Nostalgia is a powerful thing. It can transport us back to simpler times, when the world seemed a bit less heavy and the memories a little sweeter. One of the best ways to tap into that nostalgia and overcome the dread that shorter, cold days can bring, is through winter outdoor activities -- and there's no better place to do that than here in the Canadian Rocky Mountains!

As the snow falls gently from the sky and blankets the ground in a fluffy white blanket, it's hard not to feel a sense of nostalgia for the winter outdoor activities of our childhood. As Canadians, we understand that there is a need to fully embrace Nature, especially in the harshest, longest, and coldest winter months that seemingly last forever.


Nostalgic Winter Outdoor Activities the Whole Family Can Enjoy

The Canadian Rockies offer a wealth of winter outdoor activities for families to enjoy together. These outdoor activities not only provide a chance to bond with loved ones, but also offer a chance to reconnect with Nature and experience the beauty of the mountains.

For me, certain winter outdoor activities hold a special place in my heart, conjuring feelings of nostalgia with every repetition. Whether it's the thrill of gliding across the ice while ice skating, the warmth of a crackling fire and the gooey sweetness of a perfectly roasted marshmallow matched with a hot chocolate, these winter outdoor activities never fail to bring a smile to my face and replenish my soul with fond memories of my childhood!

Ice Skating

My favourite nostalgic winter outdoor activity is ice skating. There is nothing that screams Canadian more than throwing on a part of ice skates and confidently, ripping your way across a frozen pond or rink.

The sound of blades slicing through the ice, the feeling of the cold air on your cheeks, and the camaraderie of skating with friends and family all make for an unforgettable experience. It's a timeless activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and is a perfect way to make lasting memories.


Whether it's sliding down a hill on a tobaggan, a GT racer, or a flying saucer, the feeling of speeding down a snowy slope is exhilarating! The cold winter air rushing past your face, the sound of snow crunching underfoot and the rush of adrenaline as you slide down the hill all make for an unforgettable experience. It's a great way to enjoy the winter season, get some exercise and spend time outdoors with friends and family.

The simple act of sliding down a hill brings a sense of joy and carefree attitude. It has a way of transporting us back to simpler times, evoking memories of childhood adventures and boundless wonder.

Winter Walks & Hikes

It may seem boring to some, but among my favourites winter outdoor activity is the simple yet profound act of hiking through the forest or taking a walk on a still evening during a heavy snowfall. As big, fluffy snowflakes replenish each footprint, the only sounds to be heard are the crunch of footsteps, the rhythm of my breath, and the steady beat of my heart. In these quiet moments, I am reminded of the beauty and simplicity of Nature, and the power of just being present.

Growing up, I was surrounded by walkers, my mother and aunties, who taught me to appreciate the simplicity of this activity and the calming side-effect it can have. It's a shared activity that holds sentimental value for me, and one that I continue to treasure as one of my favourite winter outdoor activities on calm, snowy nights.

Winter Fires

The warm glow of the fire, the crackling of the wood, and the aroma of roasting marshmallows all create a sense of nostalgia and comfort. The process of roasting marshmallows is simple yet satisfying, as you watch the marshmallows turn golden brown and bubbly. The gooey, melted centre of a perfectly roasted marshmallow is a treat that never gets old.

What's a s'more without a Cup of Hot Chocolate?

Ok, so it goes without having to really say -- s'mores and hot chocolate are a dreamy treat on a frosty winter day. If the fire isn't an option or accessible to you, then make your family a thermos of hot chocolate and head out for an adventure. A no brainer addition to this is a splash of baileys :)

Gliding on Plank or Planks

This one is a stretch to say that it is easy for folks who do not ever or often participate in the ultimate outdoor activity -- skiing or snowboarding. But for those seasoned riders, this tops the list of superior winter outdoor activities!

Ok, for many of us, snowboarding wasn't an activity that we did as kids simply because it wasn't an option. As an early adopter of the sport, I didn't try snowboarding until the early 2000's so it doesn't necessarily provide the nostalgic feel that I want to convey in my post. However, I grew up skiing and recently put two planks on my feet and I sure did have a blast of good memories flood my senses as I cruised down the hill!

The sound of the crisp winter air, the feeling of the cold snow on your face and the thrill of gliding down the mountain, are all sensations that can take us back to our childhoods. Skiing is a winter activity that holds a special place in many of our hearts, it's a pastime that has been passed down through generations, and it's an activity that we can continue to enjoy as adults.


For many of us, snowshoeing is a winter activity that we did with our families on weekends, trudging through the snow-covered woods and fields, breathing in the fresh, crisp air. It was a time to unplug from technology and reconnect with Nature, to enjoy the simple pleasures of being outside and moving our bodies.

Snowshoeing is a low-impact, easy-to-learn activity that can be enjoyed solo or with a group. Plus, with the advent of modern snowshoes, it's easier than ever to stay comfortable and safe while exploring the winter wilderness.

My Favourite Winter Outdoor Activities

Each of these winter outdoor activities have a way of sparking memories and emotions that will stay with me for a lifetime.

  1. Ice Skating: A nostalgic outdoor activity that evokes memories of winter wonderlands and cold crisp air. Whether you're a seasoned skater or a beginner, the sense of freedom and joy that comes from ice skating outside is undeniable.
  2. Sliding: Winter sliding is a nostalgic outdoor activity that brings back memories of childhood fun and excitement.
  3. Winter Walks & Hikes: One of the most popular outdoor activities in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, hiking offers a chance to explore the wilderness and take in the stunning views. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or a beginner, there are ample trails varying in difficulty in our region. Be aware of the wildlife in the area, and always be bear smart, even in the wintertime.
  4. Roasting Marshmallows over a Fire: Always be aware of fire bans in our beautiful region and act accordingly.
  5. Hot Chocolate: Accessible for anywhere, anyone, anytime.
  6. Snowshoeing: An easy, peaceful winter activity that gets you into areas that you sometimes can't access because of deep snow.  
  7. Skiing/Snowboarding: The Canadian Rocky Mountains are also a great place for winter sports. Ski or snowboard down the mountain and enjoy the winter wonderland with your family.

A Guide to Thrive in Winter

Our initial instincts are to stay warm and cozy during blizzard-stricken months, huddled indoors with blankets, warm drinks, a crackling fire and taking in an unhealthy amount of Netflix, while silently praying that our neighbour or significant other will shovel the walkway. Winters have such great potential though, why surrender such glorious opportunities to see the remarkable beauty Canada boasts in its backyard?

Exploring the outdoors throughout all four of our Canadian seasons is a revitalizing experience for us, which should be taken advantage of to refresh our frame of mind. It’s a chance to discover new adventures just a snowball’s throw away. We’re all familiar with making the most of warm temperatures during the summer months with patio season and backyard lounging in full swing.


No matter what winter outdoor activities you choose to do, the Canadian Rocky Mountains are sure to provide a memorable experience for the whole family. The crispness of winter air, the soft blanket of snow, and the glistening icicles all serve as a reminder of the magic that can be found in the natural world. So pack your bags, grab your family, and head to the mountains for some nostalgic outdoor winter fun.