Let it Snow! Affordable Winter Fun for Everyone

What is it about the novelty of snow that never gets old? Watching it fall, carving snow angels, building a snowman with friends and family – these are simple pleasures and best of all, they are free! For true snow warriors, building a snow fort or starting a good old fashioned snowball fight are easy ways to get some energy out in the snow!

If you live somewhere warm with little opportunity to frolic in the snow, there are indoor rinks and sports that offer frosty experiences year-round. We hope you enjoy our TIMELESS list of the most accessible and affordable ways to get out in the snow!

Sledding & Tubing

One of the most amusing winter activities for all ages is sledding and tubing. All you need is a hill topped with snow and a device to slide down! Note: These are snow activities best done in fresher snow to avoid too much ice.

The best thing about sledding and tubing? It’s a genuine two for one: These sports can be just as entertaining to watch your loved ones doing as doing all by yourself!

Tree Hunting in the Snow!

In many national forests across the country, with the proper permit, patrons are allowed to harvest a Christmas tree. Typically, there are cutting restrictions that require a specific distance from trails and/or roads. This can be especially fun to do while on cross-country skis. Trees can be hauled back to the car by towing a sled or even by strapping the tree to your backcountry backpack. Don’t forget to bring a Sawzall and practice your best lumberjack voice for shouting, “TIMBERRRRRR.”


One of the most approachable ways to enjoy the snow is snowshoeing. Snowshoe rentals and snowshoe trail maps can often be found in ski towns or local ski shops. Pack a backpack with a thermos of your favorite hot beverage, some light charcuterie and a pair of binoculars for bird watching. This is an especially romantic jaunt under an evening full moon or as a Valentine’s Day date idea. Some trail systems even have tree walled huts with wood stoves to enjoy a warm break or picnic.

Cross Country Skiing

Requiring slightly more coordination and gear than snowshoeing, follow the same backpack instructions (charcuterie is always a good idea). With this snowy sport, look forward to the pleasing rhythm that follows the glide of each foot, the placement of each pole and the timing of your breath. Bring on a slow cardio climb or descent gently sloping down on groomed terrain. There is always the option to grab your skis and set out in your own backyard to explore the natural terrain around your neighborhood. The world is your oyster.

Trade That Indoor Peloton for a Fat Bike

A newer snow sport to the winter scene, fat biking is essentially mountain biking in powder but on even bigger tires. For those who hate giving up their cycling when the winter months arrive, this snow sport is for you. Grab a rental bike from the same ski shop where you find snowshoes, or surf Facebook marketplace and eBay to see if you can strike a deal!

Ice Fishing

If you decide to try out ice fishing as a beginner, you will need to research your state requirements and safety guidelines. Some ice fishers are true experts – they use heated enclosures; some even have bunks with amenities! Ice fishing methods have drastically evolved over the years. The days of drilling a hole in the ice and waiting (and hoping!) that a fish will swim by are not as popular. With light gear, battery-operated sonar units and fast powered augers, an angler can now drill and check hundreds of holes in a single day!

Using maps and surveys also can help pinpoint lakes and areas that will yield more fish, even a handheld GPS receiver will aim directly to high trafficked spots. You can ice fish any time of day, but experts say it’s most effective at dusk or dawn.

Declare an Official “Snow Day”!

Some days are born so you can pull up a pair of warm wool socks, sip a cup of hot cocoa and cozily watch a movie marathon. Wherever you live, declare a “Snow Day”!  This kind of day can be celebrated in warmer months too when you are just really missing those winter whites.

About the Author

KM Collins
Hailing from the Oregon Territory, K.M. Collins is a geologist-gone-writer. Five generations deep in PNW hydrology, her Grandmothers were daughters of the White Salmon, Clackamas, and Willamette Rivers. Though rowing is her favorite whitewater pastime, she doesn’t discriminate when it comes to paddle sports. Roller skating, snowboarding, and shuttling by bike rank among her favorite land-based activities.

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Exercise & Fitness
Exercise & Fitness