Family Friendly Wintertime Fitness Activities

It may be cold outside, but that doesn’t need to keep everyone inside. Put on those mittens, pull on those warm winter socks and get outside! Get your heart racing, and your muscles moving, and enjoy some family friendly wintertime fitness activities. Have an awesome time with your family. The kids will love you for it!

When the temperatures plummet, you may hope to roast chestnuts by the fire, but there is plenty of fun to be had when you wrap up in that scarf and pull on those mittens and get a breath of fresh air.

It is easy to pack on a few pounds during the winter months. Keeping active will help us to avoid that from happening, and what better way than with some family friendly wintertime fitness activities like the ones listed below.


Have a Snowman Building Contest

If you are fortunate enough to live in a climate where there is snow on the ground, you can have a snowman building contest.

You can judge your snowmen by different criteria. Who can build the tallest? Who can build one the quickest? Which one looks the nicest? And then where there is competition, there may also be the temptation to try to knock each other’s snowman down!

Bringing your snowman to life will give you a full body workout. It will tire out the kids while you burn some extra calories.

Cross Country Skiing

Cross-country skiing is a challenging sport. It is great cardiovascular exercise. You do not have gravity working with you like you do in downhill skiing. You must use your own momentum to travel forward.

However, those who live in Scandinavian countries and do a lot of cross-country skiing are thought to have a stronger cardiovascular system because of the exercise they get by cross country skiing. Skiing-and-snowboarding-downhill-brings-an-excitement-like-nothing-else


Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding

This is one of the most thrilling family friendly activities in this list. Downhill skiing and snowboarding brings an excitement like nothing else.

Kids as young as 3 years old can learn to ski or snowboard. You are using the muscles in your lower and upper body as you maneuver your way down the mountainside. You will improve your muscular and heart health with this sport.

Snow Shoeing

You will need a bit of practice to pick up this sport. If you are bringing a toddler with you, they will need to be toted on your back. Another option to transport your child is in a sled. Many parents choose to attach a sled to their waist and pull their child through the snow.

Start your snowshoeing experience on level terrain. Don’t expect to travel too far, as you learn the sport, and do it in mild weather! You can rent snowshoes to try out the sport before investing in the equipment for yourself.

Family Friendly Fitness Activities Nearby

You don’t need snow to go ice skating. If it is not cold enough to freeze the pond, you can find an ice-skating rink. And if that is not available, a roller-skating rink will do.

Take advantage of a gym if you have one nearby. Play a family game of basketball if there is a court available. A father and son team can have a personal trainer show them how to use the weight room.

You could go visit an indoor swimming pool. If they have a hot tub, all the better. A hot tub is a good way to chase those winter chills away. Dry off well before going outside in the cold winter air.

Fun Fitness Activities for Families

Tobogganing, sledding, and snow-tubing are all similar in nature. You need a hill. With a snow-tube it is quite difficult to steer the thing. Parents will get a good workout if they have young children in tow who need help getting back up the hill.

Play soccer in the snow. This puts an entirely new twist on the game. You may get a few more giggles and a lot more exercise.

What Are Some Fun Fitness Activities to Do?

Some outside activities to do in the wintertime can be to build a snow fort. It may be necessary to shovel the snow into a heap and form the fort from there.

Running, squatting, and lunging that are done while having a snowball battle will get you winded. Just expect to get some cold snow down your neck. The rule should be that snowballs are not aimed at the face.

Make snow angels in the snow.

What are Some Fun Things to Do in Winter?

You could play some board games as a family. Games teach children to work together as a team.  Invite some friends over and pop some pop corn.

If you have young children, they may enjoy “beach sand” made from 8 parts whole wheat flour to 1 part cooking oil. Whisk together until most of the clumps are gone, and voile!

You just made some sand! Now add a small plastic shovel and some shells and beach toys. The “sand” should last for a long while to be used over and over again.

Family Fun Activities

Take a hike. Look for neat things in nature. Take your camera along and look for wildlife. Look for tracks in the snow or bird nests in the trees. Find other places that the animals habitat.

Before Christmas you could take a walking tour to look at all the Christmas lights in your neighborhood.

After Christmas you could go star gazing and find the different constellations and planets that make up our solar system.

While not an active scenario, our family would often visit the library when the children were small and borrow books. We were lucky to have a very family friendly library with lots of kids’ activities.

What are Some Indoor Family Fitness Activities?

If you are at home, you could pull some DVDs off the shelf and try some exercise. I love my Leslie Sansone and Miranda Esmond White DVDs and use them frequently.

It feels good to do some stretching exercises with Miranda. She takes a gentle approach, yet you still can feel the effects of a good workout the next day.

In this day of technology, there are video games that can get the whole family up and exercising. It tones muscles, improves coordination, improves mobility and flexibility, and helps concentration and focus.

After a Busy Day Outside in the Cold…

It is time to come inside and warm up. Some hot chocolate and marshmallows would be the first thing on the menu. And a cookie or two would also be a welcome treat!

What are Some Easy Dinners to Try this Winter?

  • Garlic Toast Pizzas
  • Hearty Chicken Stew with Biscuits
  • Oven Roast Lemon Garlic Chicken and Potatoes
  • Baked Potato and Pepper Sausage
  • Chicken and Broccoli Stir fry
  • If you have a left-over ham bone, crock-pot pea soup could be put on early in the day and be ready when you were ready for supper in the evening.


When it is cold outside, and we think of roasting chestnuts inside, just put on those mitts and that jacket and go outside for some fresh air and exercise.

There are many ways the family can learn fitness, and the best way is if they see it as an example at home. So, play along with the kids. Go outside and be active yourself.

When mom and dad are active together as a family, all the better! Family friendly wintertime fitness activities not only teaches fitness but also teaches valuable everyday skills necessary to succeed in life.

What the Mind Believes, the Body Achieves

Please Leave a Comment!

I would love to hear from you. There are those of you who live in a warmer winter climate. What do you do to stay active and find fitness during the winter months?

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a
physician or other healthcare professional. No content on this site should be substituted for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare practitioner. The information contained here is for informational purposes only. It is from my research and personal experience.


4 thoughts on “Family Friendly Wintertime Fitness Activities”

  1. Hey Carolyn,

    Wow, what a great article! Perfect for winter and maybe even longer winters (in Europe we still experienced some snow this week). I really like how you point out the different activities that you can do in those cooler times that may be for some people a bit boring because many don’t like to go out on winter days. Your article motivates to make the first step and try out something new outside of your comfort zone. Thank you for those great suggestions I will definitely share them with my friends!

    All the best,


    • Hi Sergej, Thanks for stopping by with a comment! I suppose it is still winter in Europe. It will still be cold here for awhile, and it takes til March/April til the snow is gone here. I know it is easy to wrap up like a cocoon and stay in where it is warm. I can be like that myself.

      Many of the young children here in Canada enjoy dressing warmly and going outside, and many people enjoy going from place to place on snowmobiles. There are many family friendly wintertime fitness activities that people can do in the winter. 

      It is ideal if we can stay active and find weather appropriate activities no matter what it is like outside. To be healthy, we don’t have to only go to the gym, we need to stay active. It has been said that we should not sit for more than 45 minutes at a time. We should take time to enjoy life with the family. 

  2. Thank you so much for this article! It seems as if you have read my mind. Now that it’s winter we do much less physical activity and just yesterday I was thinking that it’s no good always waiting until the circumstances are totally comfortable for us. All those excuses we make every day to avoid going out and doing something are not doing us any good.
    A few months ago I moved to Barcelona with my family and it’s not too cold here. However, we do a lot less activities than in summer.
    Here we can’t make snowmen because there is no snow, but we have the beach.We always go to the beach in summer, but why not take advantage of it in winter? Maybe we can make a sandman! I’m sure the kids will love it!


    • Hi Marta, and thanks for dropping by with a comment! Barcelona, sounds so exotic! Sun and sand, and going to the beach in February, how exciting. However, I guess I would miss the snow in winter. Having a shorter winter would be nice, though. 

      I have a post I wrote earlier on NEAT exercise. It speaks of the exercise that we get without planning for it. Just being active is supposed to add years to our lives instead of being sedentary all the time.

      A friend of mine recently just turned 85, and that is the way she still looks at life. Perhaps that is why she is in relatively good health at her age. She still does what she can do to move about and be active.

      Thinking about the post, it is great to make memories with the family while they are still growing. They will remember the things we do together. What better way than to get outside and be active and find things everyone enjoys. 


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