NOT Wishing for a White Christmas

Beautiful holiday weather lends itself to time outside with your family

I want to pass on one of my favorite family holiday traditions, albeit, it’s a rather new tradition.  A few years back, my family decided we needed to reinvent our holidays.  Christmas had become a little stale – – opening presents you had picked out for yourself just wasn’t cutting it anymore.  We decided to bring the attention back around to the family.

My first-ever catch was a little scary

To do that, we decided to forego presents altogether (although that is not a requirement).  And, in lieu of picking out gifts, we would each be responsible for selecting an activity that we could all do together during the holidays.  On Christmas morning, instead of coming downstairs to the gifts that Santa had left late the night before, we began to reveal clues to each other of the activities we had planned.  Whether your clue consisted of a cowboy hat, fishing lures or a wooden spoon, excitement had returned to our Christmas mornings.

And, with temperatures on Hilton Head Island averaging in the 60’s (and record highs in the 80’s), it’s a great opportunity to get outside with your family to celebrate the holidays!

A few recommendations from my family to yours this holiday season:

Saddle Up
Trust me, you do not need to be an experienced rider to enjoy the trail rides in the Sea Pines Forest Preserve.  The hour-long ride will take you through the 605 acres of this untouched, pristine Lowcountry landscape while your trail guide gives you a taste of Hilton Head Island history. And younger members can take part with pony rides and Lawton Stables’ Animal Farm.

Put the pedal to the metal
Ok, not really.  But, you can enjoy the fresh air and beauty of the Island by way of bicycle.  With 80 miles of pathways, you can bike on and on without any repeat rides.
Don’t have a bike?  Click here for a list of bicycle rental companies.

Bundled up for a holiday sail

Set Sail
Again, no experience required.  Charter a private boat or jump on a group tour and take in the Island views from the Lowcountry waterways.  And before you board, check the policies of your tour provider.  Many will allow you to bring on food and drink – – it’s a unique way to do happy hour!
For a list of available boating companies, click here.

Go Fish
Throw in a line and see what you can catch – – you might land something perfect for your holiday dinner!  For available fishing charters and tours, click here.

My dogs always love a cool day on the beach – no crowds

Picnic on the beach
Grab your blanket, pack your bocce ball and load up your basket for an afternoon on our white sand beaches.  Want a pre-packed picnic lunch?  Signe’s Heaven Bound Bakery & Café is a not to miss!  For a list of Hilton Head Island’s public beaches, click here.

On the Pontoon
Load up the whole family on a private pontoon boat rental from Outside Hilton Head.  The 20-foot boats can hold up to 12 passengers and are available out of Shelter Cove Marina.  It makes for a relaxing day on the water.  Afterwards, grab a glass of wine at Bistro 17…you’ll feel as though you’re sitting alongside the French Riviera.

Zip through the Trees
For those adrenaline junkies, you should check out Hilton Head Island’s latest attraction.  ZipLine Hilton Head offers 8 lines and reaches heights of up to 75 feet above the ground.  It’s an experience you won’t forget and fun for the whole family (or at least those that are between 80 and 250 lbs).

And, not everything has to be outside.  Here are a few tried and true suggestions that keep you out of the elements:
Cooking Classes
Dance Lessons
Spa Treatments

Whatever you choose to do this winter, I wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season!  Enjoy!