Many of you may not be slipping across the border anytime soon, headed for a warm destination this winter. With global travel accessibility still all up in the air, so to speak, many of us are planning to weather another cold one. The best antidote to that is to plan some fun outdoor outings and activities that will make the winter bearable or, if you’re a true winter-lover, even more exciting!

In the past, we’ve sung the praises of ice skating, tobogganing, Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing and winter hiking to name but a few outdoor activities. This coming winter season I’d like to suggest a few other neat, off-beat activities you may be interested in trying out:

1. Say ‘Bow Wow’ to Dog Sledding

Hop on board a dog sled pulled by a team of rambunctious Huskies for a very unique winter’s day experience. They’ll dash you across a frozen lake or along a wintry trail through the woods. It’s exhilarating fun, especially if you stop for a hearty winter picnic along the way.

2. Take a Spin on a Fat Bike

I can absolutely vouch for how much fun riding a fat bike through the snow on a crisp winter morning is. This up and coming recreational activity is super popular here in Québec and gaining momentum elsewhere across the country. These goofy looking bikes are tailor-made for the craziest of winter conditions, and have big, oversized tires that keep you in control on snow-covered trails – they even come with hand warmers for added comfort. Once you get the hang of the snowy surface as opposed to asphalt or summer trail conditions, you’ll want to spend hours riding on the slopes – you’ll feel like a seasoned mountain biker in no time.

3. Go Snowshoeing

What once was an essential mode of transportation in Canada and many other northern latitude countries hundreds of years ago, snowshoeing has definitely evolved over time. No longer do you have to strap on the traditional huge tennis racket-like snowshoes that are designed to keep you from sinking into deep snow. There are now better, more compact, snowshoes available to try out. The beauty of snowshoeing is the winter world is your oyster as you needn’t stick to a trail but can create your own, trekking off into deep powdery snow beneath fir trees and into the wilderness. If you do plan on off trail snowshoeing, be sure to exercise extreme safety precautions, including letting others know where you plan to go and venture forth well prepared for all weather and snow conditions! For a selection of local area snowshoeing adventures, visit this link.

4. Soak in a Natural Hot Spring

My list wouldn’t be complete without a lovely winter experience that doesn’t involve exertion! Yes, the hot spring spa experience. It’s the pièce de resistance – submerging yourself into a steaming hot spring, gazing up into the winter sky or admiring the stars on a crisp cold night while you soak your weary, worn-out bones in a pool of steaming hot water rich with minerals – it’ll ease your aching body and soul. Take it from me, an ardent hot springs lover in any season – you’ll never feel more relaxed in your entire life.

Well, I know what I’d like to do for fun this winter: head for the great white outdoors for some action-packed adventures topped off by a looong soak in a hot spring sipping a hot mulled wine from one of my groovy floating glasses.