Winter Wanders - Experiences for the Season

There is something really special about a Winter Wander and I've got a few to share with you this season.

"One must maintain a little bit of summer even in middle of winter" - Thoreau

I love this quote (and photo) as this is something I do, even in winter, I just love being barefoot at the beach. What do you do to maintain a bit of summer in winter?

The Winter Solstice occurs on Saturday 22nd of June, it is the longest night of the year and a time to let go of the old and welcome in the new. At around the same time, we celebrate the arrival of Matariki which brings the start of the Māori new year.

So, to help you (and me) connect with this special season I've created a list of Nature Experiences for Winter. Some just for you and some for the whole family.

  • Read outside. There are some wonderful books about Matariki available in the local library or bookstore, or perhaps you've got a novel you've been meaning to start. Grab a book and find a patch in the Winter sun and simply read.
  • Visit a Waterfall. With more rain comes more magic in and around waterfalls. Find a local waterfall, or visit a favourite one to soak up the beauty and the power of the flowing water.
  • Mud Kitchen. Embrace the mess of mud, set up and create a mud kitchen with old pots, pans and utensils. Make mud pie masterpieces by decorating them with leaves, flowers, seedpods or anything you can find fallen in nature.
  • Ramble in the Rain. A walk in the rain is something really special for everyone. Rachel Carson, wrote ‘Nature reserves some of her choice rewards for days when her mood may appear to be sombre'. It's so true, there are so many magic moments that only happen during rain, and of course, there are puddles to jump in.
"The fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam, this crisp winter air is full of it"  - John Burroughs

  • Watch a sunrise or sunset. They can be so magical at this time of the year. On the winter solstice, watch both the sunrise and sunset, how fun!
  • Marvel at Matariki. Matariki is a time to gather with family and friends, reflect on the past, celebrate the present and plan for the future. The skies can be super clear in winter so head outside and look up. Be sure to get the kids up early so they can watch with you. You can find more info about Matariki HERE
  • Create a Winter Nature Table. Bring a little nature from your adventures back indoors with you by setting up a special table or tray to put your nature treasures on. Gather things that represent the season, fallen nuts or seeds, leaves of different colours, books about winter, a favourite quote for the season. A nature table is a lovely reminder of your experiences and a sensory experience for little ones to connect with inside.
  • Establish a new daily rhythm. Tune in with the changes in the rising and the setting of the sun. Just as nature has a rhythm so too can our days. Design your day to include at least 15 minutes of nature connection time and anything else that brings you joy.
  • Turn Inward. Winter is a time for rest, reflection and rejuvenation. So connect with the season and give yourself permission to rest, rejuvenate and plant seeds for the Spring.


Have a wonderful winter, and I hope you'll try some of these Winter Wanders to connect and explore the season .Tag me @naturelibrarynz in your adventures, I'd love to see what you're up too. Kathy xx