Happy Winter Solstice! Plus, 5 Outdoor Activities to Try This Winter.


Boy with orange sled

Even though we’ve been experiencing some pretty brutal winter weather for that last few weeks here in the Midwest, today marks the official first day of winter, also known as the Winter Solstice.

Today is also a special day in our household because it’s both my birthday and my husband’s birthday!

Growing up, it was always a bit of a bummer having a birthday so close to Christmas. Birthday gifts are usually wrapped in Christmas paper, not to mention the “two-for-one” gifts. Try having a birthday party in December. If you can find people who aren’t already busy with holiday activities, you cross your fingers and hope for good weather so people don’t have to dig themselves out of snow to get to your party.

But, there are plusses, too. I love snow, even if it means I have to shovel it, and I love watching little four-legged critters dig up those peanuts they buried earlier in the year.

Winter brings with it a whole new landscape to enjoy. Here are a few other outdoor activities to try this winter.

1. Go on a winter photo shoot. Make it a point to stop and enjoy the ways in which your landscape changes in the winter.

Leaf frozen in ice

2. Freeze some bubbles. Yes, bubble freeze when it’s cold outside! Check out this and other winter science experiments here.

Frozen bubble

3. Hit the beach. Beaches aren’t just for summer. Bundle up and get out there! There are a lot of cool sights to see when the water freezes. (It goes without saying, never walk on frozen lakes.)

Ice blocks on the beachimg_4544

4. Hunt for animal tracks. One great thing about snow is that you can see what’s crawling around outside your door. We found these raccoon and bird tracks, plus some bunny tracks, in our yard. There are evan apps and websites to help you identify animal tracks.

Animal footprints in the snowbird tracks in the snow

5. Go birdwatching. While some birds fly south for the winter, many birds hang around and enjoy the weather. We spotted these seagulls at the beach and the cardinals in a nearby park.

Seagulls in the wintercardinals in the winterTake a break from the bustle of the holidays and have some fun outside. We’d love to hear from you. Tell us about some of your favorite winter activities in the comments below.