Winter Break

When cabin fever hits, get out and experience the great outdoors.

If you live in a wintry zone, explore it. If you don’t, consider traveling to one. Dress in snuggly warm clothes and step into the beautiful winter wonderland God created. Here are 12 inspiring ways to experience a snow-swept world.

1 Walk
Stroll the block or neighborhood, or walk to a nearby coffee shop or friend’s house. Observe the scenery along the way as if it’s the first time you’ve seen the winter sun shine on snow. Study the beauty of trees and plants in winter—some naked and others still clothed in green coats. Linger over the snowflakes, frost patterns and ice coat; note how they adorn rooflines, paths and trees. Appreciate how God designs the world in winter, and consider why. Feel and appreciate the cold. Let the chill wash over your face and watch your breath leave in clouds from your mouth. Praise Him, for He has made it all.

2 Ski and Snowboard

Speeding down a powdery mountain or gliding across a snowy landscape is an exhilarating experience in winter—as long as you do it safely. Ski or snowboard with a partner on approved runs appropriate for your skill level. Obey posted warning signs, and don’t cross ski area boundary lines. Always dress appropriately and wear a helmet and proper gear. Take breaks and stay hydrated. Do the practical things to be safe so you can enjoy nature, a vast winter sky and dramatic snow-covered vistas. Appreciate the spray of snow hitting your face, and if you fall, the cushioning provided by the snow.

3 Sled

Zip down a snow-packed hill on a saucer, sled or toboggan and you’ll be squealing like a kid. Dress for the weather and stay safe by sledding on small hills away from ice, trees, water and streets. Revel in the chill, the thrill of the ride and the joy of spending time outdoors with others. Let go and laugh—it’s great to be alive!

4 Skate

Lace up your skates next to an outdoor skating rink, get out on that glassy surface and move! Whether you’re a beginner or can whirl through a triple Lutz isn’t important—enjoy the feeling of gliding on ice. Do your homework beforehand; make sure the ice is thick enough and well-maintained for skating. Always skate with at least one other person.

5 Plein Air Paint, Sketch or Photograph the Landscape

Prefer to use your artistic abilities to capture the winter day? Paint, sketch or photograph it. To paint or sketch, set up shop in a protected, comfortable place—near an outdoor fireplace is ideal. Dress warmly; wear insulated boots, hat and gloves and wrap yourself in a blanket. Limit the time you spend outdoors. Taking photographs will allow you to move around more and gain a little warmth.

6 Ice Fish

Reel in a beautiful bluegill through a hole chiseled through a thick ice-covered lake and you’ll be hooked on ice fishing. You’ll need moisture-wicking layers of warm clothes, waterproof books and ice fishing gear. Only fish with other adults. If you need training, hire a guide. Learn about the sport at your local park service, your state Department of Natural Resources or an outdoor gear retailer.

7 Drive/Off-Road & Snowmobile 

Cruise through nearby neighborhoods or venture into the countryside to gaze at holiday lights, stars and nature. Visit local and national parks and check out their winter programs and activities. If you have access to open fields and know the terrain, go off-roading with a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Or, grab your friends and explore breathtaking snow-covered terrain along ATV trails on a snowmobile. Finish your adventure—and chase off the chill—with a steamy mug of hot chocolate. If you’re a hardy group, hold an outdoor session of Christian fellowship midride. Use caution to avoid ponds, lakes, streams and dangerous terrain. Check out

8 Hike

An adventurous trek on a winter day fills any hiker with awe and wonder. Research safe places to explore beforehand so you’ll know the lengths and demands of the hike and how to prep and dress for the weather and trail. To find well-maintained nature trails check out the Department of Natural Resources or park service in your area. Select hikes that are suitable to your physical capabilities, dress appropriately and take a cell phone and friend along for company and safety. At the minimum, pack a backpack with a thermos filled with soup or a hot drink, some snacks, an emergency kit, extra gloves and a map printout of where you’ll be trekking.

9 Picnic

You don’t need a picnic table to set up a fun winter spread. Use an old sled as the table. First paint it a fun color, if you want, then burrow it into the top of a snowdrift. Check the level and stability and then set up your outdoor buffet. Serve chili dogs with all the toppings. Place a slow cooker filled with chili alongside widemouthed thermoses filled with hotdogs (heat them at home, place them in a thermos and fill it with piping-hot water). Buns, corn chips and Cheddar cheese finish off the dogs in style. Offer a selection of hot and cold drinks and delicious brownies—top them with marshmallows and graham cracker cereal for ready-to-serve s’mores.

10 Play

No matter your age, snow is an invitation to play in the yard, though most of us prefer having a child or two with us to make it even more fun. Build an igloo, a snow fort, a snowman or snow sculpture. Lie in the snow and make a snow angel or draw shapes and words in the snow. Throw snowballs or decorate a tree.

11 Camp

Winter camping offers a chance to explore untouched snow, enjoy the silence of winter and appreciate nature without the heat, bugs and crowds of summer. It opens up a new experience for being close to God’s beautiful creation. It can also be unsafe, however, if you aren’t physically able to camp or comfortable venturing into unfamiliar territory. Get the facts, learn from pros, prepare and make smart choices. Check out winter camping sites such as

12 Bird- and Animal- Watch

A good pair of binoculars and proper dress are all it takes to enjoy winter wildlife. Birds and animals are everywhere, from a city park to a hidden forest, and can be much more visible against snow and bare trees. Appreciate how their feathers and fur keep them warm and how they forage for food. They are part of God’s miracle of winter.

"But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind."
Job 12:7–10 NIV
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