Welcome to your guide for outdoor winter activities. Are you ready to trade the chill for some cool outdoor vibes? This guide's got you covered with five down-to-earth ideas to spice up your cold-weather routine. These ideas may even kick in the nostalgia for those moments in childhood where we may have viewed the snow as a true wonderland. From cozy fire-cooked meals to laid-back wildlife walks and sunset chases, together let's turn this winter into a season of simple joys and memorable moments.


The views from the top of Hurricane Ridge mid-winter, Washington.

1. Fire-Cooked Meals

Whether you’re baking a pizza, cooking chili, mac‘n’cheese, or whipping up an omelet… whether you’re at home, in the woods, or on a mountain top, this is a great way to test out those campfire skills. Master the art of building a warm fire and equip yourself with the right tools for cooking in the great outdoors. Those great outdoors are right in your backyard, the perfect place to play test kitchen. Explore your limits and delicious fire top recipes by enjoying them with friends! Below are links to a few recipes we find as great starters:

2. Winter Wildlife Walk

Embark on a bird-watching adventure. Document the diverse animals you encounter whether right in your neighborhood or at a local forest preserve. Tune in to the sounds of nature; what do you hear? List out the sounds, the colors, and anything you know about the animal you see. Explore your neighborhood and observe the winter landscape. Bring a blanket and warm drink, sit down and observe. 


The Parks Project Wellness Collection has the perfect layers for pairing with your wildlife walk.

3. Chase Winter Sunsets
Seek out pink-hued skies as the sun sets. Sun set colors last a bit longer in the winter months than the summer, find a time to close your computer and go. Discover a local forest preserve or scenic spot that has the space and depth to see it all. Take in the breathtaking beauty of winter's evening glow as a way to reflect on the week before bed.

4. Experience a Winter Sport
Glide through snowy landscapes with cross-country skiing or venture into the serene winter woods with snowshoeing. Many towns have local rentals available if you live in an area that gets a heavy enough snowfall, if not, plan a weekend getaway to the closest place that does! Even in cities you can find a way to gracefully navigate icy surfaces with a session of ice skating.

Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park is one of the parks to offer rentals of snow shoes. A great option for locals in Washington.

5. Meditative Sound Journey
Embrace the tranquility of winter by meditating through sound. The winter can give us some of the longest days of peace and quiet. It can be daunting, but hone in on that silence and listen carefully. Ground yourself in the soft sounds. Listen to the crisp crunch of snow underfoot, the rustle of winter leaves, and the whispers of the cold breeze. Is that an owl or the wind picking up? 

Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park, Washington.

These activities promise to make your winter months not only bearable but enjoyable, providing a mix of an escape to nature, adventure, and moments of serene reflection. Tag us in your stories as you venture outside! We’d love to see how you spend the season outdoors, @parksproject #peopleintheparks. 

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