Want to make the most of those shorter days and longer nights this winter?
While it may be tempting to dial back outdoor activities as soon as cold temperatures arrive, getting outside has many benefits, even in the wintertime. Seasonal depression oftentimes sets in as we remain cooped up indoors, not moving our bodies as we are used to. Even just a few minutes a day spent outdoors has been proven to improve both our physical and mental health, leading to less stress and a happier, more fulfilled lifestyle.
Today, I’m sharing many ways we can appreciate the outdoors this winter by venturing out into our community. From fun wintertime activities with kids to local spots filled with gorgeous scenery… here’s to getting outdoors and soaking in all that wintertime has to offer right here in the City of Fishers!
Take a Winter Hike at Cheeney Creek
There’s nearly two miles of trails at Cheeney Creek Natural Area to explore. Perfect for nature lovers and even the littlest explorers, you don’t want to miss checking out this wilderness oasis this winter.
Go Bird Watching at Ritchey Woods
Ritchey Woods Nature Preserve offers some of the most beautiful winter landscapes in Fishers, in my opinion. There are nine nature trails for hiking, plenty of trees for birdwatching, and you can even spot deer if you’re lucky!
Ritchey Woods is open from dawn to dusk year-round.
Holiday Light Walk Through the Neighborhood
Bundle up and put some hot cocoa in a travel mug before taking a nighttime winter walk to view all the beautiful lights. Walk a few blocks in your own neighborhood, or use this Holiday Lights Map to see which neighborhoods have the best lights to walk.
Take a Nighttime Stroll Along the Nickel Plate Trail
Photo Courtesy of Paul Egolf
Speaking of holiday lights, head downtown to light up the night by taking a stroll along the Nickel Plate Trail for NPT Night Lights. Here, you can enjoy a new light display along the downtown portion of the Nickel Plate Trail.
Shovel the Sidewalk or Driveway for a Neighbor
The holidays and start of a new year make it a great time to consider doing acts of kindness. Shovel the sidewalk or driveway for a neighbor or perform another random act of kindness to pay it forward. In January, be sure to look out for MLK Day of Service volunteer opportunities the city is offering, where you can do even more acts of service within the community.
Go Sledding at Heritage Park or at Flat Fork Creek
Both Flat Fork Creek Park and Heritage Park are two of many awesome sledding hills in Fishers. Heritage Park (LINK TO: http://www.playfishers.com/307/Sledding-Hills) offers a smaller sledding hill perfect for beginners or little ones. If you’re up for a more adventurous option, Flat Fork Creek Park (LINK TO: http://www.playfishers.com/307/Sledding-Hills) features a 60-foot sledding hill… the tallest point in all of Hamilton County!
Team Up for a Winter Olympics Game with Family or Friends at Brooks School Park
Let the games begin! Grab your best friends, your favorite couples, or schedule a meetup with your kids’ friends and their parents for a winter Olympics day of games. Try your hand at snow baseball, have a relay race, try snow long jump, have a sled race, a snowman building race, or make up your own winter sport to play.
Brooks School Park has a very large open play area and plenty of parking, perfect for your winter sporting games!
Fly a Kite at a Park
We often think that kite flying is a summer activity, but it gets a bit windy in the winter as well. Head out to your favorite Fishers park and fly your kite high in the sky.
Chalk Words of Kindness Along the Sidewalks in Your Neighborhood
All winter long you can spread words of kindness by chalking the sidewalks. Whether in your own neighborhood or at a local park… you never know whose day you could brighten up with a simple message.
Go On a Winter Nature Hunt
Head to your favorite Fishers trail and go on a winter nature or scavenger hunt. Here is a great resource for free nature hunt printables you can print or screenshot to take along with you. If you’re out and about with kids, bring some bubbles for some frozen bubble fun if it’s extra cold outside!
Go On a Story Walk at a Designated Park
Each month, Fishers Parks and the Hamilton East Public Library team up to feature a nature-based picture book along one of our local park trails. These self-guided reading hikes are perfect for all ages and a great way to get outdoors and active this winter.
Stop by Holland Park in the month of December for a fun winter stroll to read the book, “When the Snow is Deeper Than My Boots Are Tall” by Jean Reidy and Joey Chou.
Before we go, I want to share just a few cautionary reminders when venturing out this winter:
- Always dress in layers and make sure everyone has an extra pair of gloves.
- Bring plenty of water just in case other water sources are frozen.
- Check the forecast before you go to prevent being out in a winter storm.
- Have a winter emergency kit in your car when traveling (blankets, snacks, water, etc.)
Cheers to welcoming winter in full swing by spending more time outdoors… be safe and have fun!
Amanda Merriweather has lived in Fishers for eight years with her family of six on the northwest side of the city. She is a stay-at-home mom and freelance writer who enjoys reading, blogging, crafting (her new favorite hobby is woodworking), as well as spending time with her family finding new trails, exploring new places, watching movies, and playing board games. You can find her at The Yard at Fishers District, local coffee shops and boutiques, and the Fishers library and parks with her kids. Her favorite aspect of Fishers is how family-oriented the city is, and how many family-friendly activities there are to enjoy throughout the year. Follow her on Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and on her blog.