Nothing is more refreshing than that first deep breath of cold, winter air before starting hours of fun playing outside.

Outdoor winter play has long been blamed for the cause of colds and the flu, however playing outside allows your child to escape from indoor germs and bacteria.

Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean children have lost their energy or desire to play. As long as they are properly dressed and prepared for winter weather kids can have just as much fun in the cold as they do in the warmer months.

There's no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.

So how do you dress children for a Canberra winter? It will depend on how active they are going to be and how cold it is. One of the best ways to manage cold weather is to layer clothes. That way you can adjust the temperature by adding or removing layers.

Base Layer - a tight fitting garment such as wool, silk, polyester or microfiber. Cotton as an inner layer can trap moisture so on really cold days it's recommended to avoid.

Middle layer - a looser fitting garment which provides insulation. The best materials for this layer include fleece, wool, and synthetic fiber.

Outer/shell layer - This layer should protect from rain and wind at the same time as allowing as much moisture from the inner layers to escape as possible. It should also be strong enough to cope with all of the exploring and adventures your child will be enjoying, as well as being flexible to allow for movement.

Head - In cold weather you lose heat through your head and neck. Wool and synthetic materials will help to keep you warm

Hands - Gloves are better for activities that require dexterity and hand freedom. Mittens will give better insulation in extreme cold conditions and when being more sedentary.

Feet - Socks should be of materials that can take moisture and stay warm such as wool and some synthetic-wool mixes. Cotton socks are not good for cold and wet conditions. Shoes should be waterproofed. Gumboots are good for wet days but aren’t usually insulated.


Canberra lies at the base of an alpine national parks system, so every winter you are bound to see snow-capped mountains in the distance. If you're thinking of taking a scenic drive to check out the season's first snow fall it's best to check the ACT Road Closures page prior to your drive. The main rule when driving towards the snow is to be cautious and alert!

The most easily accessible snow play area near Canberra is Corin Forest Mountain Resort, a 45 minute drive from central Canberra and located near Tidbinbilla. Corin Forest has a snow play area where you can toboggan or just play in the snow. Some fun physical and creative activities for kids during snow play include snow ball fights, making snow angels and building snowmen. Just don't forget to pack some carrots!

Quick Links

Snow Sports ACT

NSW National Parks and Wildlife

Australian Alps National Parks

K7 Adventures