If your winters are anything like ours, chances are you'll have at least one family member who doesn't want to venture outside one day. Or more than one day. Cold temperatures, biting winds, ice and snow can make December days tough to deal with.
That's why I created this free downloadable calendar of a month's worth of outdoor Christmas activities for families. You'll find a link to sign up for it down at the bottom ⬇️ of this post.
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Plan Your Outdoor Christmas Activities for Families
Fresh air and physical activity are essential to good health. Yet today, many adults and children spend more time indoors than ever.
According to Yale University, a study of 12,000 children and adults found that more than 50% of Americans spend less than five hours a week outdoors. And once that temperature drops, it can be even more challenging to get inspired to go outdoors.
And if you homeschool and work from home as I do, online lessons, educational though they may be, mean more time sitting in front of a screen.
Schedule Outdoor Time Daily
So it would help if you had a plan. Start by scheduling at least 45 minutes of outdoor time each day.
If you work from home, this could mean your outdoor Christmas activities for families happen when you break for lunch.
Got younger kids? Head out right after lunch. Forty-five minutes of fresh air will help prepare them for nap time.
Start a Family Hiking Habit
Last year, our family had to self-isolate for a two-week stretch. My husband Dan and I took this opportunity to start a new habit. We head out daily with our 11-year-old and 8-year-old. We tried to go around 2:30 pm after their homeschool day was complete.
Whatever your family's situation, introducing regular outdoor activity with a Christmas theme for the month is a fun way to start.
Dress Your Kids for Cold Weather
When you dress appropriately for the outdoors, it's easy for even the youngest children to enjoy the winter days. Take care to make sure their feet and hands are extra warm, and if it's below freezing, keep an eye out for frostbite.
We sometimes use plastic between two layers of socks to keep little feet warm. Handwarmers in mitts are also helpful. And a quick smear of Vaseline Petroleum Jelly high on the cheeks helps combat frostbite too.
Give your kids something to look forward to when they return. Maybe a hot chocolate and read-aloud time with an old-fashioned Christmas book for kids.BLACK FRIDAY SALE: $15 off Monthly Subscription, $20 off Quarterly Subscription, $25 off Full Year Subscription - Valid 11/27 - 12/2
Start a New Tradition with Outdoor Christmas Activities for Families
Although our family lives in the middle of nowhere (literally), and it's easy for us to run outside and get immersed in a snow-filled forest, not everyone has that opportunity.
That's why this list includes a variety of outdoor activities.
Check it out, and then sign up to grab your free printable calendar. It includes these activities in a grid format to print out and post on the front of your fridge.
(Note: yes, I know there are 31 days in December and only 23 activities listed here. Include 7 "kids choice" days and let your children select their favorite outdoor Christmas activity for your family. You can see how I schedule them on the calendar.)
Want More Ideas for Christmas Activities?
Head over to our sister site, Thrive at Home, for our 12 Days of Christmas series!