Winter Fun Alfresco

It’s the heart of winter! Are you thinking right about now that winter has no heart? Not everyone loves the cool, crisp air and fresh snow. After being plummeted by snow for more than a month here in the Northeast, most of us find ways to cocoon at home – or just succumb to being a cabin fever couch potato. But, there’s an unapologetic hearty breed of folks who endure the tundra-like temps and embrace the elements of winter – alfresco-style.

A recent New York Times article elaborates:

“Even in this winter of record-challenging cold, there are those who refuse to cower before the elements and retreat indoors. They never shroud the grill or store the patio furniture. They are exhilarated to relax on the deck in the chill. And they find a special beauty as they gaze at the slate-gray sky on a winter morning.

Last year, I highlighted some of the reasons people choose to live a cold existence. From a person who listens to a lot of music and says the acoustics are better in the cold, to people with dire economic reasons, these people find their chilly choice a viable living option.

While I wouldn’t go as far as to keep the inside of my house frigid cold, we enjoy all the seasons at my nest in the woods by braving the elements. That includes embracing the heart of the winter by welcoming the elements of fire and ice…outdoors.


1. Build a winter playhouse for the kids. Inspired by the Norwegian turf huts and old log construction, this recycled playhouse was built and mounted on a lighted and brushed concrete base. The project allows children to be outdoors in even the coldest of climates.

2. At my home we enjoy outdoor brisk winter evenings gazing at the stars from our wood-fired hot tub. Our tub from Sea Otter Designs has made many cold snowy days bearable.

3. Throw a winter party and cook outdoors. Tell your guests to dress for the weather and try this tip for dining outdoors in winter: The main dish and beverages should be hot and served buffet style. Here’s a roundup of outdoor cooking recipes from the Daily Green to beat the winter blahs.


1. Build an Igloo. Traditionally, igloos are built out of snow and covered with a layer of ice to form a natural barrier against sub-zero temperatures and wind chills. The force of the compressed snow provides exceptional structural stability, while the semicircular form maximizes interior space. Here are instructions to build your own igloo from Buildables.

2. Build a backyard ice rink. This takes some pre-frozen ground planning, but you can read all about my experiences with backyard ice rinks here.

3. For the fun of it, hang your laundry out and create snow graffiti and welcome a winter party.

No snow? Dream of a snowy white morning and watch the snow fall.


Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson6 years ago


Spoorthi B.
Spoorthi BS6 years ago

hi everyone, please sign this petition and help

Bernadette P.
Berny p6 years ago


Vanessa S.
Vanessa S6 years ago

Great ideas

Cath Bono
Kate A6 years ago

I love spending some time outdoors in the winter, the weather smells so crisp and clear.

Vera Y.
Vera Yuno6 years ago

Where I am from, Buenos Aires, we dont have snow!!! Just few times in the century it had happened!! I envy who can watch the snow thru the window close to the fire!!

Barbara Erdman
Barbara Erdman6 years ago

Neat looking igloo

Elizabeth P.
.6 years ago

forgive me -- I have so little time, so I am just here briefly for points to put towards the animals ...

Brenda Towers
Brenda Towers6 years ago

That fire in the playhouse doesn't look too safe!

Trish K.
Trish K6 years ago

X-Country skiing from Inn to Inn for a nice cup of Cocoa