Getting outside for winter hikes is tough. It’s cold, it’s wet, and you are busy with the holidays and all the things that you were supposed to do but couldn’t. Or didn’t.
You want to get outdoors, but it’s so much work to get outside. And So. Many. Layers. Preparing to get yourself and your children on a hike is no easy task. Here are a few hike suggestions to get you excited to get outside.
1. Rainy day puddle stomping
Every kid loves a good puddle. Throw on rain boots and go in search of the deepest, wettest puddles you can find and stomp away. Make it a hunt and see who can make the biggest splash. You can also give your kids umbrellas and watch them experiment with this new rain gear. It’s great for some hilarious giggles with supervision.
I hadn’t really thought of young kids being able to snowshoe, but it’s surprisingly easy for them. Our just 3-year-old had a blast on snowshoes last year, and it extended our ability to hike in the snow. You can snowshoe with a kiddo in a carrier too. Make sure to take into account the added weight when deciding which snowshoes to use since they are based off of weight.
3. Build a snowman
Head into the woods and build a snowman in an unexpected place. Bring some natural supplies (every snowman needs a carrot nose!) or use whatever you can find on the trail.
4. Finding letters/numbers/pictures in the snow
Have someone hike ahead down the trail and draw letters, numbers or smiley faces in the snow with a stick for the kids to spot as they head down the trail. Take turns drawing in the snow.
5. Gloomy weather
Take advantage of the fact that most people stay inside during bad weather and bundle up and head to a local park, trail or playground that’s usually crowded. With most people wanting to stay put where it’s warm, you’ll most likely have it all to yourselves.
Sledding is fun for any age. Find a local sledding spot, hike out and go at it. Or if you know of a wooded trail that is wide and safe for sledding, hike into the woods and sled your heart out.
7. Hike at a local zoo
When people plan trips to the zoo, winter is the least favorable season to visit because of the cold. However, unlike summer when it’s hot and animals are lazy and prefer to rest in the shade, winter finds animals way more active. You may be surprised by what animals come out to play in the cold than any other time of year.
These are just a few ideas to help you and your kiddos get out during the colder months. And even if you can’t go far except for a short loop around your neighborhood, the cold, refreshing air is good for the soul.
Photos by Krystal Weir.