It’s that time of the year when many families find their kids back home for winter break. With the daylight hours at their shortest, and temps at their lowest, many will huddle indoors during the break. Don’t let your winter vacation get wasted away on screens, instead get outside! Here are 8 best things to do in the snow with kids. From snowmobiling to building a snowman, these winter activities are guaranteed to bring smiles and memories to your family.
8 Things to Do in the Snow with Kids on Winter Vacation
3. Snow Tubing
4. Attend a Winter Festival
6. Dog Sledding
7. Sleigh Rides
8. Build a Snowman
I’ll admit that when it’s cold and snowy, my favorite thing to do is curl up in front of the fire with the good book and cup of cocoa. But my kids aren’t quite the same, and I know that fresh air does a body good. So for some winter vacation ideas, I went to my friends to ask for their favorite things to do in the snow with kids.
Maggie from MilanasTravels told me to try snowmobiling…
“Winter Park, CO is the perfect winter destination for families with young kids! They have lots of activities to keep your little ones occupied, such as the popular snow tubing, skiing, sleigh rides, and sledding. However, they also have something we haven’t seen before-kid-size snowmobile rentals! The snowmobiles are intended for kids ages 4-12 and come in a variety of colors. Kids can ride them around the course, and $20 gets you 5 laps (which is plenty, the laps are huge!). These are booked on a walk-in basis and when we visited, we were the only ones there as many people haven’t yet heard of it. If you find yourself in Winter Park, definitely check out the kid-size snowmobile rentals! It was the hi-light of the trip for my 5-year-old daughter.”
Victoria from Celebrate the Weekend told me to give snowshoeing a try…
“We loved our family snow weekend in Sutton, Quebec. We stayed in a cozy chalet in the woods, enjoyed French food and French language spoken in this Canadian province – all within a five-hour drive from our Boston suburb. There are four alpine skiing resorts within a short distance of Sutton, but we did all skiing on Mount Sutton, just a mile away. We go on a family skiing weekends in New Hampshire or Maine every winter, but on this trip, we tried something we have not tried before – the snowshoeing – and found it to be a great winter family workout. The 3 of us pretty much kept the same pace during our one-mile trail and back. To find out about our weekend and a special “mommy spa retreat”, check out our story on the blog Winter Weekend in Sutton, Canadian Quebec.”
3. Snow Tubing
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Our après-ski every evening. I don't know what the kids like more, skiing or tobogganing… And if I'm honest I love both as well! ? ⛷?? #travelingkids #familytravel #tmom #familytrip #familytravelblog #familytravelmonday #takeyourkidseverywhere #tmom #outdoorfamily #athomeoutdoors #lppathfinders #goadventuretogether #familytime #takethekids #mounttitlis #fullsuitcaseonthego
Jurga at Full Suitcase told me snow tubing was the thing to do…
“We enjoy so many winter activities, but our kids’ favorite is probably snow tubing. In the recent years, we spent many winter vacations at the Alpine Lodge Trubsee in Engelberg Switzerland where there is a nice snow park just next to the hotel.
So when we finish skiing for the day, we always end up at the snow park. There are snow tubes and sleds in all kinds of different shapes and models, and the kids have to ‘try’ each of them every single day. What we like about snow tubing is that we can do it together as a family. We hold the cords of the kids’ tubes and slide down the mountain together – thrills and lots of fun guaranteed.
But there is so much more winter fun in Engelberg! In addition to skiing and sledding, you can go snowshoeing, hire a snowmobile, or even book a ‘room’ in an igloo for a night. For the less adventurous there is an ice bar and an ice grotto (also open in summer) on top of the nearby Mount Titlis.”
And Claudia from The Travelling Mom agreed that snow tubing was one of the best things to do in the snow with kids…
“Of all the snow play fun we’ve enjoyed over the years, tubing remains one of our children’s favorite off-the-slope activities. The Coca-Cola Tube Park at Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, is one of the best tubing facilities at any ski resort. The Tube Park is easily accessible from the Excalibur Gondola on Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler’s Upper Village. There are seven lanes varying in difficulty and length. Younger kids will enjoy the shorter runs in the Kids Lane, while older tweens and teens will love the rush of going as fast as humanly possible. Families can join tubes together and ask the parking attendant for a spinning start down the 1,000’ lane. Careening down the slope as a family is some of the most winter fun we’ve ever had. Guests can purchase one or two-hour park tickets. Those arriving after 7 PM can purchase a special discounted ticket for night tubing.”
4. Attend a Winter Festival
My friend Tamara from We3Travel told me her time at the Quebec City Winter Carnival was one of her family’s favorite outdoor winter activities…
My friend Leanne from Rave and Review told me about a snow activity I’d never heard of…
“If you’re looking for something different to do in the snow with kids, look no further than kicksledding. Like tubing, you can use your kicksled from anywhere, but unlike tubing, it doesn’t require a hill – which means you can kicksled anywhere there is snow or ice. Take it to your local cross country skiing location, your favorite snowy trail, or even along sidewalks and snow covered streets.
Never heard of a kicksled? It’s like a scooter-ish, ski-ish, sled-ish seat that you can ride with reckless abandon over snow and ice. In a more technical sense, it’s like a chair and cross country skis mated with a kick scooter and the result was pure fun. This attached chair is perfect for kids who aren’t able to kicksled on their own so they get to experience the exhilarating ride, but that seat can also hold adults, too.
But, I must say that driving the kicksled is more fun than riding in the seat. To ride the kicksled, you stand on two sled rails and kick the ground between the rails like a scooter while holding the handles attached to the kicksled seat. To steer, you just lean from side to side so the whole frame torques, allowing you to guide the kicksled while it’s in motion. It may sound complex, but it’s actually quite intuitive and even kids as young as 5 can master the kicksled with ease.”
6. Dog Sledding
My friend Colleen from the Travel Mamas told me that dog sledding was the perfect winter vacation activity…
“For a heart-thumping, joy-inducing experience, explore Canada’s wilderness via dogsled at Chiens-Traineaux Petite-Nation in Outaouais, Quebec. One- to three-hour tours are available. Adrenaline junkies will want to drive a pack of dogs themselves. Meanwhile, more timid adults and children can ride in a sleigh driven by an experienced musher. Kids ages 1 to 5 should ride in an adult rider’s lap, while children 6+ can sit alone. Older kids can even drive their own sleds (age 12 to 14+ depending on size and athleticism). The exhilaration of gliding over snow with a pack of exuberant huskies is something your family will long remember.”
7. Sleigh Rides
Cacinda at PointsandTravel.com told me about a special memory her family had on a sleigh ride in Montana…
“Horse-drawn sleigh riding in Montana is my favorite snow activity to do with kids! As it truly helps me and them to get into the Christmas spirit. Tiny wisps of snow crystals hitting their red, cold cheeks make for a fun afternoon! The kiddos and I arrived at the farm early and were quickly given cookies and a warm drink before boarding the sleigh behind the gorgeous horses. Bundled up in our hats, snow jackets, and mittens, they even had warm blankets to wrap around our bodies to keep the warmth in. The views were spectacular of the glistening snow and we all said we would do it again in a heartbeat!”
8. Build a Snowman
And finally, my friend Keryn with Walking on Travels got back to basics with her recommendation…
“Making a snowman (or snow woman) is a right of passage. Families from cold states throw their kids out as soon as the first flakes hit the ground so their kids can create their village of people. Those from warmer states fly to snow, releasing their children into a wild, white wonderland. Snowballs and snow people instantly transform the landscape. For my husband, he couldn’t wait for the day that our kids were big enough to build their first snowman.
While living in Seattle, we not only had to wait for the boys to be big enough (I’m only talking about two years old), but also for enough snow to actually fall. Seattle got a lot of rain, but not a lot of snow. One night those crystal flakes started to fall, and best of all, they started to stick. My husband ran out with our oldest son, barely over two, the next morning, and they began to roll big balls of snow, mixed with leaves and dirt because let’s get real, there just wasn’t that much snow on the ground. Wood chips made up the eyes, some birch twigs the arms, and a carrot for the nose. Our first snowman didn’t last long. By the next day he had fallen over and was melting, but he sparked a love of building snow people in our son that hasn’t stopped and has spread to his little brother.
Living on the East Coast now, where there is a bit more snow, our snowmen last a bit longer, have a lot less dirt in them, and sometimes have wars with the neighboring snowmen across the street. It’s all part of the fun of the holiday season. Best of all, there is always hot cocoa with marshmallows waiting after my little creators are finished building their snow village of men and women… and sometimes a spaceship, turtle and a dog in the front yard with all of the neighborhood kids.”
Bring on Winter Vacation!
I feel inspired! I’m not going to let this winter vacation go by staying bored indoors. I’ve got 8 great ideas for things to do in the snow with kids! Now I just need to go find the snow…and you can bet I’ll be curling up with a book and some hot cocoa after all that snow playing.