Winter Holidays: 10 Things to Do for Fun in the Snow
Imagine a sky so blue it seems painted in place–then breathe out and watch your breath float away in tiny white clouds. Take a step or two, imagining you’re a child trying to catch one of them and listen to the crunch of snow under your feet.
If you’re lucky, you might also see a sundog strung across the sky, a hint of more cold to come. If you guessed that I love winter and have fun in the snow, you’re right!
Here are some of the things you can do for fun in the snow if you plan a winter holiday.
Snowmobiling is our favorite winter sport, so of course, it’s at the top of my list. But you don’t have to buy a snowmobile to give it a try, as there are outfitters in many parts of North America that can set you up with gear and a sled.
You can check out some of my greatest snowmobile adventures here:
- Southern Saskatchewan (where I live!)
- Yukon Territories (Tok, Alaska, to Dawson City, Yukon)
- Yellowstone National Park
- Gaspe, Quebec
- Yukon & Northern Lights
- Whiteshell Provincial Park, Manitoba
Skiing is perhaps the best known of all the winter sports–and the one that people love to plan a winter holiday around. While Saskatchewan’s ski hills are definitely just hills, we’re close to great mountain slopes in Alberta and British Columbia.
My greatest skiing adventure was in Whistler, BC, a number of years ago. Read more about it here:
It seems to me that sometimes there are enough ice fishing shacks down on our local lakes in the Qu’Appelle Valley that it should be listed as a seasonal town! While I get down once or twice a year locally, my favorite ice fishing experience was in Quebec where my grandson got to dangle a hook waiting for his first catch.
I also spent an amazing week volunteering in Northern Saskatchewan, where the fishing is phenomenal all year round, at Green Lake — come along with me to Green Lake here.
Dogsledding is one of those adventures that everyone should try at least once. I loved being pulled over the snow by dogs who were as keen to run and have fun as I was! Here are a couple of experiences I highly recommend.
You’ll find hundreds of winter carnivals and festivals throughout the snow zone, from the small to largest in Quebec Carnaval, the largest one in the world. I’ve been twice, and absolutely loved every minute of them both!
- Quebec Carnival is Fun for Kids
- Quebec Carnival – 5 Things You Must See and Do
- Dogsled Races at Quebec Carnival
Of course, you can’t be a dedicated winter lover if you haven’t spent at least one night camped under the stars or in the much grander lodgings of Quebec City’s Ice Hotel. You can share my experience in this article, I Slept at the Ice Hotel!
We’ve been doing annual winter weiner roasts since our kids were small–they’ve grown into a tradition with our friends too. While we usually snowmobile a few miles out of town, a lot of people do an outdoor lunch in a local park or neighbor’s backyard to take advantage of snow sparkling on a sunny day.
Trails (Cross-Country Skiing and Hiking)
Many people enjoy cross-country skiing throughout the snow zone. Summer hiking and biking trails often make great day trips for outdoor enthusiasts. It’s a great way to do some winter birdwatching too.
These are a couple of my favorite trails in Saskatchewan:
Snow sculptures are amazing! They range from traditional snowmen kids make on the front lawn, or in the schoolyard, to professional sculpting competitions like the ones at Quebec Carnival. All you need for your own sculpting is a little snow and a temperature near thawing.
Here are some great sculptures from Quebec Carnival – Quebec Carnival.
I’ll finish up my favorite winter snow activities the way I began — with snowmobiles. We spent the 1980s and into the 1990s on snowmobile race tracks throughout the snow zone, and now, we love to be spectators at them. One of our favorite tracks has always been Beausejour, Manitoba, home of the first organized snowmobile race event in Canada.
What do you do for fun in the snow?
If you have a favorite activity or destination where you enjoy snow fun, please share it!