With temperatures near and below zero, it’s safe to say that winter is officially here. While it’s nice to enjoy indoor activities, you don’t have to hibernate the entire day. Here are some outdoor ideas to try during the winter, whether you are entertaining a group or just yourself and your children.

If you have a group and multiple sleds, you can have sled pulling contests. This activity is a great way to get in some physical activity for a short period. You can mix it up by adding snowballs to the sled and pulling different distances. A nature scavenger hunt is always fun, especially when you include special winter scavenger hunt features, like icicles and snow animal footprints. Or head to the playground. Its environment can be transformed into a magical winter wonderland, and more than likely will not be crowded.

If you have just yourself and your children, you can enjoy simple but special activities, like making snow angels or snowmen. For a variation to the classic snowman, you can leave off the head so your child can stand behind the body and have their head be the snowman’s head. If the snowfall is fresh, you can head to the woods and to see what animals have recently traveled by the area by examining the footprints in the snow.

Although getting the kids outside help prevent cabin fever and allows for fresh air, the temperature and wind chill can require caution.  As a rule of thumb, you should use the wind chill as the best judge if it’s too cold to play outside. For wind chills of 13 degrees and below, you should move activities indoors as frostbite can set in very quickly. No matter when you get outside, be sure to bundle your children with hats, mittens, scarves, boots, and snow pants to help prevent sickness.