Canadian Winter Break Activities For Families

By Jody Arsenault

Winter Activities for Families

As I sit in my sunroom and gaze down our street, I see all the maples and elm trees, almost bare. The colorful leaves on the trees that line our street are no more. Soon the white snow will cover those branches, and my view will change to white … lots and lots of white. Yes, snow and winter are just around the corner. We can beg, hope and even pray, but like it or not, winter is coming. Some of us cringe at this fact, and some of us are looking forward to it. For those who are questioning a permanent move to warmer climates for a reprieve, here is a list of suggestions for winter break activities for families.

Canada offers a plethora of activities to enjoy when the mercury dips below zero (or 32 for you imperial folk).


  • Everything from hockey to skiing (cross and downhill) is waiting for you to enjoy. The only tip to enjoying this more is to dress warm. Wearing appropriate clothing will allow you to forget about the cold and have a blast in the fluffy white stuff. The cold, crisp air is a great way to feel alive.
  • Just get outside. I know this can be a challenge at times. However, once you get out, you can feel just how awesome the outdoors can be during this fragile, crisp time of year where even just walks in the snow are neat when you hear the crunch, crunch, crunch as you walk.
  • Have a snow angel race. On days when it is really cold, get everyone dressed up, run out to the backyard and see how many snow angels you can make before you are too cold. When you are back in the house, you can look out the window and count how many snow angels of various shapes and sizes your family was able to make in that short amount of time.
  • Winter is also a time of year to try new sports that you may not have the luxury to play in July. These sports don’t even have to involve snow and aggression. Have you ever tried curling or ice fishing? These are just a few ways to get out and see what is out there for new experiences.
  • If you live in a rural setting or some urban cities, there is a good chance there is a winter carnival close to you. Reader’s Digest has a list of festivals you can check out. With a little research, you can find a festival close to you where you can enjoy the festivities and fun of winter.
  • Now, I know that shoveling the driveway is not always an enjoyable task. However, if you have a motivator, it can make the job seem a little more bearable. There is nothing like working outside for a time only to come inside and have a nice mug of hot chocolate or spiced apple cider. And while you’re at it, your family can share in the enjoyment by helping you shovel so they can join you with that hot, comforting, steaming drink. The bonus is that after you have shoveled the snow a few times, the kids can use that snow hill to take their sleds down for hours of winter fun!
  • Color the snow. Take a spray bottle, fill it with cold water and food coloring, and have fun spraying patterns in the snow, or take it to the next level and build a snowman that you can spray a rainbow of colors.
  • Now if I have not convinced you yet that getting outside is cool, then you can use this time for great self-care. During the fall, make a list of books you want to read and take advantage of being in your warm pajamas, relaxing with a good book.
  • Being indoors can be a great time for families to bond and play. A blizzard may prevent you from going outside. However, a good board game night is a great way to be together as a family and enjoy the winter.


These are just a few tips on how to enjoy that inevitable time of year when we will start to look at wind chill factors and snow tires. Once again, we can look at this time of year as an opportunity and a way to have fun we cannot have otherwise. What winter break activities does your family enjoy?