Spending time at the cabin can be one of the most fun and relaxing getaways you do. For me it’s a time to disconnect from the world and focus on what matters to me. But what about when it’s cold? What about when it’s snow?
Believe it or not, one of the busiest times for cabin rentals is the Christmas holiday. A lot of people like to go to the cabin at that time. For many people, things slow down at work. It’s an easy time to take a few extra days off. And it’s a time that people of many backgrounds like to spend extra time with family. But what do you do when you’re up at the cabin and the ground outside is covered in snow?
The tendency for a lot of people today would be to pull out the smartphone or tablet and play games or surf social media. But why go all the way up to the cabin just to do what you already do every day at home? Why not try some of these awesome activities that you can only do in the snow? Hopefully this post will give you some inspiration.
Make a Snowman
Get outside and build a snowman. You don’t need almost any materials to make an awesome snowman. In case you’re not familiar with what it takes to build a snowman, here are some basic instructions.
- Make a snowball by smashing snow together in your gloved hands. This works best when the snow is a little wet. If the snow is really dry and powdery, making a snowman is going to be tough and I recommend you try something else, like snow angels or sledding.
- Set the small snowball down in the snow, and start rolling it around. It’ll get bigger pretty fast. You need three of these of different sizes. The largest one goes on the bottom. You’ll have to lift the other two up so don’t make them too big.
- Once you have three, place the medium ball on the largest ball and then place the smallest on top.
- Now decorate the snowman. You can use two sticks for arms. A carrot makes a great nose, but even small rocks can be used for the eyes, nose, and mouth. I like to wrap a scarf around the “neck” and place a hat on top
Building a snowman can be a 30-minute to 2-hour activity and can be a blast. It’s one of my favorite things to do with my smaller kids when it’s snowy outside at the cabin.
Build a Snow Fort
Building a fort out of snow is another fun pastime of mine. I remember as a kid building some pretty big forts in the winter months. Snow forts make great bases for snowball fights and are another really fun way to pass the time at the cabin.
My favorite way to build a fort is to make a block wall. I use a brick pattern, where you lay blocks along the base of a wall and then place the blocks for the next layer right over the middle of two blocks beneath. You can build 2 or 3 walls that come together or use an arched shape to give the wall more stability.
To build your blocks, I like to use a bucket. Any size and shape works fine. Ice cream buckets, larger 5-gallon buckets, whatever you have. Just fill the bucket with snow and pack it in so the blocks are fairly compact. Then flip the bucket over where you want the block to go and pat on the sides and bottom of the bucket. The snow tends to slide right out.
I have had countless hours of fun, especially as a kid, building and playing with snow forts.
Have a Snowball Fight
Throwing snowballs is a fun way to get outside and get some exercise when the weather is cold and snow covers the ground.
Bundle up, get some good gloves, and start making snowballs.
This can be as organized as you want it to be. You can break into teams and build forts, or you can just run around all over in a free-for-all setting. Just make sure you don’t pack your snowballs too hard or allow them to get icy. It’s best to make and use your snowballs in a fairly short time period. And of course, play at the right level for the people involved. Small kids need a very different type of snowball fight than teenagers and adults. Avoid injury and frustration by playing at the level of the youngest person playing.
Do you have any hills nearby? One of our favorite snow activities at the cabin is to go outside and do some sledding.
Even if the area around your cabin is fairly wooded, you can carve out some good sledding runs on the hill by taking it slow the first time down. Have an adult in the group go first. Ride the sled down the hill and use your feet to steer your sled slowly down the hill toward a safe landing spot. For a landing, you need a flat place or a place where you start heading back uphill. It’s not a bad idea to pile up a little extra snow to help stop people from continuing on down another hill.
Remember when you’re carving out your path, that sleds will want to continue straight down the hill. So don’t try to do anything too curvy unless the hillside itself also has that type of contour. Otherwise you’ll probably end up jumping off the path when you try to go full speed.
It doesn’t take much setup, and sleds can range from plastic garbage bags to innertubes all the way up to fancy, expensive snow sleds. Use what you have and get outside and sled!
Make Snow Angels
This is a short activity that’s a lot of fun, especially for little kids.
Get bundled up, go outside and lay down in the snow on your back. Then start waving your hands and legs along the ground back and forth. When you stand up, it’ll make the impression in the snow of an angel. That is, it’ll look like you had wings.
Build a Campfire
Getting warm after spending some quality time out in the snow is really nice. And curling up to a nice fire inside the cabin is one of the best ways to get warm. But there’s something fun about a campfire outside. If you want to be able to warm up a bit but you’re not ready to go inside and get all unbundled, I highly recommend building a fire in an outdoor fire pit. Sipping cocoa around the fire and sharing some laughs is an excellent way to enjoy a cold wintery day at the cabin.
Make Hot Cocoa or Cider
Like I said before, warming up after playing in the snow is almost as fun as playing in the snow. Whether you’re going to sit around a campfire outside the cabin or curl up next to a warm fire inside, there’s nothing quite like a warm cup of hot chocolate or hot apple cider.
I like to bring up individual packets for the cabin. In fact, if you want to leave a supply up there, you can just take the packets and store them in a large Ziploc bag. That will keep pests from being able to smell and get to the cocoa while you’re away. Either way, I like to make sure that whenever I go up to the cabin in the winter, I have a good supply of hot cocoa and apple cider packets. That plus a small pot for heating water on the stove is all you need to enjoy this delicious treat after a fun afternoon in the snow.