It’s that time of year again! Time to gather with friends and family and make festive memories that will last a lifetime. While we love a good holiday movie, reading a cozy book by the fire or playing games gathered around the family table, there’s just something about the great outdoors! The refreshing air filling your lungs, the brisk wind and the pristine white snow. As your outdoor living experts, we have gathered up six of our favorite outdoor winter activities to help inspire you to grab your winter gear and enjoy the fresh air, even in the winter.
HOLIDAY LIGHT DISPLAYS
There’s nothing quite as magical as stepping out into the brisk winter weather and enjoying the festive sights of the season. Twinkling lights in red and green, decorations and synchronized holiday sounds that are sure to take you back to the nostalgia and wonder of your childhood. Whether you have little ones that you want to create new traditions with or you just want to fill up on some holiday cheer, light display drives and shows are the perfect winter outing!
OUTDOOR FIRE PITS
When you think outdoor bonfire, you may typically think crunching leaves and autumn time. However, we are here to tell you that fire pits are the perfect winter activity too! Ranulph Fiennes once wisely said, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” We couldn’t agree more! Don’t let the cooler temps prevent you from enjoying the fresh air. We recommend bundling up with your warmest scarves, mittens, hats and layers. Grab your insulated mug full of peppermint hot cocoa and huddle under the stars with blankets and good friends around the fire pit. The serenity of soft falling snow against the warm crackling fire, may just be the winter wonderland that you’ve always dreamed of.
Is there anything more romantic than the holiday movie scene where the successful career woman falls into the arms of the small town guy on the ice skating rink and they profess their love for each other under the twinkling Christmas tree?! You too can have this dreamy date day, right here in Iowa! Wilson’s Orchard in Iowa City offers outdoor ice skating under the Christmas lights with hot cocoa. Don’t miss out!
For hours and directions to Wilson's Orchard, click here: https://www.wilsonsorchard.com/iowa-city/visit-us
Ely, Iowa offers ice skating too! https://www.elyhockey.org/
Did you know that snow shoeing is not only reserved for residents of Alaska and the Hallmark version of the North Pole?! Our very own Cedar Rapids offers snow shoe rentals at the Indian Creek Nature Center! Such a fun way to get outdoors with your crew and enjoy the freshly falling snow. Talk about creating new and creative memories!
Want to try snowshoeing locally in Cedar Rapids/Iowa City? Check out Indian Hills Nature Center's trails and snowshoe rental here: https://indiancreeknaturecenter.org/snowshoe-rentals/
Christmas time and sledding just go together so perfectly. The thrill of the slopes, the exercise of the hike up the hill and the sounds of families old and new, shrieking with joy as they slide down on their sleds! Many, many people around the world could only dream of a white Christmas as their climates would not allow it. We recommend that you don’t take it for granted this year! Dust off your snow boots and grab your sled out of the garage. Head to Bowman Woods Hill in Cedar Rapids or Jones Memorial Park and enjoy!
SNOW MAN BUILDING
Oh dear Frosty, how we have missed you! The holiday season is the time where children and families gather together in their front yards and pack away the snow into beautiful and festive snowmen. Winter time can bring a great temptation to stay inside and likely gather on the couch or around the table. While we also love a cozy, warm, indoor gathering, we want to encourage you to step outside the norm and head back outdoors for some refreshing activities that are sure to keep you active and fulfilled! Some of the greatest core holiday memories have been made laughing around a corn cob pipe and a button nose!
Check out this snowman kit: https://www.amazon.com/Evelots-Snowman-Decorating-Need-Durable-Reusable-Sturdy/dp/B096H6YH71/ref=asc_df_B096H6YH71/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=563711378836&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=13518448578181278486&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9018549&hvtargid=pla-1598037728288&th=1
Wherever you gather or whichever activities you try, we hope you have a safe and joyful holiday. Enjoy the time with loved ones and the beautiful and refreshing sights and sounds of the winter season!