Friday, March 2, 2018

Family Friendly Winter Activities

Original Post from 11/23/2015

Soon our bellies will be stuffed with Thanksgiving dinner and it will be time to move forward with the holiday season.  As we push farther into December and January we find ourselves spending more and more time indoors and running out of things to keep us occupied.  The goal of this article is to inspire you to step out of your comfort zone and try something new this winter.  I have included a list of fun activities that can be done with friends and family of all ages.  I hope this article helps you think of new and exciting ways to fill your long winter days.

Go Volunteer! 
There are serval organizations around the tristate area that are looking for volunteers especially around the holiday season. Below are a few local organizations.
Great Parks of Hamilton County
The Freestore Foodbank
The United Way 

Take a Hike!
We could all use a little exercise and fresh air come midwinter. Winter hikes are the perfect way to get some fresh air and exercise; they are also perfect for viewing wildlife.  A fresh coat of snow on the ground makes winter a perfect time to look for animal tracks. Winter may not be the best time to observe plants and trees, but it is the perfect time to test your tree identification skills.  Without the leaves you must use the bark and other tree characteristics to help in your tree identification.  Check with your local city or county parks to see what fun winter hike activities they have to offer.
Great Parks of Hamilton County
Cincinnati Parks
Participant in Citizen Science!
Citizen science allows citizens of all ages to be able to participant in scientific research. There are hundreds of citizen science projects all over the world that cover a wide range of topics. Citizen science projects occur year round, but there are a few that are specifically designed for winter time. A few that come to mind are Project FeederWatch and the Christmas Bird Count.
Project FeederWatch is a survey that looks at which bird species visit feeders during the winter. Feeders can be located in your backyard, a nature center, a community area or any other location across the United States. Citizens that wish to participate in Project FeederWatch are asked to count and record the birds that they see at their feeder.  For more information on Project FeederWatch and to find out how you can participate visit their website
The Christmas Bird Count is the nation’s largest running citizen science project. The project takes place from December 14th to January 5th.  During the duration of the study participants are asked to observe birds for at least 15minute in a location of their choice. After observations are made and submitted the results are compiled by the Audubon Society and used to study the health and status of bird across the United States. To find out more details on the Christmas Bird Count visit
Make a Craft! 
Personally my favorite part of winter is when you can sit in front of a fire with a nice hot mug of hot chocolate and work on a craft project. Pinterest has tons of great ideas for using recycled materials to make bird feeders, decorations, DIY Christmas gifts and many many more fun craft ideas.
Bird feeders can be made from a variety of recyclable objects. The Garden Glove website,, has a ton of fun and interesting ways to make your very own bird feeder. They highlight feeders made from soup cans, pop bottles, wine bottles and even old dishes. Check out their website to find a new interesting way to feed the birds this winter.
There are lots of great ideas on Pinterest for making your own Christmas Presents or holiday decorations. Some ideas even use recycled material which makes it even better.  I can’t wait to make a few decorations with all the pine cones from my backyard. Craftaholics Anonymous has some great pine cone crafts on their website,, go check them out!
Prep for Spring! 
It may be too early to start planting your garden but it is never too soon to start planning! Now is the perfect time to decide what you want to plant during the upcoming gardening season.  This with also help you decide when you should get your plants and/or seeds in the ground.  Here at the Hamilton County SWCD we sell soil test kits. This kit will help you determine if your soil is healthy and ready for the spring. To purchase a soil test kit please stop by our office or visit this link,

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