10 winter activities you have to do before the snow melts

If you’re looking to complete every activity on the 150 Play List, it’s important to remember some practical things—mostly that snow melts and you can’t necessarily count on it returning in December. That means time is running out to complete all the activities on the list that require snow and ice!

Now, as a die-hard PlayList-er we’re going to assume you’ve already checked off some of the basics: skating, hockey, and building a snowman, for instance. You likely haven’t been able to avoid shovelling snow and have probably walked into a snowball fight and been forced to build a snow fort to defend yourself.

I hope you’ve also managed to hit the slopes for some snowboarding and taken to the ice for some classic curling. If so, fantastic! You’re on the right track. But there are still some other winter activities that you may have overlooked.


1. Tobogganing

Winter isn’t winter without a day of tobogganing. Trudging up the hill. Gliding down with glee. The mug of hot cocoa at the end of the day. We all have fond childhood memories of tobogganing for a reason.

2. Snowshoeing

This is one of those classic Canadian activities that everyone needs to try at least once. We trudge through enough snow on foot all winter long that we all deserve to have the feeling of floating on top of it for a change. Take that snow!

3. Ringette

Ringette is like hockey, only better (depending on who you ask). Invented by a Canadian named Sam Jacks in 1963, it’s also arguably more Canadian! Played with a straight stick and a rubber ring, ringette is an exciting game that emphasizes teamwork.

4. Downhill Skiing

There’s nothing quite like the rush of flying down on a hill on two narrow skis. It’s exhilarating and surprisingly exhausting. Go hit the slopes!

5. Polar Bear Dip

All you need to take a polar bear dip is some freezing cold water and a whole lot of courage. Many people love the exhilaration of taking the plunge. The only way to find out if you’re one of them? Try it yourself!

6. Dog Sledding

Dog-powered transportation has been used for hunting and travel for centuries, but have you ever given it a try? An even more exciting variation is called skijoring, where you get pulled on skis behind a dog. If you can’t find a place to go dogsledding, and don’t have a dog, you can also give kicksled a try, which is similar but without the dogs.

7. Cross Country Skiing

Cross country skiing is an incredibly good workout. Without the help of a big hill and gravity, you have to rely on your own power to slide across the snow. Trust us, you’ll feel the burn but also have a lot of fun, especially if you ski through a beautiful park.

8. Snowsnake

How far do you think you can hurl a snowsnake? It’s time to find out, but don’t worry, a snowsnake isn’t as spooky as it sounds. It’s actually pretty similar to javelin. Played by many Indigenous cultures across Canada, snowsnake was traditionally important for developing the technical skills required for the hunt. Click the link to learn more.

9. Sledge Hockey

Sledge hockey is a sport designed to allow participants with a disability to play ice hockey, but able-bodied players are more than welcome to join in the fun. Most of the rules are the same as hockey except that you use two smaller sticks and ride around on a specially-designed sled. You can look for a location to play here.

10. Snowmobiling

 A good day of sledding is good for the soul. Out in the wilderness, through narrow trails and over frozen lakes, it’s a fantastic way to enjoy the great outdoors and get a jolt of adrenaline. Just be careful out there if it’s your first time! Helmets are recommended.

*Note: You can click on any of the activity links provided to learn more about the activity, including accessible adaptations, how to play and more.