Winter Activities For Families with Tweens

Make the most of winter with these activity ideas

Winter activités can include the entire family.
Choose fun winter activities that get your child outside for a while. Photo: Julia Freeman-Woolport/

The colder months are ideal for discovering new interests, hobbies, and fun winter activities. If you and your tween are tired of being house-bound by cold temperatures, consider the following winter activities. If these ideas don't work for you, consider taking a class with your tween at your local community center or library. No matter what winter activities you choose, have fun bonding with your tween.

Make Snow Slushies or Snow Ice Cream

If it snows where you live or visit, be sure to take full advantage of the white stuff. Sledding, snowball fights, and making snow angels are all obvious winter activities for families who live where snow falls. Once you're all done with sledding, grab a few cups of fresh fallen, clean snow and take turns inventing your own snow-inspired recipes. One idea is to sprinkle powdered lemon aid mix (or sweetened Kool-Aid mix) over the snow for a refreshing treat.

Go Tubing

If you live where snow doesn't fall, or rarely falls, try to find a tubing park within a reasonable drive from your home. Many mountain resorts and ski resorts also offer tubing activities for families looking for fun in the winter season. Tubing sessions usually last about two hours, and cost around $18 per person. Tubes are provided, and moving carpets transport tubers up the mountain to tube again.

Take a Flashlight Walk

Fun winter activities don't always have to take place during the daylight hours. Bundle up the family, grab a few flashlights, and take a night hike -- either through your neighborhood or at a safe, picturesque location. Pick a night when the sky is clear so you can stargaze. Come home to hot chocolate or tea, and cookies, of course.

Go Skating

The winter time is an ideal time to try your hand at skating, either ice skating, roller skating or inline skating. Ice skating can be difficult and even dangerous for those who have never attempted it before, so you may want to consider taking a class or two. Some ice skating rinks even offer mini-lessons before or during each session, to help beginner skaters learn how to stop, turn and fall properly.

Try Skiing or Snowboarding

Skiing and snowboarding are the ultimate winter activities. Yet so many people who live near or within driving distance of a ski resort never attempt either sport. Some are intimidated by the sports, and assume they'll never master them. However, even one lesson will give beginners the basic knowledge they'll need to conquer the bunny slope. Many ski resorts offer family packages, so you can take your lessons together. Or, consider enrolling your tween in a ski camp for older kids.

Indoor Winter Activities: Go Swimming

Not all winter activities have to involve snow or ice. In fact, sometimes it's fun to do something that's totally unseasonal during the winter months. If your family has had enough of outdoor winter activities, head indoors for a while.

Check-out area indoor pools, such as at local YMCAs, or community centers.

Note: Having fun outdoors during the cold months means having the proper clothing and equipment. If your child isn't warm and toasty, he won't enjoy being in the snow or outside. Remember that the best way to dress in cold weather is to layer. Gloves, hats, and cold weather boots are also a must.

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