Wish you could afford a set of skis, a snowboard, the accompanying gear, and those expensive mountain passes? Don’t feel ashamed if you can’t. Just thinking about all the expenses, ski lessons, time off work, passes, gear, and the tank of gas it takes to get to the canyon would make most people cringe. Sometimes the fun just doesn’t seem quite worth the cost. However, if you need to preserve your financial funds for more important causes, but still want to have some fun this winter, you can! Here are some great ideas for free winter activities that, with the right mindset, can rival even the most expensive sports out there.
Sledding is a classic winter activity/sport. All you really need is snow and a hill, and you are set to sled. But what about an actual sled? Well, you don’t need one. If you don’t want to/can’t afford to go out and buy a sled, there are plenty of excellent substitutes you can use from home. A personal favorite is large trash bags. They are sitting around your house anyway and they make wicked fast sleds. But because they are so thin, you’ll probably want to make sure you have a good cushion of snow to sled down. (Or pack your pants with padding. Either way!) You can also use large cookie sheets, flat serving trays, or any other flat, solid thing you have lying around.
If you can call shooting a sport, you can call a snowball war a sport. Build up forts in your backyard, load up on ammo (please don’t make ice-balls or snowballs with rocks inside them!), pick teams, and fire away! You can make things more exciting my putting some water and food coloring in spray bottles and color coding your snowballs.
Hiking and Snow Caving
Hiking up a mountain and building a snow cave can be a fun and adventurous way to spend a winter weekend. However! Make sure you know what you are doing. Spending the night out in the cold in a snow cave can be deadly for people who don’t know what they are doing. Make sure you thoroughly research ways to keep yourself safe and/or go with an experienced snow-caver. When done right, it can be a blast!
Another fun outdoor winter activity is building snow obstacle courses in your yard. Especially if you have pets or kids (but not exclusively, of course!) this can be a super fun activity. Build jumps and tunnels, include building snowmen and making snow angels (all on the clock) and make this a fun competition. And it won’t cost a cent!
Going snowshoeing is a great winter activity. If you don’t have snowshoes or can’t afford to buy or rent them, check out websites for free guided snowshoeing tours. Many national parks offer limited time free park-ranger guided snowshoeing hikes (shoes included)! Take advantage of what your community has to offer!
Don’t let your wallet limit your enjoyment of life. There are plenty of fun, exciting things to do during the winter to keep you active, healthy, excited, and money-smart!