Winter Activities Outside

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In December temporary ice rinks pop up all over the country. Normally you need to book in advance. But there are also local indoor skating rinks where you can just turn up and skate. You don't need to bring your own skates as hire is included in the ticket price. But you will need thick socks, plus warm clothes including gloves. Often lessons are available, and occasionally there are displays by professional skaters.


You are never too old to have fun on a sled or toboggan. All ages from toddlers to grandparents can have a go. Dig out the sledge or even an old tray or heavy plastic bag and head for the nearest snowy slope!

Make Snow Paint

Mix a few drops of food colouring with water and put the 'paint' into an empty Sunny-D bottle. Make a few holes in the lid and screw it on tightly. Then go outside and try writing or drawing in the snow!

Building a snowman

You need the right snow for building a snowman. It should be slightly wet. If the temperature is really cold the snow dries out and is powdery, so it won't stick together. Choose a flat area that will be a good base for your snowman. Make a ball of snow and go on adding snow until it's too large to hold in your hands. Roll the ball across the snow and it will grow in size! This is the base of your snowman. Repeat to form a small ball for the snowman's head. Stick the two balls together with snow. Then you need to bring your snowman to life! Give it eyes (coal is traditional but small stones work just as well), a nose made of a carrot, of course, and a mouth. Add a scarf and arms made out of twigs or branches. Your snowman is complete!

Clearing the path outside your house

When it snows, it's easy to clear snow using a spade. It's best to do this early in the day, as soon as possible after the snow has fallen, before the snow has compacted from people walking on it. Clear a narrow path first, so you can walk down it, then widen it by shovelling the snow away from the sides. Why not offer to clear your neighbour's path as well if they may have difficulty leaving their home. Don't use hot water to clear the path as this may freeze later, causing dangerous black ice.