When the Days Are Short, Spend Them Outside Back »

When the days get short and the cold winds blow do you find yourself still having outdoor adventures? Or are you usually snuggled up under blankets indoors?

Time spent in nature, through either play or structured outdoor recreation, has proven benefits on a person’s health and well-being- especially in relation to youth. However, studies worldwide show that most people retreat indoors in the winter to escape the frigid temperatures and frozen ground.

If you, like many others, hide inside in the winter, you might just be missing out! With snow on the ground, animal tracks are easier to spot and identify. Without leaves on the trees, birds are easier to spot. And do not forget to go star spotting for constellations you can only see in winter.

Find an Outdoor Event Near You!

Winter can be a difficult season to motivate yourself to get outdoors, but South Dakota’s Game, Fish & Parks Division can help. With events from birding hikes to snowshoe adventures planned at many different State Parks throughout the winter, they make it easy to enjoy your next cold weather adventure. Check out their events calendar to find the next opportunity near you. You might just find your new favorite activity!


  • Ergler, C.R., Kearns, R., Witten, K., (2016). Exploring children’s seasonal play to promote active lifestyles in Auckland, New Zealand. Health & Place, 41, 67-77.
  • Wiens, V., Kyngas, H., Polkki, T., (2016). The meaning of seasonal changes, nature, and animals for adolescent girls’ wellbeing in northern Finland: A qualitative descriptive study. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, 11.
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