It’s a common affliction. As the days get shorter and the air turns cooler, adults and children alike chafe at being confined indoors. Why suffer through it all and ruin the upcoming holiday season? There are many winter outdoor activities that are sure to be fun and exciting, keeping boredom at bay and creating memories that last. Here are old favorites and newer finds that spell adventure.
- Winter Cruise
A winter cruise takes you away from the dreariness of the cold days to different places for a few days to a month, depending on your choice and budget. At an all-inclusive price, you get a luxurious cabin, lavish buffets and night life entertainment on board at no effort on your part. It’s pampering to the nth degree. There are several winter cruises for you to choose from. Arguably the most popular is the Caribbean cruise and because so many agencies offer it, prices are competitive. The western Caribbean cruise usually includes Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Mexico while its eastern counterpart makes stops at the Bahamans and Virgin Islands. There are European cruises taking you to the northern or southern countries, cruises to Hawaii and the South Pacific for a bit of sun. Some of these may depart from ports outside of the United States and you’ll have to travel by air first. Choose from a wide selection online and beat the winter blues.
- Winter Zip-line
For the extreme adventurer, the zip-line gives you a heart-pounding ride through the air while you’re suspended from a cable only by a rope or harness. Zip-lines are mountain adventures that soar from 400-800 vertical feet, giving you a breathtaking aerial view of jungle forests, majestic canyons and deep valleys. The thrill of an hour or so ride is guaranteed to last a few days. Be forewarned: this is not for the faint of heart.
- Wildlife Hunting
Hunting for big game can be an exhilarating pastime in the winter. It’s an escape from the restricting boundaries of the indoors and a nature trip that can also be bonding time for friends and families. There are several outdoor living quarters that offer elk hunting for the keen sportsman with other activities for the kids. Elk is hardier and more resilient to weather changes, so availability shouldn’t be a problem. The Velvet Ranch in Idaho is ideal for families or groups of hunters and it’s only a few miles away from the famous Yellowstone National Park, so you can sneak in a visit to it.
- Winter Photography
For photography buffs, winter scenes present another challenge to capture and preserve through pictures. National parks are quieter in the cold season, leaving the grandeur of nature all to yourself. Whether you’re a pro or you’ve just bought your first DSLR, you’ll never run out of scenery, wildlife and other images worth taking pictures of. Aside from being a creative winter stress-buster, you can use your photography skills to earn extra money for the holidays. Christmas parties and events and online contests great places to start.
- Ice Fishing
If you fish in the summers, why not try it in frosty weather? Ice fishing gives you a harvest of trout, pike, salmon, crappies and many other fish species. Mind the basics to keep you safe and make the sport an enjoyable one – a lake that’s frozen enough, essential gears and equipment, a handheld GPS unit and suitable clothing to keep you warm. Learn about ice fishing online, in magazines and videos before starting out. Discover ice angling for a break in your winter routine.
Marie Mahler is a freelance writer and mother to three kids. She likes trying out new hobbies and recreations for herself and her family.