• Wis Outdoor Explorer

5 Outdoor Ideas for the Holidays

We all know what a busy time of year this can be. There’re family gatherings, kid’s Christmas programs and all that shopping. It can make it pretty difficult to get outside and enjoy these early winter days. I want to give you five ideas that will not only get you outside but maybe even boost your holiday spirit.

1. Get A Real Tree

This year I want you to pack up the artificial tree and put it back into storage. There’s really nothing that will put you in the holiday mood more than the smell of a real Christmas tree in your living room. Part of the fun of getting a real tree is going to a tree farm and cutting down your own tree. This can be a great activity that your whole family can participate in and it could even become a tradition you do every year. Make new memories each year as you head out and find the perfect tree. If cutting down your own tree doesn’t appeal to you, most farms usually have precut trees ready for you to pick and give a new home for the holidays. Wisconsin has many tree farms throughout the state so finding one near you shouldn’t be too hard. I’ve included a link to the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association. They have a great list of farmers in your area.

2. I Love a Parade

During the summer, my family loves to attend as many parades as we can. We enjoy all the float, old cars and marching bands. Why should this time of year be any different? Many communities throughout the state hold some sort of holiday parade. A parade is a great way to get out and enjoy those crisp early winter evenings. Yes, I said evenings. Most holiday parades are held in the evening so that participates can light up the parade route with their festive floats. A simple google search should help you find one of these fun parades in your area.

3. Go for a Drive

As the days got closer to Christmas, I remember, as a child, my parents packing my sisters and myself into the car to drive around and look at all the Christmas lights in our community. Back then, it seemed as if everyone decorated the outside of their homes with lights. I made for a fun evening driving around and seeing what others had done to show their holiday spirit. But it seems that the older I got the less and less people were participating in this annual tradition. It seems to me that putting lights up on your home is making a comeback. I see more and more people spreading holiday cheer by simply decorating their homes. Why not help them celebrate by heading out and enjoying their hard work. Some can be very elaborate with music synced to their display and other can be as simple as a few trees. Either way, it makes for a memorable evening with family or friends driving around and seeing all the fantastic light displays your friends and neighbors have put up.

Enjoy one of the many light shows throughout the state.

4. See a Light Show

Speaking of lights, a must on your to do list this holiday season has to be a light show. I’m not talking about a laser light show like at some rock concert, I’m talking about a holiday light show that fills a local park or zoo. These light shows are a fabulous way to get outside and enjoy the holidays all at the same time. Spend hours walking around looking at all the beautiful displays. The best part, your right in the middle of it all. A lot of hard work goes into these displays and it shows. Some of these creative displays have millions of lights waiting for you to enjoy. Most of the time entry into these displays is as simple as a food donation or small amount of money. Proceeds for these light displays typically go towards a food pantry or selected charity. So not only do you get to see a beautiful display of Christmas spirit, but your helping out others in need. I’ve included some links to a few of these light displays that may be in your area. I highly recommend you check at least one of them out this season. They typically open up right after Thanksgiving and go until the first of the year.





Green Bay


Chippewa Falls

5. Let’s Go Caroling

I know what you're saying, “There is no way I’m going to sing in front of strangers!” Hear me out. I’m also not one to just put together a group and go door to door singing our favorite carols. But this may a great opportunity for a club you belong too like the Jaycees, Lion Club or maybe a club your kids belong too like 4H or scouts. I remember a time, later in my high school years, when our religious group gathered one evening and walked around our small-town singing. It really made the people at the places we stopped really happy. It was also a great way to get out and enjoy a beautiful evening with friends. So even though this may not be for everyone, don’t be afraid to bring it up at your next club gathering.

The important thing to remember is no matter how busy you feel this time of year may get, make some time for some outdoor activities. Make new memories with family and friends, start a new tradition and enjoy this time of year for what it’s truly about.

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