For some people, getting outdoors during the winter months is a no-brainer, but for the rest of us, we need a reason, a lure into the great outdoors. If you're looking for opportunities to play outside in Indy, here's a whole list of ideas for you!

Veal's Ice Tree

This amazing ice sculpture is unlike any other in the world. For sixty years the Veal family has been creating a structure made by spraying a mist of water atop a base of wood scraps and tree branches. The result is a giant ice tree that looks like it came straight out of the movie Frozen. For this stunning masterpiece to be created, outdoor conditions must be just right -- many days of below freezing temperatures in a row.

Imported Image

BYO Sled for These Sledding Hills

Indiana may be flat, but we have some serious sledding hills! There are many places around Indy to hit the mini slopes with your own sled, but my local favorite is at Fort Harrison State Park. Indy Parks, our local parks and recreation organization, keeps an updated list of city park sledding hills.

Sledding at Fort Harrison

Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing

If you have your own pair of cross country skis or snowshoes, Indianapolis has beautiful spaces for you to trail through. Eagle Creek Park is a local favorite for trekking with snowshoes and cross country skis. Northwestway Park and Southeastway Park are also designated locations for cross-country skiing.

Take an Art Stroll

There's no shortage of special places to walk around and see art in Indianapolis. The best part about the winter months is the change it brings to the art work -- new lighting, new surroundings and sometimes the shiny slickness of ice or the glitter of snow. Visit the Cultural Trail Public Art Collection for a fun look at public art spaces. The Indiana Art Center has 12 acres of beautiful outdoor art that you can see as you traverse the paths and wind your way through this hidden gem just north of downtown Indianapolis. If you're looking for a little hike that will likely put you in the path of wildlife and definitely bring you in contact with sculptures and other art pieces, you'll want to wander around at the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres at Newfields.

Cultural Trail

Visit the Zoo in the Off-Season

The Indianapolis Zoo is great to visit year-round, especially if you don't mind bundling up a little. You'll experience fewer people and get to see even more animals. While some animals are more prone to be outdoors during warmer weather, other animals really love the cool weather; the polar bear, the tiger and the seals and sea lions are among the zoo residents that you might interact with during the winter. Plus the indoor dolphin show is a great way to image yourself on a tropical island. 

Dolphins at Indianapolis Zoo

No matter why you like being outside during the winter, Indianapolis has some pretty great reasons to stay outside, even when it gets cold.