As winter slogs on through much of the United States, the cold, snow and gray days can feel oppressive. Being cooped up indoors each day adds to the restlessness. Indeed, spring is coming, but in the meantime, it can help to take advantage of getting outside – or at least out of your house – when possible.
We get that it’s cold and that’s why you’re inside, so you’ll have to layer clothes, bundle up and keep moving to tolerate the winter weather. Wear a hat, a neck gaiter or scarf, warm gloves and boots. As they recommend in Minnesota, you must embrace the weather and prepare for it, rather than fight it.
Some of these family activities to beat cabin fever may help get you over the hump until sunshine and warmer temperatures reappear.
- Go for a walk – Simple and easy. If this bores the kids, then head to the park and make a snowman or have a snowball fight. Or take the dog. If it’s snow-free, let the kids ride their bikes or a scooter.
- Hit the gym – If your kids are young, sign them up for the health club’s child care; if they are older, get them a guest pass so they can take a class or work out with you and/or your spouse. Even though technically, you’re still indoors, exercise is a great way to get warm and release stress.
- Take on winter sports/activities – This is the time to go sledding and enjoy some giggles with the kids. Ice skating or hockey may be a better choice if you fear heights or fast speeds. Or make a day (or weekend) of practicing and teaching the kids downhill or cross-country skiing. If you’re adventurous, try snowboarding; if not, experiment with ice fishing.
- Visit the animals – Zoos are definitely less crowded during the winter, and provide a good opportunity to walk and hang out with all the animals, especially those that like the cold weather. And if you get too cold, you can pop into a warm habitat inside.
- Enjoy an indoor water park – Nothing cures the winter blues faster than throwing on a swimsuit and hitting the water slides! If you don’t have an indoor water park nearby, check out a local indoor pool for family hours where you can bring pool toys, play volleyball or basketball and more. You’ll be warm in no time!
- Try indoor recreation – For frigid days, go to an indoor trampoline park and bounce to burn off extra energy. Or have a blast at an indoor roller rink while you try to stay on your feet and jam to fun music. Bowling, laser tag and escape rooms are other family activities to beat cabin fever if your kids are old enough. Mini-golf and arcades are also fun alternatives to listlessly staring at screens for hours while lounging at home.
- Find a winter festival – Plan ahead and seek out an event where you may be able to watch ice sculptors do their magic, take part in a snowman contest, try snowboarding, make smores by a bonfire, enjoy a carriage ride and more.
- Attend a sporting event – If football season is over, you may be limited to hockey and basketball, but cheering on the local team is an easy way to generate heat and get engaged in something other than your four walls.
- Volunteer – Help out at local non-profit organizations, like pet shelters, food banks, homeless shelters, churches, and the library. Even a short stint can make an important difference and communicate valuable lessons to your kids.