Get the Family Outside this Weekend

snow-play-areaDecember is finally here and if you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping yet, then you probably have big plans to hit the malls this weekend to get it finished. You can do yourself and your family a favor, though, by shopping online or squeezing that last minute shopping in during the week, so you’re free to enjoy the weekend with your family, instead. Here are five great ways to get the family outside this weekend.

Play in the snow

Skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and sledding are just some of the fun winter outdoor activities that families can participate in, together. For some of us, this can involve quite a drive (which is never fun) so make it a mini-vacation and spend the weekend.

Visit a Christmas tree farm

I’m not talking about the grocery store parking lot; this year find a real tree farm in your area and let the family select and cut their own tree. This is one of those outdoor activities that’s almost more fun in the rain and cold, so don’t let the weather stop you!

Visit an aquarium

Last weekend we took the kids to the Long Beach Aquarium, in California, and we all had a great time looking at sharks, petting stingrays and barking at sea lions (yes, we did!). This is the third aquarium that we’ve taken our children too – they’ve also been to the aquariums in Newport, OR and Monterey, CA and we always have a great time.

Take a hike

If you’re like us, there are probably a couple of favorite hikes that you’ve taken the kids on, this summer. Now that winter is here, those same hikes take on an entirely different look and can be interesting all over again.

Experience winter camping in your backyard

If you’ve ever been curious about winter camping, give it a try one night this weekend in your very own backyard. This is a great way to test your gear against the cold weather, without the risk of shivering all weekend in a cold sleeping bag.

I know the holiday season can be a hectic one and finding time to spend with the family can be challenging when everyone is running off in different directions shopping, but that’s all the more reason to take a family break this weekend and do something together.

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12 thoughts on “Get the Family Outside this Weekend

  1. I am planning to take my sons for their first Winter hike this year when there is some snow on the ground. Winter hiking is such a different experience from hiking during the other seasons. I hope they like it.

    • I’m hoping to do that next weekend, Eric. I just bought new boots for everyone, so I think we’re all set.

  2. Nice list of ideas. We live in Florida and this time of year is the best for taking a Hike. In the summer it’s hot and humid and the mosquitoes can be really bad. We hike in the summer too but I think our kids have much more fun in the cooler months. Thanks for the list.

    • I’ll bet it is nice in FL, right now. For some reason, it seems I only get to go there in the summer 🙂

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  4. My wife and I are looking forward to actually camping this weekend. Lake Tawakoni State Park in Texas is having a decorate your camper Christmas event in the state park campground. We can’t wait!

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  6. Love your ideas! We’ve also been enjoying night walks around the neighborhood to check out all the light displays. Seems like every night there’s something new to discover!

    • That’s a great idea, Debi – we were doing that the weekend before Halloween, too. We have some people around our neighborhood who really get into decorating for the holidays!

  7. Great list! Winter may be my favorite time of the year to get outside. Last weekend we went to a nearby National Forest and cut down a tree. We played in the snow, let the dogs and boys run around and had a great time.

    I’d also add cross-country ski to your list. We got our 2-year-old out on little skis this winter and it has been a blast. He only skis for twenty minutes or so and then rides in the ski trailer with his little brother, but he loves those twenty minutes!