind of but at least you’ll be having fun.
If winter has your whole family spending too much time indoors use our list of fun things to do in the winter with kids to get you motivated to go outside and enjoy the outdoors together.
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Fun Outdoor Winter Activities for Kids at Home
Let’s get you ready with a list of fun things to do in the winter with your kids. The best part is most of the outdoor winter activities on our list are free. The activities mostly use items you have at home already or cheap things to do in your area on winter days.
The article is broken up by Outdoor Winter Activities for Kids at Home and Things to Do in Winter Near You. This will give you tons of options of fun activites to try this winter with your kids.
When you get cold outdoors head inside for some fun with our indoor rainy day activities for kids. This will help create a full day of entertainment when you’re stuck at home this winter.
Snow Painting with Spray Bottles
Turn your kid’s snowmen, forts, and snowballs into something more exciting with DIY Snow Paint. Kids will love creating art out of snow using snow paint.
All you need is water, food coloring, and a spray bottle to make this easy and fun DIY Snow Paint.
Your kids will stay outside playing a lot longer if they need to build a snow structure and decorate it with snow paint. Then once they paint it they will need to play in it too!
Make a Snowman
A winter tradition for all kids is creating a snowman in your yard. Add some fun to your snowmen with snow paint and a scarf and hat.
We like to use a snowman kit which has everything you need to decorate your snowman.
Build a Snowfort
Create a Castle or snow fort in your front yard for the kids to play in this year.
To help make it sturdy we create snow bricks as our building blocks. We also dig down in the snow to create the entrance to the fort so the walls don’t need to be too high up.
Bonus our snow brick doubles in the summer as our sand brick so we can use it all year round.
Frozen Ice Balloon STEM Project
Let the kids find out what happens when you fill a balloon with water and leave it outside in the snow for this cool Ice balloon science experiment.
Add some color to your ice balloon by adding food dye to the balloon before the water freezes. We used the ice balloons last year to decorate the entrance to our snow fort and our front door.
Head to Local Parks
Visit your local park or playground on a snowy day and slide down the slide into the snow and jump off the swings into a pile of snow. The kids will love this twist on what they usually play at their local playground.
Play Sports in the Snow
Turn regular sports games into winter sports with a few fun adjustments.
Above is the video of our snow baseball for you to see.
All you need to do is create a bunch of snowballs to use as baseball. Have the kids use a plastic baseball bat to hit the snowballs that are pitched to them. If they hit the snowball they get to take a base if not after three swings their out.
Honestly, they’ll just have a blast hitting the snowballs and watching it explode into a snow cloud. This was my kid’s favorite activity last winter!
Throw the kids the football so they can catch it on a fly landing in a big snow pile. They’ll have a blast in the cushy fall.
If the snow is more packed down and hard have the kids try snow soccer. They can run and kick the ball just like a regular game with goals made out of snow at either end.
Get the kids out on the ice with a hockey stick and puck to see if they can score a goal.
Tip: if they’re a new skater the hockey stick can help them with their balance on the ice.
DIY Ice Ornaments
A fun winter craft to do with the kids is creating DIY Ice Ornaments. The frozen ornaments work as a great suncatcher in the winter months as it reflects the light.
To do this craft you will need the temperature to be freezing outside or have freezer space to place your ornament overnight.
First collect leaves, berries, small sticks, pine cones, or other small items from your yard. Use this as a time to go on a nature hike with your kids if you can’t find items in your yard.
Next, fill a plastic container or aluminum pie plate with water and add the items you found. Add a string submerged partly in the water to act as your rope to hang the ornament.
Then let it all freeze overnight outside or in your freezer. In the morning pop out your ice ornament and hang it on your tree.
Get the full directions on How to Make Ice Ornaments.
Hunt for Animal Tracks in the Snow
Take a walk around your neighborhood looking for small animal tracks. Can you find a squirrel, coyote, or bunny tracks?
Snow Obstacle Course
Create a fun obstacle course through the snow in your yard. Pull out things from your garage or build it out of snow. Some suggestions would be cones to run around, hula hoops to jump through, longboard to walk over like a balance beam.
You could also use the snow to build obstacles for the kids to run around or a big mound of snow for the kids to climb over.
Let them run through a few times for fun then if they’re up for a contest see who can run through the course the fastest.
Catch a Snowflake
Head outside when it’s snowing and see if you can catch a snowflake on your hand or tongue.
Take some time to study the snowflakes that land on your hand to examine how different each snowflake’s shape and design is from each other.
Make Snow Angels
Another great winter tradition is making snow angels. Let the kids make a bunch and then spend time decorating their angels.
Head outside for a winter bonfire in your backyard. Let the kids roast smores and enjoys listening to the crackling fire. It would be a great time to tell stores around the fire like your camping too.
What’s winter without a family snowball fight. Break your family up into even teams and have each team create a snow base to hide behind and a mound of snowballs.
Last year we painted out snowballs so that each team has a specific color for each team to throw. The kids liked this and it kept them outside longer working on this project (:
Tip: I have found it’s a lot easier & faster to make lots of snowballs using a snowball maker.
Sand Toys in the Snow
Break out your sand toys and let the kids play with them in the snow. Use your sand trucks as construction trucks for your snow creations. Then use buckets and your sand molds to make snow castles and figures in the snow.
We love this cute Penguin mold that you can use in the sand too.
Fun Things to Do in the Winter Near you
This section has fun things to do in the winter in your area rather than at home. It’s the best places to go for entertaining winter activities for kids when you want to get out of the house.
Head out to your local snow hill and take the kids sledding. This is always the highlight of the winter for kids so make sure not to skip sledding this year.
A really cool sled to try is a steerable sled that has a steering wheel and brakes to use on the snow hill. It’s fun for kids as young as three years old.
For older kids try a snow tube they are cheaper than sleds and you can let out the air to store easier when winter is over.
The hottest trend on the snow hill is the Snow Scooter. It also folds flat so it’s easy to fit in your car or store in your garage.
Go Ice Skating
Head to your local indoor or outdoor ice skating rink and go ice skating together. If your kids are new to skating look for an introduction class to help them get started.
Save money by seeing if your local town will freeze over an area to create a free ice skating rink outdoors. Then head to a Play It Again Sports and pick up some cheap used ice skates for the kids.
You could also just use your boots on the free ice rink. When our kids were little we called it boot skating.
Tip: Bring a small throw rug to put down on the ice for your kids to step on to take a break from skating. It’s much easier to stand on than the ice and helps kids who are just starting out skating.
Winter Hiking & Scavenger Hunts
Head out to your local trail or forest preserve and go on a winter hike with your kids. Just make sure you know the trail as it might be harder to follow if there is snow on the ground.
As you walk collect small items you could use later to create your ice ornaments at home or glue them to a paper collage.
While walking keep an eye out for animal tracks in the snow or dirt paths too.
Nature Scavenger Hunts – keep the kids entertained on the walk with our Free Printable Nature Scavenger Hunt. It will give your kids a focus so they won’t think about the cold and just enjoy searching the forest.
Look for a local Ice Castle to visit in your area. They’re huge ice sculptures your family can explore built with hundreds and thousands of icicles. It’s pretty cool to see.
Visit a Zoo
Head to your local zoo and see how the animals behave outside in the winter month.
Often zoos are overlooked in the winter months but it’s a great time to go when it’s less crowded. Plus most have buildings you can pop into to warm up and see more animals.
Go Downhill Skiiing
Teach the kids to ski on a local ski hill. If you can start on the bunny hill they’ll learn more quickly and it’s less intimidating.
Cross Country Skiing
This might be an easier way to learn to ski as there won’t be the fear of going down a hill. Often your local golf course will allow people to go cross country skiing and rent skis in the winter months.
If your kids like speed they’ll enjoy whizzing down a hill in a snow tube. Check your local skiing area to see if they offer snow tubing as an option. They often create lanes for the snow tubes to go down and offer larger tubes so you can ride with your younger kids.
Visit Botanical Gardens
Take a walk through your local Botanical Gardens and see which plants grow in the winter months. Then head inside to the hothouses to warm up and see which plants grow in that environment.
Find a local winter festival to visit with your family. Enjoy watching ice sculptors, drinking hot chocolate, and walking around the outdoor event.
Maple Syrup Festival
Look for a local maple syrup festival and let the kids learn how people tap a tree to get Maple Syrup. It’s pretty cool to see! Then enjoy the rest of the festival. Often time they serve pancakes to eat and try the maple syrup.
If you live somewhere that gets cold enough try ice fishing with the kids this year. It’s a unique experience that kids who enjoy fishing might like to try.
When you’re done enjoying all these fun outdoor winter activities a great way to end the day is some hot cocoa and a good book or some fun indoor activities if they still have energy left.
Are you ready now to enjoy some fun family time outdoors this winter? Hopefully, you found a few outdoor winter activities your kids will be excited to try this year.
Indoor Winter Activity Ideas for Kids
Need more fun ways to entertain your kids this winter? Visit our Kids Activity & Games page or check out some fan-favorite indoor winter activities below.
DIY Hallway Laser Maze – Turn your hallway into an obstacle course with streamers.
Fun Rainy Day Activities for Kids & Indoor Games – Boredom Busting indoor activities
30 Cheap & Fun Family Bonding Activites at Home – Fun ways to spend family time together
Best Family Game Night Ideas & Tips – How to Plan the Best Family Game Night at home & Game ideas
20 Fun Stay at Home Indoor Activities for Kids – Energy-busting ideas when stuck indoors.
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