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Thrifted winter gear for outdoor fun

By Josh Crowe

Just because there’s snow on the ground and the temperatures have dropped doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying the great outdoors. Combat cabin fever by embracing the best winter has to offer with these ideas for outdoor fun featuring thrifted winter gear we found at Goodwill. Don’t forget to dress in layers, grab a scarf and be ready to savor some hot chocolate once you are back inside!

Sledding/tubing

This classic is always a guaranteed good time with family and friends and is suitable for people of all ages. Find the best hill you can and head out early to avoid crowds. Sled: $3.99

Building a snow fort

Grab some storage containers and make yourself or family a fort your block will be envious of. A snow fort is essential when waging a snowball fight. Pile up the snow to create trenches to another secondary snow fort for backup in case you get overrun. Storage containers, including Tupperware: from $2.99

Snowshoeing

If you like hiking, grab a pair of snowshoes and head to your favorite spot to discover what it looks like during winter. Admire the snow-covered trees and sounds of nature while getting in a solid cardio workout. If you are into photography, capture the beautiful landscapes on your snowshoe adventures. Snowshoes: $9.99

Ice-skating

Lace up your skates and test your skills on the ice. Find an outdoor ice-skating rink or go skating on a frozen pond, making sure the ice is thick enough. Many cities and towns offer public ice rinks, and most are free to use. Ice skates: $7.99

Playing hockey

Grab a hockey stick and puck or beach ball to get a fun game together. Or mark an area for a goal and have a contest to see who can score the most goals using tennis balls. Hockey stick: $5.99

Skiing and snowboarding

Take to the slopes or find some solid hills nearby for downhill or cross-country skiing or snowboarding. New to this rewarding winter activity? Local parks have great hills to practice on to gain confidence, comfort and skill. Boots: $8.99; snowboard: $19.99; skis: $12.99; goggles: $9.99

Ice fishing

Provided that the ice is thick enough, all you need is an auger, fishing pole, a shelter of some sort and a bit of patience. This can be a great bonding experience with your family or friends or peaceful time by yourself. Fishing pole: from $3.99; auger: $19.99

Building a snowman

This traditional snow activity never gets old. Add a fun twist to this classic by hosting a snowman challenge with your family, friends or neighbors. Grab a spray bottle and food coloring and let your creativity shine by adding some colorful pizazz to your snowman. If you really want to stand out, try building a caterpillar, bird or anything your imagination can think of. Dress up your creation with thrift-store clothing and accessories. Spray bottle: $1.99

Looking for more ways to stay active this winter? Try these out for added fun.

Snow Obstacle Course

Create a starting line and push hula hoops halfway into the snow to create an obstacle course you need to crawl through. Or randomly place cones in the snow to pull the sled around. Hula hoop: $1.99; cones: $1.99 per set

Snow golf

Pick up a few golf clubs, balls, tees and metal buckets for holes. Push the buckets into the show, leaving the lip uncovered so you know where to aim. Golf club: $5.99; ball and tees: $2.99; metal bucket: $1.99

If the weather outside becomes a bit too frightful, here’s an inside idea that will remind you of the outdoors.

Scene in a jar

Using a wide-mouth jar, faux snow and some miniature figures, create a winter wonderland in a jar. Set the mood by adding a small tealight to the top of the mason jar. Jars: from $2.99; miniature figures: grab bags from $1.99

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