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How to enjoy winter without spending money

Free Winter Fun

Am I the only person who likes to hibernate in the winter?

I don’t know what it is, but cold weather, and I just can’t seem to get along. Well, that was until recently… last month I decided that I wanted to make some fun winter memories with Elliott and realized that part of winter is enjoying the outdoors as well – cold and all.

So, I did a bit of research to figure out the best ways to have some free outdoor fun in the winter and you know what? I’m actually really excited about it. We’ve been having a lot of fun so far.

Following is a list of ways to enjoy winter without spending money.

You had to know this would be number one, right? Tobogganing is obviously one of the first things people think of when it comes to outdoor winter activities and there’s a very good reason for that – tobogganing is fun!

Find a nice big hill near your home, grab a sled and go enjoy yourself! If you can, try to take a few photos as well. They will be nice to look back on when summer is here and you are melting in the heat.

Build a snowman
This is a fun activity for every family member – not just kids. If you have enough snow on the ground, building a snowman can be a great way to spend your time. Not only is it a fantastic way to get some exercise, but you will feel really proud of yourself when you see the whole thing come together.

Don’t forget a nice warm scarf for your snowman!

Play with the dog/snowball fight
We are always looking for ways to get our dog involved in our family activities. After all, he is a very big part of our family, so he needs to be treated that way.

Most dogs love to play in the snow, so why not bring your pooch outside with you and have a great big snowball fight (with you winning, of course – unless your dog is magic and can throw snowballs!)?

Go ice skating
Many people enjoy going to ice skating rinks this time of year and luckily, they are available almost everywhere. You are sure to find at least one in your community (and many are free)!

There are both indoor and outdoor rinks for you to choose from, but I highly checking out an outdoor rink. There’s just something magical about ice skating outside, surrounded by sparkling white snow.

Go skiing
Okay, so this one isn’t exactly free, but I had to include it because winter and skiing just go hand in hand. I have seen a bunch of skiing discounts online recently, so look around for those before you plan your visit to the slopes.

Enjoy all of your falls too – they will happen and are all part of the fun.

Make snow ice cream
This is something that we are trying for the first time and I cannot wait (we just need more snow)!

Find a clean patch of freshly fallen snow and follow this recipe to make some homemade SNOW ice cream. What an interesting idea! This is definitely something that kids could help with as well.

Snow painting
Fill up a few squirt bottles with water and food colouring – then, take them outside and start “drawing” on the snow.

This is another new thing that we are trying this year. I have the squirt bottles ready to go – just waiting for a good snow fall. Don’t forget to take photos of your artwork, too!

If you’re used to being a couch potato in the winter like me, I encourage you to get up and get outside this year. Enjoy the cold, enjoy the snow, and enjoy everything that winter has to offer! It’s much better than hanging around the house all day, don’t you think?

Please share your tips for enjoying winter without spending money in the comments.


  1. Julia Warkentin

    This sounds like a great winter. Sadly I live on the wet coast and we have not been able to enjoy much of the white stuff since November. Appriciate the white stuff while you can 😀

  2. Ellen

    What kind of dog do you have? My fur-baby likes to play fetch with snowballs — he’s a sucker for it every time. He can never find where it lands — if it lands in one piece — but it keeps him active.

  3. teachermum

    While this year hasn’t been good for it yet, try building an ice rink in your yard! Really quite easy and virtually free (I’ve never noticed a significant difference in my water bill). Choose a north-facing area and when there is about 3-4″ of snow on the ground (haven’t seen any yet this year!), water it to slush and stamp it down fairly smooth. That is the most work in the process. Once you have the “bed” established it just takes watering to build it up. Our front lawn slopes away but that didn’t cause an issue at all. Once smooth, shovel after skating so you have banks and a smooth surface and water again. Teach the skaters to NOT crash into the banks.

    You really can build a rink in just a few days if you get temps down to -13 or below at night. Heck, at -16 (rare here) and no snow, I build the rink right on the grass! We are in a rural area and I loved being outside watering at midnight-so peaceful…and the stars…oh my! Just, whatever you do, DON’T SET THE HOSE DOWN!!! On a very cold night you would be amazed at how fast a 50 foot hose can freeze! We would attach it to the laundry room tap and feed it through a window, then we just have to put it back through and it sat in the tub during the winter.

    You want your children to learn how to skate? Forget the formal lessons and build a rink. As kids we would skate at lunch time before we went back to school, after school, after supper and skated better than friends who took lessons. Skating often builds such confidence and a great sense of body awareness and balance on the ice.

    Kind of sad that my kids are too old now…

  4. Caro

    Well, here’s a pickle for ya! What if it’s cold, but no snow? I absolutely HATE the cold and I find it hard to get motivated when it just stays grey and cold out! Spring, get here already!!

  5. Karen

    Hey Cassie love all your ideas to get through winter having fun without spending money. We just need some snow (well maybe not I hate the cold). I saw an article on making snow cones and ice cream with snow the other day. It would be fun for all ages the only thing that was mentioned that concerned me was there are pollutants in the snow even if it looks clean the pollutants are in the air. It was suggested not to use snow to make these frosty treats unless its outside the city area. I know theres danger everywhere. Just wanted to mention knowing you are pregnant. Love all you postings and tips your great.


  6. Delia

    I am the same way as you in the Winter, I do not like the cold but I suck it up for my kids because kids LOVE the snow! It is funny that you posted this because I am actually working on a list of free activities that we are planning for winter to post on my blog 🙂

  7. anne hicks

    I am not a winter person myself,but with a 10 year old,I suck it up..This Sunday is skating..Thanks for the ideas you posted…..

  8. Brock

    When I was younger, my grandmother would make us snow taffy. I found this recipe online…

    My mouth is watering, just thinking about it!!

  9. Christine

    We love to go to consevation areas or provinical parks and go for a hike or leisurly walk. It is beautiful in the forest in the winter and usually there’s lots of animal tracks for the kids to look at. Often if it’s windy out in the open, the forest is calm and it seems warmer. Kids burn off alot of energy walking through snow so it’s great exercise!

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