12/31/2014 09:05 EST | Updated 03/02/2015 05:59 EST

Take Time to Enjoy the Winter Wonderland This Holiday

Mitchell Funk via Getty Images

With the mercury dropping from coast to coast, it's easy to want to huddle inside by the fireplace. But most of us find that we're happier when we get outside. For my family, some of our happiest memories have been when we've been exploring nature and the outdoors together.

In fact, a recent Ispos Reid poll conducted by the Nature Conservancy of Canada shows that more than 97 per cent of Canadians believe that getting outdoors is important to their family's well-being. Furthermore, the research found that Canadians are happier when they are outside.

There are so many ways for you to get outside and enjoy Canada's winter wonderland with friends and family. Why not try a few of these ideas:

Spot the species

Bring your binoculars and this winter bird identification booklet on a hike or snowshoe and work together to identify the species you encounter. Or, try identifying animal tracks in the snow to see what animals are out and about.

Get crafty and creative

Nature certainly looks different with all of that snow on it. Bring your camera to take photos of the snow-covered winter wonderland to send a holiday e-greeting to loved ones.

You can also pack paper and crayons and make bark rubbings of trees on your route, to embellish a special holiday or New Year's card.

Let nature inspire you

Nature and the outdoors offer great inspiration. Jot down notes about your day (or record your thoughts on a voice recorder, if the temperatures are too chilly and your mitts too thick to hold a pen) and send that special someone a nature-inspired poem or love letter, mentioning all of the species, sights and sounds you encountered.

Bring out your inner snow child

Sure, a fresh blanket of snow makes a great canvas to build snowmen or snow angels. But why not break with tradition and use all that snow to build figures in the shape of your favourite animal -- making you the inspiration for other snow figure builders on the block!

Share the love with our furry friends

Winter is the time where food is scarce for the furry and fuzzy creatures that have not migrated to warmer climates. Help make the food hunt a little easier for them by making pine cone feeders for birds and squirrels and hanging them around the neighbourhood.

No matter what the weather, take time to bundle up, get outside and enjoy the winter wonderland. You'll thank yourself for it!

Written by Christine Beevis Trickett, manager of editorial services the Nature Conservancy of Canada. This post originally appeared, the NCC blog.


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