Real Life, Good Food

Outdoor winter activities


Being outdoors, even in the wintertime, is great for mental and physical health!


Are you looking for something new to try with your family outdoors this winter? Here are some activities that are no cost or low cost both at home and in your community!

Take a hike –Bundle up and go exploring in your neighborhood or community. If you live near a city, county, or State Park, check out the trails located there. Many libraries across Minnesota offer free 7 day passes for families wanting to visit State Parks.  Check out the link from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to see if your library is listed.  If you are a Tribal member, you are also eligible for a free vehicle permit. Click here for details on the program. Not sure where a State Park is in your area? Check out the map.

Try snowshoeing – If you have never tried snowshoeing, it is a great way to get some movement outside in a new way! Snowshoeing can be done by all ages and is fun to do when there is plenty of snow on the ground. The only equipment you need are the snowshoes which look a bit like tennis rackets. The snowshoes are strapped onto your own winter boots. Most local parks and recreation departments or city, county, or state parks have low cost or no cost rentals available. Check out their websites or call them for information. They probably even have some advice on where the best trails are located! Check out the Minneapolis Park and Recreation for information in the Twin Cities area.

Build a winter obstacle course – Build your own easy and free obstacle course in the backyard. Use items you already have such as balls, laundry baskets, lawn chairs, rope, etc. to create a course. A fun course uses movements such as jumping, crawling, throwing, balancing, zig zagging to keep kids engaged and having fun. For example, have them walk on a line drawn in the snow then move on to zig-zag through a line of chairs while jumping. Next, they may toss a ball or even a snowball into a laundry basket and then finish by crawling under a tunnel made from chairs and a sled to the finish line. Time them to see who can go the fastest or if they can improve their last time. Older kids can even help design their own course.

Create a scavenger hunt – Make a list of items in the backyard for kids to search and find. You can even use a theme such as “find all red items”. You can also take recycled items and hide them in the snow such as pails, small shovels, plastic toys, building blocks, or even recycled cans. See how many things they can find or how quickly they can find all the items.

Get outside and make the most of Minnesota winters but don’t forget to warm up with some soup when coming back inside!

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