Winter sports and fun activities to enjoy the outdoors

Wondering what to do with your family during the cold winter months? Browse our Canada-wide list of fun outdoor activities guaranteed for a good time.


Japanese snow games, a boil-up, aurora borealis, pond hockey
1. Play Yukigassen (Japanese Snowball) in Saskatoon
You're in a park in downtown Saskatoon in the depths of winter and a snowball comes flying at you. Your gut response: It must be a misbehaving prankster. It's more likely that you've stumbled upon an enthusiastic game of Yukigassen, a playful form of Japanese snowball fighting that is taking Canada by storm.

The game involves a team of seven players that tries to capture the opposing team's flag and eliminate rivals with regulation-size snowballs – all in the name of good fun. And it's not just in Saskatoon. Expect a friendly snowball coming your way soon.

2. Have a "boil-up" in Newfoundland
For Jill Curran of Ferryland, N.L., it's tradition to heat up the kettle in the middle of the woods or down by the shore on a chilly day. "We say we're having a boil-up," says Jill. "It could be toast and beans, anything that makes for a light meal while you're hiking, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing."

The Dictionary of Newfoundland English defines a boil-up as "a brew of tea, and sometimes a snack, often taken during a rest from work in the country or on a vessel." In times past, a boil-up could have included salt fish and homemade bread.

3. See the aurora borealis in Iqaluit, Nunavut
There are actually respites from the -30 C temperatures and total darkness that engulf much of Nunavut during winter. Many feel it's the best place in the world to admire Mother Nature's light show, the aurora borealis.

4. Play pond hockey at Lac La Biche, Alta.
Each winter the Kinsmen Club of Lac la Biche floods the lake in this little hamlet, located 220 kilometres northeast of Edmonton. The rinks have no boards or blue lines. It's simple. It's hockey "just for the fun of it," according to organizers. Lac la Biche also hosts an annual polar bear swim.

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