When white, fluffy snowflakes take the place of the warm rays of summer sunshine, it’s time to get out and enjoy all that winter offers. There’s no time to just mope around the house waiting for all that white stuff to melt and the sunshine to return. Enjoy all that winter offers by slapping on a pair of skates, or planning your next outdoor adventure and simply taking advantage of all the winter beauty that mother nature has to throw at us during the few short months of winter in Canada.
Here is My Bucket List of 15 Winter Activities to Help You Forget All About the Cold Weather
1. Make Some Hot Chocolate Balls!
Hot chocolate balls are an easy to make, delicious winter treat for kids and adults to enjoy. There are several simple recipes for making hot chocolate balls. One recipe I found while browsing the internet includes a chocolate shell filled with hot cocoa mix and other yummy ingredients. This recipe makes 6 balls and is ready in 30 minutes to enjoy around the fireplace!
Follow this simple recipe for the perfect hot cocoa bombs every time.
Ingredients You Will Need:
- Semisweet chocolate, chocolate chips or a good tasting chocolate bar, depending on your flavour preference.
- Chocolate chips
- Peanut butter chips
- Crushed candy canes
- Small pieces of your favorite brownies
- Graham Cracker Crumbs
Equipment You Will Need:
- A microwave-safe bowl
- A mold around 2 1/2″ inches round
- A small baggie or a piping bag
How to Make Delicious Hot Chocolate Balls:
- Place the chocolate in your microwave-safe bowl and melt in the microwave for 90 seconds or until creamy, stirring intermittently.
- Brush the chocolate on your silicone molds with a pastry brush or the back of a spoon.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes or until the chocolate is hardened, then remove the spheres from the mold.
- Pour the chocolate chips into a baggy, then place in the microwave for 60 seconds to melt. Drizzle one half of the baggie onto your hardened chocolate halves. Add mini chocolate chips or marshmallows on top to decorate.
- Fill the silicone molds with hot cocoa, marshmallows and other add-ins.
- Seal two chocolate halves together by warming a small plate in the microwave. Then, lay the decorated chocolate piece on the plate for a few seconds while the edges melt. Connect it with the ingredient-filled chocolate piece.
- Store your hot chocolate balls in the fridge for up to two weeks, or in the freezer for future use.
When you’re ready to enjoy your hot chocolate balls, simply place a hot cocoa ball on the bottom of a mug and pour 6 ounces of hot milk or water over the top until the shell is melted, releasing the hot cocoa powder and filling into your cup. Stir with a spoon, sip and enjoy.
2. Do You Want to Build a Snowman This Winter?
When it’s snowing in Canada and the ground is covered in the good fluffy kind of snow that sticks to the ground, it’s the most opportune time to get outside and build the perfect snowman. But not just any snowman. Be creative and have some fun building the best snowman in the whole neighbourhood. The snowman that will have cars slowing down to take a second look, kind of snowman! Use your imagination. The crazier the snowman, the more fun you will have! Because you are never too old to have some great outdoor fun in the snow.
3. Building a Winter Wonderland Gingerbread Village
Why not spend your afternoon indoors, building a gingerbread village?
Finding some easy-to-work with dough and icing can make a charming little Christmas gingerbread village. Make the dough ahead of time, then cut and bake the pieces one day and assemble them the next. Or, you can also buy ready-made gingerbread homes at your local grocery store, which are much easier to assemble, if you’re not that handy in the kitchen. And just have fun being creative and enjoying the holidays. Putting some festive music on can add to the fun, because nothing beats some good old holiday tunes.
4. Do some Christmas Baking
While you’re in the festive spirit, why not do some holiday baking?
Start off with some easy to bake sugar cookies, followed by some shortbread cookies, and have some fun decorating them with icing, cherries, or Christmas colored sprinkles. Another easy no-bake recipe to try is some chocolate haystacks. The recipe should be easy enough to find by simply browsing the internet. Or bake some cupcakes. When your baking is complete, why not spread love by dropping a few containers of your home-baked goods off on your neighbors’ doorsteps!
5. Be a Winter Secret Santa!
The feeling you get by giving is contagious and will only make you want to give even more! Why not make a trip to the dollar store and buy a few boxes of chocolates, or some small children’s toys, coloring books, or seasonal gifts? Wrap them up and play secret Santa around your neighborhood. It doesn’t cost much to put a smile on someone else’s face during the holidays. Even homemade gifts are a fun idea.
Another idea of giving is to go through your closets and donate your unused clothing and items to charity. A simple act of kindness can go a long way.
6. Watch the Hallmark Movies Channel
The holidays simply would not be complete without spending a Saturday propped in front of the television set enjoying the Hallmark Christmas movies. Or, check out Netflix or Amazon Prime for a selection of holiday favourites. Holiday movies go best with a fresh bowl of hot, buttery popcorn and a steaming mug of your hot chocolate balls!
7. Go Tubing This Winter
It is said that snow tubing has been around since the 1820s in the Alpine Mountains. Tubing on snow is a wintertime activity performed on a hill using gravity to propel the rider to the bottom. The rider often returns to the top of the slope with the tube to repeat the process again and again. Tubers reach considerable speeds while riding. It can be a thrilling and out-of-control ride down the hill.
Some ski resorts often have slopes or barriers on the slopes to guide the tubes along a safe course. Motorized pulleys are often used to tow riders and their tube back to the top of the course.
Some people also tow tubes behind snowmobiles for winter enjoyment!
8. Slap on Those Winter Skates
Get outside in the fresh air and take advantage of outdoor arenas. Skating is not only great exercise, but it is also a great way to socialize, meet some new people and enjoy the winter months.
Did you know that skating works nearly every muscle group in your whole body? It also builds up your leg and abdominal muscles. Like any workout, skating is great for cardiovascular health and the best part is, it doesn’t have to feel like exercise while getting your heart pumping and your blood rate up.
9. Book a Day Spa
Why not pamper yourself in the cold winter months by booking a luxury day spa? Spend the day getting a nice relaxing massage, or take the winter chill off by soaking in a heated jacuzzi tub. Or, how about a nice foot soak and pedicure? Or get a facial and your nails done!
Remember to book early to avoid disappointment, because spas can be fairly popular in the winter months.
10. Read a Seasonal Holiday Book
There is nothing like getting into the holiday spirit with a classic holiday read. Make a trip to your local library or visit a thrift store to find the perfect book. Embrace the holiday season with a good book, instead of worrying about shopping, gift wrapping, and decorating.
A genuine book-nerd from an early age, I always look forward to a classic holiday read! Nothing beats snuggling up on the couch with a cozy blanket, a warm beverage, and a good book to read in the glow of the Christmas tree. Some of my favorite Christmas reads are, A Redbird Christmas’ by Fannie Flagg, The Adventures of Christmas Pudding, by Agatha Christie and Nikolai Gogol’s The Night Before Christmas.
11. Host a Winter Murder Mystery!
Hosting a Christmas-themed murder mystery sounds like a pretty fun way to spend a cold winter evening indoors with some good friends and family members plus some of your yummy baked goods on hand. Make up some cool invitations and mail them off to your guests or hand deliver them right to their mailboxes. Canva has a free online app that you can use to make your invitations.
Each guest must wear their ugliest Christmas sweater or Christmas themed attire to attend. Now that you’ve chosen your theme, get creative and come up with a killer storyline for your murder mystery!
There are several murder mysteries you can purchase online if you want to save preparation time. But if you’re looking to be creative and save money, writing your own script could be tons of fun for you and your guests. A good murder mystery needs a killer storyline. But it also needs a strong introduction that will draw your guests in. Description cards for each character so they can play their parts well and evidence cards with vital clues to help your guests get closer to the murderer are also a must.
Create rules for your murder mystery. For example, your guests must stay in character throughout the entire game. If they break character, there will be consequences ranging from a cash tip jar for the winner, or perhaps being made to wear a silly hat until the next person breaks the rules and the hat gets passed on to them. Each guest must also follow the script given to them at the beginning of the game, or pay the same consequences.
The most important rule is to have some fun and enjoy your Christmas-themed murder-mystery party!
12. Go Taboganning
Nothing beats the winter blues like having a good old-fashioned toboggan party. Gather up the family members and head for the hills for some non-stop laughter while sliding down snow-covered slopes.
Tobogganing is also a great form of exercise while having some fun. After hitting the slopes, why not warm up with a bon-fire and marshmallow roast while sipping on some of your famous hot chocolate balls. That sounds like a fun-filled winter day!
13. Go Bowling
Bowling is an inexpensive and really enjoyable sport for any member of the family at any skill level. If you’re looking for a winter activity that takes place indoors, why not hit up the local bowling alley for a day of fun while avoiding the outdoor winter chill. Some bowling alleys are even licensed, so you can have a few beverages to loosen up your bowling skills and keep you warm.
14. Spend the Night in a Hotel This Winter
Beat the winter blahs by spending one night in a luxury hotel, taking advantage of some sweet holiday savings that many hotels offer during the festive season.
Make yourself at home away from home by finding a hotel that features a spacious room with a flat-screen television, free cable and wireless internet.
It’s also a great opportunity to take in some holiday shopping therapy while you’re at it! There’s nothing like shopping to get you in the festive spirit!
15. Donate Your Time to Volunteer in a Soup Kitchen
Nothing gets you in the holiday spirit like giving. By giving a small amount of your time during the holiday season to volunteer at a local soup kitchen, you are not only helping to put a smile on someone else’s face, but in return you will also feel good inside.
It’s hard to imagine what it’s like to turn to a food bank, soup kitchen or school feeding program in order to have a warm meal. But for many Canadians, unfortunately, it is a reality they face day in and day out.
According to the Salvation Army, last year alone, they served 2.8 million free meals at shelters and feeding programs throughout Canada. “Guests included families with children, employed people whose low wages don’t cover basic living essentials, individuals on social assistance, and Canadians living on a fixed income, which includes seniors and people with disabilities.”
“Sometimes my kids say ‘my tummy hurts’”, says Barbara. “Knowing they are hungry, and I can’t afford to feed them, makes me cry every day.”
“Coming to the food bank keeps me calm,” says Barbara. “And the encouragement I get makes me feel I am worthy of much more.”
Salvation Army community meal programs provide nutritious free meals in a caring manner that dignifies and respects the individual. These meals often act as a gateway to access other Salvation Army services. They always welcome volunteers to help with preparing food and deliveries, especially during the holidays.
“Hunger hurts,” says Mark. “I’ve experienced it firsthand. When food was scarce because both parents worked for low wages, I cried a lot because I was hungry. And you can’t learn when your stomach hurts.”
There are many great activities to enjoy the cold weather during the holidays. If you enjoyed reading this article, leave a comment and let me know some of your ways to conquer the winter chill! I’d love to hear them.
Make sure to check out some of the authors’ other articles by clicking on the link below: