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Fun & Healthy Holiday Activities for the Whole Family

written by Guest Blogger December 22, 2012

So many of us have lost the true meaning of the holidays: love. What better way to bond with loved ones than to spend some fun time with them? Check out these ideas by guest blogger, Leon Harris…

The holiday season is a magical time of bright lights and good cheer — the perfect time to get the family together for some fun and healthy activity. Families everywhere are realizing the importance of both spending time together and improving their health, and you can roll these two into one by planning some fun family activities for the holidays this year.

Try some of these great ideas to get started:

1. Enjoy the Snow

Snow is one of the best things about the holiday season, and it’s something the whole family can enjoy. Head out to local parks and other hilly areas for sledding fun, or stick to your own backyard and build the neighborhood’s finest snow man. Getting the family away from the TV and out of the house is as important as ever in the digital age, so don’t let holiday fun melt away while everyone stays inside all winter.

2. Hit the Ice

Ice skating is a great activity for the whole family. You can all have fun and get some good exercise at the same time, all while learning or teaching a new skill. The holiday season is the best time to frequent the local skating rinks. The winter temperatures make it possible to bring the skating outside, and many towns have beautifully lit rinks that glow with holiday warmth while staying cold enough to keep the ice under your feet. Rockefeller Center in New York has one of the most iconic holiday skating rinks in the world, and most towns have their own special place for icy holiday fun.

3. Do Volunteer Work

The holidays are the perfect time to get involved with local charities and volunteer organizations. Lots of places will be organizing special holiday events. Bringing gifts to local orphanages is a common holiday charity, as well as making food for the less fortunate. Getting the whole family involved in volunteer work like this can bring you all together and instill values of good will and caring in the children that will stay with them for life.

4. Bake Healthy Holiday Treats

A big part of every family’s holiday traditions is the preparation of extra special holiday treats. Everything from gingerbread and fruitcake to savory eggnog has become a staple of holiday dessert for people everywhere. This year, try modifying your recipes to make healthy alternatives to your favorite baked goods. Cutting back on the sugar, gluten and fat in your recipes makes for tasty treats that the whole family can enjoy without needing to worry about local lab testing for their health after a heavy round of indulgence.

(Editor’s Note: For gingerbread and eggnog recipes, check out our last post.)  

5. Plan a Healthy Holiday Dinner

What better way to celebrate the most wonderful time of year than by getting the whole family under one roof for a holiday feast. These special holiday dinners have been a winter-time tradition for centuries. Update your menu this year to have a healthy and wholesome dinner that everyone can enjoy. Using reduced fat or fat free ingredients and cutting back on the meat in your dishes can transform your buffet from gluttonous to glorious.

(Editor’s Note: For healthier holiday recipes, including main meals, sides and desserts, check out our archives with: Healthy Holiday Meal Alternatives and Healthy Holiday Bevvies.)

About the Author

Leon Harris is a contributing writer for Health Testing Centers. Harris lives in Southern California, and enjoys eating healthy and exercising with his two Golden Retrievers.

What fun activities do you share with your loved ones during the holidays?

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