Spending time outside in your own backyard is good for you no matter what time of year. When winter hits, and the temperatures drop, it just takes a little more creativity to turn your yard into an outdoor oasis. Here are some tips from our friends at the Turfmutt Foundation to help you enjoy winter activities outside, even when the temperatures might indicate otherwise.
Being comfortable in the wintertime is all about temperature. Firepits are an excellent choice to add warmth, and they create an opportunity to gather around to make s’mores or tell stories. Patio heaters and outdoor fireplaces are another option to warm up your outdoor living room. For an added layer of comfort, set out a basket of blankets, along with packets of hand and toe warmers.
Dress For Success
As the saying goes, there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing choices. Remember to bundle up and wear layers when you head outside this winter. You will also want to keep your pet safe by monitoring their time outside and removing the snow from under their bellies and in between their paw pads before heading back inside. Remember, if you are cold, your pet probably is, too.
Take Cues from Your Dog
Most dogs love to play in the snow because it offers new smells to sniff out and a new layer to dig through. Lace up your winter boots and enjoy your yard with your family, including your dog. Snowballs make for an excellent game of fetch. If you get enough snow, you can even create an obstacle course for your furry friend. Using a snow thrower will make quick work of the task and can provide a clear path for your pup to do his “business,” too.
Light It Up
Create a welcoming ambience that draws your family outside by stringing lights in your trees and shrubs and on your patio. You can also add lanterns and solar and battery-operated candles around your yard to bathe your outdoor space in sparkly, inviting light.
Create Snow Activities
Lure your family outside by creating winter-themed activities that are fun for all ages. Snowball fights, snowman building sessions, a game of freeze tag, and even tic-tac-SNOW are just a few ways to make a game of being outside this winter.
Throughout the year, your yard is an important part of the connected ecosystem, linking nature to the man-made world of our neighborhoods. Support wildlife in the wintertime by adding bird feeders to your trees and patio. Then observe the kinds of wildlife that visit your yard and how they are different from other seasonal wildlife.
Involve Your Community
Who says neighborhood block parties can only happen in the summertime? Create community this winter by inviting your neighbors to participate in a Winter Wonderland Block Party. You can host a snowman building contest or snowball competition and serve hot chocolate to warm up.
Explore Community Green Space
Take your winter backyarding into the community by exploring your neighborhood parks and other community green spaces. Take a nature walk to identify the wildlife you can spot in the wintertime. Or lace up your snowshoes or cross-country skis to explore the winter landscape. Grab the other kids on your block or in your building and hit the sledding hill at the community park. The options are endless!