When the snow starts falling, adults see shovels and plows, but kids see snowballs and sledding. Take a timeout this winter and join the kids in one of these snow activities. Whether you let your inner child out to play or just watch the kids do their thing, these are the seven best snow activities to do this winter (and the best locations to do them!)
Who doesn’t love gliding over the snow on a sled or saucer? Lying flat on their stomachs, using rope to steer and hands to stop, every kid gets a thrill from sledding. And DC has no shortage of hills to rush down. One of the city's best hills is off-the-beaten path Battery Kemble Park. This hidden gem is in a residential area which keeps it tucked away from tourists and often sparsely populated – perfect for this year!
Where: Battery Kemble Park
3035 Chain Bridge Rd NW
Washington, DC 20016
If regular sledding feels a bit tame to you and your bunch, snowtubing might be just what you want. The higher speed combined with the lack of control offers an adventure that will get the adrenaline pumping. You can ride alone or in tandem, this activity is usually best for kids 5 & up. You don’t have to go far to have fun, either; Liberty Mountain Resort is a perfect day trip from DC. Due to social distancing, be sure you make reservations and are prepared for a cashless pay experience.
Where: Liberty Mountain Resort
78 Country Club Trail, Carroll Valley, PA
Building a snowfort is a fun way to spend a snowy day and, bonus!, you can use it as protection during an epic snow ball battles. Pick up this $10 brick maker (it also works at the beach!) to help littles build a solid foundation. Want to get super fancy? See if you can add ramparts, turrets, and cubbyholes for extra fun. The best place to build with snow? Your own backyard! Let the kids do their thing while you keep hot cocoa warm on the stove and watch the merry snow-making adventures from your own patio (or through the windows!).
Where: Your own backyard
The end of summer doesn’t mean the end of hiking if you enjoy snowshoeing. Snowshoeing gives hiking a whole different feel as you enjoy the shushed quiet of winter… well, as shushed as things get with kids. Snowshoeing is a great whole-family winter activity because if you can walk, you can snowshoe! The best place for snowshoeing is Canaan Valley with 35 kilometers of marked and ungroomed natural snow trails. And if you finish all those trails, you can head to the nearby White Grass Ski Touring Center for another 60 kilometers.
Where: Canaan Valley
230 Main Lodge Rd.
Davis, West Virginia 26260
Make a Snowperson
Get creative by building a snowman or snowwoman. Let everyone build their own and decorate them complete with carrot noses, coal eyes, and scarves or bowties around their wintry necks. Use what you have around the house, or get a snowman kit here. Have a fam-friendly contest to decide who built the best snowperson (with prizes for everyone, of course!). Or make it a neighborhood-wide competition and let everyone on your block in on the fun. Want to up the stakes? Award the winner this snowman trophy ($24.99)!
Where: Your own front yard
Skiing makes a great family activity and comes with built-in social distancing and masks! Whether you’re first-timers or experts, skiing offers a trail for everyone, ensuring that no one feels left out of the fun. And there’s no shortage of ski resorts nearby. Head to Winterplace Ski Resort for some of the best trails near DC. As an added bonus, if your littles get bored with skiing, they can also go snowtubing – including Kiddie Park for the younger kids!
Where: Winterplace Ski Resort
100 Old Flat Top Mt. Rd.
Ghent, WV 25843
Create a Snowy Sensory Box
Sensory boxes are a great way to let your kids explore things with their hands, and a snowy sensory box lets you bring the outdoors inside. For a kiddo who isn’t a big fan of being cold or for entertaining older kids while littler ones nap, a sensory box lets them have the fun of snow days while staying toasty inside. Add a variety of little toys (think polar bears and penguins), decorative crystals, and other things that can change or contrast with the texture and temperature of the snow. It can get a little messy, so be sure to have some bath mats or towels on hand.
Where: In your kitchen
featured photo: Til Jentzsch via Unsplash