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Skip The Gym And Try These Family Winter Activities Instead

two children ice skating in a city skating rink

Winter is just around the corner, and with it, loads of fun, festive, adventurous, and exciting ways to spend your time with the people you love. It’s time to skip the gym and try these family winter activities instead!


People smiling ear to ear, festive music, twinkly lights, and the beautiful sound of children’s laughter: literal definition of every town’s ice rink. Some places put theirs up sooner than others, but come December, there isn’t a better place to spend your weekend afternoons. Grab your loved ones and let the joyful feeling overwhelm your whole being, all while getting a good workout in!

Ice-skating is excellent for toning the legs and strengthening the core, as you have to keep everything engaged if you want to be able to maintain your balance. It also builds up your endurance, improves joint flexibility, and burns a nice amount of calories, all while having the best time with your family and friends. If you’ve never tried it before, opt for the hours when it’s not too busy, and find someone to teach you the basics. Not only will you learn something new, but you’ll also cherish those memories for years to come; every time the ice-skating season opens up.

Winter Amusement Parks

Woman walking through a Christmas light maze at Enchant Christmas
Enchant Christmas

Amusement parks are just the best, aren’t they? The fact that they offer so many incredible rides, attractions, games, and shows is the reason why so many people flock through their gates year after year. Winter brings out seasonal and limited experiences as every park tries its best to come up with something unique and unforgettable. Enchant is known for its world’s largest Christmas maze, Hersheypark for its Winter Candylane, Winter Town in Busch Gardens features real-life penguins, and Disneyland is simply magical (whichever location you may choose to visit).

There’s something so special about the way all these amusement parks transform in tune with the holiday spirit, so don’t miss your chance to feel your belly hurt from laughter and your legs from all the running around and getting on every magical ride.


Nothing gets your heart rate up like good, old-fashioned skiing. Skipping the gym to hit the slopes isn’t only a great cardio workout, it’s also a fantastic time to spend with your friends and family, enjoy the fresh air, and join in the apres-ski festivities. If you live near a ski resort, you can easily schedule out your Saturday mornings, but you can also find some resorts that are a bit further away and organize a family week or weekend trip and create memories for years to come.

If you’ve never skied before, there are two things to keep in mind: first, make sure to book lessons or join a ski school (and make a new friend or two) as trying to learn how to ski on your own isn’t a very easy task to accomplish; and two, get prepared to be sore, really, really sore. Skiing will make your regular leg day seem like a real piece of cake.


A fun and accessible sport for the whole family, sledding can be done anywhere: all you need is a hill, some snow, and a sled. Although considered to be more of a kids’ favorite, there are some pretty cool high-tech inventions that will not only make you feel like a kid but also challenge you and provide a fantastic workout, all at the same time! Explore your local area or goof around in your backyard; ’tis the season to break from adulting and get into fun sledding!


Wanna take a walk in the big, fluffy snow? Switch up your regular route and go off-road, exploring the great white meadows and hills. Depending on the terrain, snowshoeing can be pretty challenging and an excellent cardio workout as every step you take burns calories and requires more energy than you think. It can be a fantastic way to explore a new place, spend some time out in the open, make a snow picnic, or you could take it to another level and turn it into a race marking your end and start positions. By the end of it, you’ll be pretty exhausted and ready for some hot cocoa in front of a fireplace.

Building a Snowman

There’s nothing like taking big piles of snow and forming them into sculptures that exudes so much joy and laughter. From traditional snowmen to impressive architectural creations, playing in the big white fluff brings a smile to everyone’s face, no matter their age. It’s probably the only winter activity where no one complains about being cold as everyone’s focus is on what will their sculpture look like in the end. Whether you take your kids for a fun afternoon or challenge yourself to carve out a masterpiece, all that building, forming, and digging will most certainly leave you sore the following day.

Winter activities are fun because they’re seasonal and everyone looks forward to participating; they’re also fun because they include family members and friends; and they’re fun because you get to be active and stay on top of your fitness game all while breathing in the fresh, crisp air and laughing your heart out.

Karla Tafra Karla Tafra
Karla is a certified yoga teacher, nutritionist, content creator and an overall wellness coach with over 10 years of international experience in teaching, writing, coaching, and helping others transform their lives. From Croatia to Spain and now, the US, she calls Seattle her new home where she lives and works with her husband. Read Full Bio »
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