Fun things to do in January outdoors

Finding fun things to do in January may be difficult, especially for older children and teens. Winter months may be extended, dark, and tedious. The chilly weather and short days might encourage harmful habits such as overeating, excessive internet use, and excessive sleeping.

While you don’t have to keep your children entertained throughout winter, making a list of “fun activities to do in winter” might be helpful. When your child complains about being bored or when you see them spending too much time on their devices, suggest they choose something from their list to accomplish.

Fun Winter Activities to Do Outside

1. Organize a Football Party

Football season has here! Invite all of your friends to cheer for your favorite team. Don’t be concerned about the food; Southern Living’s Favorite Game Day Recipes and Food Network’s Game Day Party Recipes have you covered. From mozzarella sticks to Italian-filled Jalapenos, the food will be delicious even if your side does not win.

2. A Walk in the Woods

Try a Winter Picnic and a Nature Walk with your family. 

3. Build a Bird Feeder

This winter, assist the birds. There are quick and easy DIY Bird Feeders that you can create with your children during the harsh winter months.

4. Winter Art Projects

These art projects are excellent for getting youngsters enthusiastic about going outside:

  • Make crayon rubbings of bark.
  • Make an insect house out of wood, dirt, moss, and leaves.
  • Make Mud Potions – view all of our mud play activities here.
  • Create explosive mud potions.
  • Make a leaf necklace by gathering leaves and stringing them together!

Even poor weather may be enjoyable if you stroll in a muddy puddle!

5. Try your hand at ice fishing.

Bundle up, bring your portable seat, and enjoy a quiet (if chilly) day fishing for dinner. This popular sport employs an ice auger, skimmer, and gaff hook to capture fish.

6. Dog sledding

This winter, see what all the fuss is about by going dog sledding through the icy countryside. There are sledding options worldwide; CNN provides their best selections, while TreeHugger lists 5 Dog Sledding Destinations Around the World. I experienced two amazing rides, one in Montana and the other in Norway!

7. Natural Mobile

Take two sticks and form a cross with them. Hang many long pieces of string from the ends of the stick cross and embellish with pine cones, berries, leaves, or shells/pebbles to create a lovely mobile. Alternatively, check this page to learn how to construct a nature mobile out of air-drying clay. If you come across any exciting winter flowers or leaves, you might preserve them by crafting this adorable nature keychain!

8. Make Frozen Bubbles

It is a charming exercise. Make some frozen bubbles. I hope it gets cold enough here to do this and produce beautiful photos! Temperatures must be below freezing for this to work, and it is best to attempt in the evening after the sun has set since they will freeze without the sun!

9. Nature Xylophones

If you have leftover glass jars, you may create a Natural Xylophone in the woods or your yard. 

10. Clay Faces from Nature

If you bring some clay, you may have a lot of fun exploring nature by building clay faces out of leaves, twigs, bracken, or whatever you can find! A messier (and far more fun) alternative is to get some thick muck and make your clay!

11. Take a Snowshoe Hike 

Put on your snowshoes and head out into the snow-covered forests. Snowshoe Magazine has a First-Guide Timer to Snowshoeing, and Matador Network lists 10 Amazing Places to Snowshoe in North America.

12. Stained Glass Windows Made from Natural Materials

Pour some cold water into a bucket or large bowl and wrap some twine around it with the ends hanging out. Float-colored leaves and winter flowers on the water’s surface. Allow it to freeze overnight before hanging it in a tree to admire your Natural Stained Glass Window. Try this Frozen Suncatcher Idea for another method to make them.

13. Ice Muffins from Mud Kitchen

Meganzeni has an excellent idea for making small ice muffins in a cake tray, which are perfect for playing mud kitchens with; read her article for additional ice art ideas.

14. Create an Outdoor Potion Lab.

Go through your kitchen cabinets and use this as a chance to eliminate expired flour, spices, or anything else! It is one of my children’s favorite activities. Get some washable or old bottles and glasses and combine them with expired items from the kitchen cupboard. If you have some bicarbonate of soda and vinegar, the potions will erupt! Make sure your children understand that they should not drink whatever they prepare! It is our summer potion adventure, but it would be just as exciting in the winter with ice to combine! If you play on a patio, you may easily wash it away with a hose.

15. Make some herbal tea or a mud cake.

Another hit with my kids! You don’t need a mud kitchen; just some old tins, pots and pans, and mud, and your kids will be entertained! We have some herbs in the garden that my kids like mixing with water to make their own ‘herb tea’!

16. Soft Toy Escape

It is a fantastic outdoor winter play for toddlers and preschoolers! Place a soft toy (maybe not a favorite!) in a tree that is out of reach for your children. Give your children a choice of tools (rope, bucket) and ask them to bring the toy back down the tree, but no one is permitted to climb it!

17. Bring a flask of hot chocolate with you.

It is sure to be a hit with the youngsters! It is a fantastic way to transform a simple walk in the woods into a thrilling adventure! Locate some tree stumps and relax with a snack and a cup of hot cocoa! However, the grownups may require a flask of coffee!

18. Sledding or tubing

Who doesn’t enjoy sliding down a hill? It’s one of those winter hobbies that the whole family can enjoy. So, pick a snowy hill (or a ski resort that provides things other than skiing) and have a great trip!

19. Bathe in Natural Hot Springs

Nothing beats relaxing in a warm body of water when the weather outside is frigid. Investigate local natural hot springs and plan a road trip to relax in one.

Not only are they calming, but they are also believed to enhance blood flow and provide radiant skin at your fingertips—an added plus! If you can’t find a natural one, go to a local spa and look for an outdoor hot tub.

20. Attend the Nutcracker Ballet.

Whether on a small village stage or a massive metropolitan production, escaping into dreamland with the gorgeous ballet performance of the Nutcracker is a must-do during the holidays. This timeless Christmas story revolves around a little girl’s Christmas Eve party and is a must-see at least once in your life!

21. Perform the Polar Bear Plunge

The Polar Bear Plunge is where you plunge your whole body into cold water, generally to raise money for a charitable organization, but occasionally simply for “fun.” This winter, why not be a bold do-gooder, strip down to your skivvies, and leap into cold water for a good cause?

22. Spend the night in the Family Room.

How much fun would it be for the whole family to go camping in the living room? Move the furniture out of the way and place a pop-up tent in the center of the room. Then grab your pillows, blankets, food, novels, and whatever else you’d like to do while offline.

23. Make a Mulled Wine Pot

Mulled wine, often known as glühwein, is a hot, spiced beverage popular throughout the winter. It’s pretty simple to make, and Country Living has published 25 simple mulled wine recipes to keep you toasty.

24. Make a Scarf or a Hat

Scarves are simple projects for beginning knitters that may be worn in several ways to hide any faults. Furthermore, individuals who perfect the skill will never have to rebuy Christmas presents! There are several How-To videos on YouTube.

25. Go to a Hockey Game

Spend a day in an action pack game, surrounded by shouting fans, watching hockey players swoosh by. You can grab a flying hockey puck and preserve it as a keepsake.

26. Create Apple Cider

Apple cider, second only to hot chocolate, is a terrific method to remain warm when the weather isn’t cooperating. It simply takes a few ingredients, and you’ll have a cup of hot apple cider in less than 30 minutes.

27. Make Sugar Cookies

Decorating sugar cookies is a great activity with your children. However, my husband and I had a great time doing it ourselves! Use Alton Brown’s perfect sugar cookie recipe and any cookie cutter shape you like. The most incredible thing is that you can eat the results of your efforts. Fun!

28. Perform a Random Act of Kindness.

Random acts of kindness are among the most rewarding, compassionate, and humane things you can do. 

  • Make a food donation
  • Pay the bridge toll for the person in front of you.
  • Spend the day volunteering at an animal shelter.
  • Feed the parking meter of someone.

The options are limitless. The easiest way to tackle this is to look at your local community and determine its needs.

29. Have a game night with your friends.

Stay in your PJs for the evening and enjoy a game night marathon. There are games for all ages, but Bingo and Scrabble are popular among practically all friends and family members (this bingo set has everything you need!).

Make it even more exciting by including incentives for the winner, such as store gift cards, candy, or extended TV time for the kids.

30. Learn to Snowboard

This season, put your skis aside and try snowboarding, even if you make it down the bunny slope (like me!). Stay at a lovely lodge and enjoy some apres-skiing at the end of the day. Or should I say apres-skiing?


Instead of hiding under the covers at home waiting for the snow to melt and the beach weather to return, put on your snow boots and gloves, and take advantage of the change of season by making a Winter Bucket List full of cold-weather activities and exciting things to do.


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