Thirty Minutes, 10 Ways to Spend It Outdoors

There are so many ways to spend your day, and we like to think the outdoors should always be a part of it. What if you were given thirty extra minutes today to spend outside? What would you do? If you’re stumped, we have a few (well, 10 actually) ideas to inspire you.

1. Look to the skies for stargazing.

It’s a crisp, clear night, and the sky is full of stars. Why not search for constellations or locate the North Star? If you live far enough away from city lights, you can do this in your own backyard. If not, try heading to a park or an open field. If you find you’re gazing up but not sure what you’re looking at, make sense of the night sky with a mobile app like SkyView Free.


Starry Skies, Timothy Boocock, Flickr

Photo credit: Timothy Boocock, Flickr


2.       Pack your thermos for a winter picnic.

No need to become Frosty the Snowman in frosty weather. A Stainless-Steel Vacuum Food Container full of piping hot soup is perfect for keeping you (and your lunch) extra warm in chilly conditions. So bundle up, pack a picnic and enjoy an al fresco meal.


Winter Picnic, Ted Bobosh, Flickr

Photo credit: Ted Bobosh, Flickr


3.       Create a snow castle.

In the summer we build sand castles at the beach. Why not try it with snow? Hold a snow castle contest in the backyard this winter. It’s a great way to involve family and friends in an outdoor activity. Don’t forget to celebrate the winning castle with a hot chocolate toast!


4.       Hunt for animal tracks.

You’re not the only one who leaves footprints in the snow. See what other creatures have been out exploring – and remember to snap a few photos.


Tracks, Jenny Downing, Flickr

Photo credit: Jenny Downing, Flickr


5.       Take a snowy (or chilly) sunset stroll.

It’s tempting to stay curled up inside where it’s warm, but nothing beats a beautiful sunset over the snow. Bundle up, grab the dog or a loved one and take a scenic stroll before dinner. Keep your fingers warm with a set of our Wicked Good Hand Warmers.


Sunset Stroll, Mark Jensen, Flickr

Photo credit: Mark Jensen, Flickr


6.       Set up a feeder and bird-watch.

This is a surefire way to catch an early glimpse of spring. If you feed them, birds will come. Need binoculars? Our Discovery Binoculars are ideal for catching a glimpse of your neighborhood robin.


Bird Feeder, Ben Salter, Flickr

Photo credit: Ben Salter, Flickr


7.       Capture the season in a photo journal.

Often, a photograph can convey a story better than words. Break out your camera and chronicle the season for your future records – you’ll be glad you did.


8.       Try snowshoeing for the perfect winter hike.

Ever tried the sport of snowshoeing? It’s a great way to explore the outdoors in wintertime and head off the beaten path. Whether you’re brand-new to snowshoes or a seasoned pro, L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools has a class for you – see the list here.




9.       Collect pinecones for crafts, fire starters and more.

Pinecones have a lot more uses than decorating the forest floor. Head out to collect some kindling for your backyard fire pit or to create a fun winter centerpiece.


10.       Pick up a saucer and head to the hills.

Sledding – it’s one of the most classic winter pastimes. Grab a Sonic Snow Tube and set out for your neighborhood hill for some family fun. This is a quick and simple way to get everyone outside.




Do you have other ideas for outdoor fun to add to the list?  Please leave a comment below.


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