Winter can be a difficult time for families.
With the cooler weather and that winter laziness, everyone is at risk of falling prey to cabin fever.
That’s why it’s so important to keep doing outdoor activities during the winter months. Not only does this keep you and your kids from going stir-crazy, but it helps keep everyone fit as your diet changes to include more heavy, warming foods. We’ve put together some of our favourite winter activities for you to try when the seasons change, so you can succeed in keeping everyone occupied.
1. Winter Hiking
Hiking is something that many families choose to do in the summer, but not in the winter. However, winter hiking can be a great way to experience Australia’s gorgeous natural landscape without the oppressive heat. Both kids and parents may find the cooler weather invigorating on the walks, making it easier to explore further than you would in the summer months. Just make sure everyone is wearing enough warm clothing, but not so much as to encourage over-sweating which will make the body colder. Also, if you’re carrying a child in a carrier, make sure they’re extra rugged up as they won’t be moving to stay warm.
2. Rock Climbing
Rock climbing is a great winter activity as it’s indoors but still encourages everyone to work up a sweat. It’s better for older kids, but for your younger ones, the beginner walls are an ideal way to build their independence as well as fitness. Rock climbing works the entire body, and there are usually a range of walls for all abilities. Parents don’t have to climb either, they can simply belay their children. This is a skill that’s easy to learn and difficult to get wrong. Obviously, rock climbing isn’t the cheapest activity, but it’s worth trying out, especially if you can get a multi-visit pass or a voucher discount.
Bowling is not going to be an activity that your family can do all the time as there is a cost involved that adds up quickly. However, in the winter, bowling is a good way to break up what can often feel like the monotony of doing no activity or doing the same activities. Another indoor activity, bowling is not just a perfect winter activity but a great family activity. Competing against each other builds character as well as skills, and kids of all ages are able to enjoy a bowl with the helpful equipment that most lanes provide.
4. Snow Days
If you happen to live in an area of Australia where snow is a winter staple, there are so many snow activities that you and your family can enjoy that will help in keeping everyone fit. Simple things like having snowball fights, or even skiing, snowboarding and sledding are all really energetic activities. Now, if you don’t happen to live in an area with snow, many higher spots in Australia, such as mountains and inland plateau regions, experience snowy weather as well, so have a look at taking a weekend trip to a snow spot for a winter change.
5. Flying Kites
Winter days are windy days in many areas of Australia, which is all the more reason to get back to basics with an activity like flying a kite. Kids of all ages, and parents too, can get a kick out of kite flying, especially when the wind is really up. It’s a simple activity, and one that can be done in any park or open space. If you have a few children, consider buying a couple of cheap kites, or making your own, and having a go at perfecting the aerodynamic dance of kite flying.
6. Beach Day
The beach might seem like the last place you’d be interested in going in the winter, but this is actually a wonderful time to visit. As swimming is not a popular activity in many colder climes during the winter season, beaches are often very quiet or entirely deserted. Make sure you’re dressed warmly and then spend a good few hours wandering along the windswept shores, checking out all the interesting flotsam and jetsam on the beach.
If you’re looking for an entirely new family hobby that will keep your children occupied in both the summer and winter months, it doesn’t get much better than geocaching. Geocaching is a scavenger hunt that millions of people participate in all over the world using GPS. With just an app you download on your phone, you and your family can spend hours discovering hidden ‘caches’ in your neighbourhoods, local green spaces and even national parks. There are 2.7 million ‘caches’ hidden globally, and many more passionate ‘geocachers’ out looking for them.