8 Outdoor Winter Activities for Kids

January 4, 2016

Now that we have snow here in Northern Michigan, I put together a list of 8 outdoor winter activities for kids to do outside. If you would prefer to stay inside, I don’t blame you. Simply bundle them up and send them on their way! We’ve gotten over a foot of snow over the last few weeks and the kids are loving it! I was so grateful to see snow too. Normally I’m not a huge fan, but the kids were getting restless, even at school. I talked with a few teachers before break who said the wild packs of children running around on the playground was getting old. The snow was very much needed and a welcome change up here!

8 Outdoor Winter Activities for Kids - Grandpa Shorter's

#1. Ice Skating – Grab your skates, a hot cup of coffee or cocoa and head to the local ice rink. The Winter Sports Park here in Petoskey was busy making ice this last week and should be ready to go in a few days. Ice skating lessons are offered through the City of Petoskey for a nominal fee on weekends. Prefer to skate indoors? Ice skating lessons are also offered at Griffin Ice Arena over on M-119 on Sunday afternoons and the arena also has various open skate times throughout the week (check the rink calendar). My son plays hockey at Griffin Arena and both of our girls know how to skate as we are at the rink a lot AND it’s nice to have both options at the Winter Sports Park in town.

#2. Sledding & Tubing – Grab the sled from the garage and spend an afternoon or evening at the sled hill. Have a hill in your backyard? Clear it off and let the kids go to town! We have a small mound in our yard that the kids try to sled on. They are happy with it, but it’s quite funny to watch. We usually go to the Winter Sports Park in town and spend the afternoon or evening with friends. Plus, it’s a great workout climbing the huge sled hill! If you prefer to stay inside and watch, the Winter Sports Park also offers free wifi.

Tubing is also a ton of fun and worth the money if you want a fun day at the ski hills. Both Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands offer tubing with tow ropes so you don’t have to hike back up the mountain. We’ve done both and they are fantastic!

Starting this Thursday, January 7th, tube for only $10.06 at Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls from 4-8pm, sponsored by 106 KHQ radio station.

#3. Snow Shoeing – This sport has become increasingly popular over the last few years and many of my friends have gotten in on the trend. Rent or purchase snowshoes from various local retailers: The Outfitter in Harbor Springs offers snowshoes rentals, as does Big Bear Adventure over in Indian River.

Looking spend a winter weekend up north? Check out the Torchlight Snow Shoe at Camp Daggett Saturday, January 30, 2016, & Saturday, February 27, 2016.

#4. Winter Hike through the woods, backyard or neighborhood – Bring fresh carrots for the deer and make a trail of carrotts for the deer to follow while they are snacking.

#5. Snowboarding & Skiing – Even if you’re new to the game, all of our local ski resorts offer lessons for the kids, adults too if you want to get in on the action! Nubs Nob, Boyne Highlands and Boyne Moutain all offer a variety of packages and rentals.

#6. Snow Painting – Grab some old spray bottles (or purchase a few for only $1 at Dollar Tree), add some water and food coloring and voila! Have fun for a few hours painting the snow different colors. Put the colored water into old squeeze bottles and write messages in the snow or make cool designs.

#7. Build a Snowman (upside down!) or a Snow Fort – Get in on the fun with this classic winter fun. Grab some extras from the house to finish off your snowman (carrot, scarf, hat, etc). Help the kids build a snow fort. I found the classic snow bricks at Aldi’s right before Christmas and the kids have been using them daily since we got snow. Don’t want to spend the extra money on them? Get creative and use old plastic buckets or containers. Pack them full of snow and tip over to start build your walls. After your fort is built start making snow balls and stash them away to have on hand for snowball fights.

#8. Ice Fishing – Love fishing during warmer weather? Give ice fishing with the kids a try. Kids must fish with a licensed adult but they can have up to 3 free lines up to the age of 16. Perch and walleye are abundant in our local inland lakes. My husband fish’s Mullett and Crooked with the kids during the winter months and the perch are the best!

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