Each year I set up 25 activities in the days leading up to, and including, Christmas. The activities are a way for us to celebrate winter, and embrace the long nights and short days. The kids look forward to seeing what’s in the calendar each morning, and I do better if I have a plan ahead of time, rather than trying to figure something out at 10 pm the night before.
Here is our plan for December 2013 (with the option to switch things around to fit the weather or life).
1. Bring up the winter holiday books and read a few.
2. No real snow today, play with Snow to Go.
3. Brrr…make ice ornaments.
4. See “Frozen” in the theater.
5. Write a letter to Santa (and get a video response).
6. Join friends for the Livingston Holiday Stroll.
7. Go sledding.
8. Winter scavenger hunt (on skis or hiking).
9. Take a dip in Bozeman Hot Springs.
10. Collect twigs along the river and make Twig Stars.
11. Hike up to Pine Creek Falls to see if it’s frozen yet.
12. Field Trip: ExplorationWorks! and the Great Northern Carousel.
13. Go on an elf hunt. (Except it will be a tomten hunt, because we love tomtens.)
14. Cross-country ski day.
15. Roast marshmallows over a patio campfire.
16. Appreciate the long nights with stargazing.
17. Construct a gingerbread house.
18. Get ready for winter solstice with homemade lanterns.
19. Jump into White Sulphur Springs.
20. Read a winter solstice story and take a night walk around the neighborhood to see the lights.
21. Cross-country ski and cuddle up in a cabin at Lone Mountain Ranch.
22. Host an outdoor Winter Solstice Party! (5:11pm) Celebrate the return of the light with campfire and friends.
23. Make Magic Reindeer Food or a Reindeer Ice Wreath (depending on weather). Thanks to Go Explore Nature for these ideas!
24. Ski through Wonderland, aka Yellowstone National Park.
25. Christmas! Eat Swedish pancakes, open presents, and cross-country ski.
Days of fun from years past
Other great ideas from around the web
25 Christmas Nature Activities for Families from Go Explore Nature
Outdoor Play Christmas from Active Kids Club
How to Celebrate an Outdoor Christmas guest post by Tanya Graydon Koob for Active Kids Club
Advent Activities 2013 from Emily’s Hollow
Winter Fun for Families from Rediscovered Families