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12 Family Snow Activities You Can Do In Your Backyard

Summer has a reputation for being the season for fun activities under the sun. From swimming to camping and playing sports, in comparison, it seems like there isn’t anything fun to do in the winter. 

The truth is, there’s just as much to do in the winter as in the summer, and sometimes even in your own backyard! There are plenty of winter activities for kids, but there are others that the whole family can enjoy. You just need to research to find the activities that work best for your family. 

Luckily, we’ve done much of that research for you. In this article, you’ll discover the top 12 snow activities to do with your kids this winter for fun family time.

Top 12 Family Snow Activities

Generally, a family winter activity is whatever you enjoy doing with your family in the winter.

There are a variety of common winter activities enjoyed by people of all ages, including:

  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Tubing
  • Ice skating
  • Ice fishing

That said, most of these activities require you to leave your home and often travel, turning it into a full-day ordeal. That’s why it’s great to have a few activities that you can do in the comfort of your backyard on those snowy winter days when you don’t feel like leaving home. 

From having a friendly family snowball fight to enjoying a winter picnic, there’s no shortage of fun that you can have in your backyard. You probably already have everything you need to enjoy an afternoon of winter fun at home.

So without further ado, here are our top 12 family snow activities to enjoy with your family this winter season.

1. Making Snowmen

First on our list of family snow activities is a classic – making snowmen.

Making snowmen has been a go-to snow day activity for kids for as long as snow has been around. While making snowmen is a relatively simple concept, there’s a lot that you can do to make this activity more interesting.

Put a little more effort into your snowmen to turn them into characters. While Frosty the Snowman and Olaf from Frozen are obvious choices, you can choose your or your kids’ favorite characters, such as Disney princesses. You can also take on the challenge of making your whole family out of snowmen. 

If your family has a competitive spirit, turn your snowman-making into a competition to see who can make the best snowman. This will ensure that everyone puts in their best effort, especially if there’s a prize at the end!

2. Snow Angels

Our next snow activity is another simple one requiring only a snowsuit – making snow angels.

Although the concept of making snow angels is simple, it doesn’t have to be a boring activity. For example, you can be strategic with your snow angel making and choose specific areas of the yard to create a pattern with each family member.

There’s nothing more adorable than a family of snow angels, so this idea is worth exploring with your family. After all, kids love a chance to throw themselves in the snow.

3. Sledding

If you’re lucky enough to have any type of hill in your backyard, sledding is a fun snow activity that you have to do. You’ll be surprised at the size of the hill you can get away with for some fun sledding with kids, especially very young ones. If you don’t have a hill in your backyard, you can enjoy this snow activity at your nearby park.

Make sure you have a good sled and enough sleds so your eager kids don’t have to each wait for their turns. Sprinter toboggans are popular these days, such as this one from Slippery Racers, and they’re also relatively inexpensive. 

However, your family’s safety is more important than your sled. Make sure your kids can navigate their toboggan and that your hill isn’t too steep before starting this activity.

4. Build a Snow Fort

Next on our list of snow activities is building a snow fort

This is an activity that, if your family gets really into it, can take up an entire afternoon. Building a snow fort gets everyone’s creativity working and even requires some strategy. 

If you want to really get into it, gather with your kids to first talk about how you want to build this snow fort and plan it out with drawings. This will get your kids even more excited to make their fort and teach them the importance of planning – even if the plan goes out the window once you go outside and start building.

Make sure to choose a location in your backyard with lots of snow, but avoid building your snow fort anywhere that could disrupt any entryways. 

If you want to make things interesting, build two snow forts on opposing ends of your backyard to protect yourself during a snowball fight!

5. Snowball Fight

What kind of winter would it be without having at least one snowball fight?

This classic snow activity is active and fun. All you have to do is ensure that the snow is the right consistency and that everyone is dressed appropriately; then, you’re ready to go!

The most important thing to consider during snowball fights is safety and ensuring that nobody gets hurt from the snowballs or any other physical impact. To avoid using snowballs that potentially have ice in them, consider forming a few dozen snowballs with your kids before the fight to ensure they’re all safe to use. For further safety, it’s a good idea to give your kids rules such as no throwing above the neck or from too close of a distance to minimize any risk of injury.

Family having a snowball fight outside their home

6. Play Football in the Snow

Winter doesn’t have to prevent you from playing your favorite sports. The challenge of playing in the snow can even make the game more fun. One sport that you should try as a snow activity is football.

Football in the snow is a challenge and a lot of fun. Your kids will enjoy light tackles with each other in powder snow. 

While safety is a primary concern, if you all wear appropriate clothes and perhaps some extra layers for more padding, this is a safe and enjoyable activity for the entire family.

So if ever your Thanksgiving is crashed on by a large snowfall, don’t let that stop you from playing your annual game of holiday football!

7. Winter Picnic

Many people pack their patio away for the winter or leave it to disappear under a pile of snow and only use it again when it thaws out. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy some patio time. 

Snow is a beautiful sight, so it’s a waste not to take advantage of being able to gaze at it from time to time. Consider cleaning the snow off your patio and having an outdoor backyard picnic with your family.

Make your family’s favorite warm comfort foods, such as soup or lasagna, and set up outside to enjoy in your own private winter wonderland. You can bring out the hot cocoa when night falls and enjoy the snow and the stars.

Since it might be really cold during this time, it’s a good idea to use outdoor patio heaters to keep you warm and toasty around the table. 

8. Shovel Your Walkway

For safety reasons, shoveling your walkway is a must-do winter activity. While shoveling your walkway may be a chore, getting the kids involved will get it done quicker, and you can turn it into a fun snow activity.

You can get a set of small kids’ snow shovels, such as these with adjustable handles, to get your kids involved with cleaning your walkway. Not only are you teaching them responsibility, but it’s a chance to spend quality time with your kids. 

Be warned, however, that the older your kids are, the trickier it might be to get them to participate in this activity!

9. Paint the Snow

Fresh snow is white and picturesque, but it is also a perfect canvas for personal art. Did you know that you can paint fresh snow?

Using one of numerous snow painting kits out there, you can safely paint snow resulting in beautiful art and all without causing damage to your lawn.

For example, this Chameleon Colors Paint Your Own Snowman Kit allows you to paint your snowmen using non-toxic cornstarch color powder in four colors. It has four bottles to mix the powder and easily squeeze out the snow paint. It also includes accessories – a top hat and scarf – to finish off your snowman.

However, you don’t have to use this kit strictly on snowmen. You can also use the paint to make your own creations in the snow. You can simply write the name of your family members or create intricate designs. No canvas is quite like snow, so be sure to get creative!


10. Winter Fire Pit 

Although bonfires are commonly considered a fall activity, winter is also an ideal time to gather around a nice fire. 

This winter activity is best if you have a pre-made fire pit in your backyard. However, you can also purchase a fire pit for your patio to stay toasty and warm on cold winter evenings. 

A fire pit is a perfect addition to your backyard winter recreation to allow your family to enjoy the beauty of snow from the warmth of the fire. Whether you gather around drinking hot cocoa and telling stories, or roast marshmallows for smores, this winter activity will surely make memories.

11. Get a Hot Tub

Even if you’re not a fan of the snow, you can venture out and enjoy the beauty of it from the warmth of a hot tub in your backyard. 

Getting a hot tub is a great way to ensure that your family enjoys fresh air during the winter. The warm comfort from the tub is great for your body, and a warm environment to spend quality time with your loved ones. 

Here’s a pro tip: If you’re a true winter daredevil, try jumping out of the hot tub, rolling around in the snow, and jumping back in again!

12. Decorate for Christmas

The last family snow activity on this list is a classic – set up your Christmas decorations!

Not everyone decorates their backyard for Christmas, but you’re missing out on an opportunity if you don’t.

Decorating your backyard for the holidays can be as simple as putting up some lights around your patio, or you can create a winter wonderland that’s fit for entertaining. 

A decorated backyard may incline your family to spend more time out there in the winter months.

Conclusion: Snow Activities Bring Your Family Together

Family snow activities are a great way to ensure you get quality time and fresh air in the winter. It’s even better to do these activities from your backyard then go inside for a mug of hot chocolate.

From sledding to building snowmen, there’s endless fun to be had in the snow for all ages. These snow activities can make winter feel shorter, and before you know it, it’ll be time for family spring activities!


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