Wondering how to spend extra time together over the holidays? Heading outdoors can be healthy and fun. The winter sun helps mentally and creatively, boosting your mood and energy. While you may not get the vitamin D boost from winter sunshine in Missouri like we do in summer, you can still enjoy the physical benefits from outdoor activities and enjoy some crisp and colorful sunsets.
A winter hike or scavenger hunt will work off calories and entertain the senses. With the leaves off the trees, you have a longer forest view and can see birds better.
Kids can be entertained by making and hanging bird friendly garlands or pinecone bird feeders. See detailed instructions for pinecone feeders below. If there’s snow, look for animal tracks or make snow ice cream.
Go eagle watching near open waters or take a night walk, listening for owls, coyotes and other animals.
Outdoor picnics or backyard campfires will freshen things up and help with cabin fever. Try night stargazing to expand your horizons.
Stay safe while out by dressing in layers, bringing water, and watching the weather.
After the holidays, recycling live Christmas trees to backyards or ponds help create habitat for wildlife and fish.
Check out 100 ideas for winter activities.
Make a Pinecone Bird Feeder
Birds search for seeds, berries, and other foods all winter long. Help out by making a bird feeder. You’ll need pine cones, yarn, peanut butter, and bird seed. Here’s how:
- Gather a bunch of pine cones. Tie yarn or twine around the top of each one.
- Use a butter knife or Popsicle stick to cover the cones with peanut butter. Fill all the little spaces.
- Pour birdseed into a small tub or cake pan. Roll the cones through the seed. Press firmly so plenty of seed sticks to the peanut butter. Keep rolling until each pine cone is completely covered.
- Tie your pine cones to sturdy branches where you can keep an eye on them. In no time, hungry birds will arrive for a feast! When your pine cones are picked clean, reuse them to make new bird feeders.
Watch Missouri's winter birds, sounds, tips and cool facts from our birding experts.