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Tips For Winter Fun Outside

As another midwest winter approaches, we want to remind you all of the FUN that can be had – even in the cold! Bundle up so you can stay active and moving all winter long. Read on for some winter fun ideas:

Photography Challenge

Scavenger Hunt – visit a park and do a photo challenge with your family and friends. For example, try having everyone take a picture of a tree, then compare the unique perspectives and viewpoint of each photo. Winter landscapes are surprisingly beautiful with our without snow! You can also seek out the many sculptures located throughout Champaign Parks for your photos. Great creative!

Timelapse Photos – take a photo of the same spot, from the same angle daily or weekly and compare the photos to see how the park changes throughout the season. This will be especially exciting when it snows or as spring begins to emerge!

Also, be sure to tag us in your photos if you choose to post them online and use our hashtag: #explorechampaignparks


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Movement Challenges

One way to stay motivated to get outside and move would be to set creative movement challenges. We have a few below:

Progressive Movement – start the week with a 5-10minute roll or stroll through the park (modify up or down based on your needs) and add more time each day. An example would be to start with 10 minutes, then add 2 additional minutes every day. The time builds, as does your time outside!

Hessel Park Tree Walk – Hessel Park, located off Kirby Avenue in Champaign, is a 26.9 acre park. In addition to the many park amenities like pavilions, basketball and tennis courts, playgrounds, and grills, Hessel Park boasts one of the largest and healthiest tree populations within the Champaign Park District. With over 50 different species of trees dotting the landscape of this beautiful park, you’re sure to find something of interest. See how many trees you can identify when you download the brochure featuring illustrations by Jean Burridge, International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist.

Night Adventures – If you’re looking for a change of scenery to keep you motivated, try getting out during the golden hour (right before sunset) or in the early evening. Take a look at the sunset (winter sunsets can be stunning!) or draw a sketch of the moon and stars while you’re out. You can even journal about what you see during each adventure to see how nature changes throughout the season or how the sky moves with each rotation.

Bring Bubbles – Bubbles?? Those are for summer right? No way! Did you know you can blow a bubble in freezing temperatures and it will freeze with icy crystals? How magical! 

Snow Play

We all know that playing in the snow is loads of fun! See below for some unique ways to enjoy that cold fluffy stuff:

  • Find/Identify Animal Tracks
  • Sledding (check out our Sled Hills at Centennial Park, Douglass Park, and Morrissey Park)
  • Bring Beach Toys and make snow castles
  • Draw in the snow or write a motivational message in the snow with a stick

And don’t forget that you can check out Leonard Recreation Center on those days you want to move, but it is just too cold!

Leonhard Recreation Center

Tune into Champaign Parks On Demand Episode #7 where we talk more about these fun ideas:

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