Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/timo_w2s

Winter is a difficult time for families to plan a holiday, while skiing is incredible popular the alternatives are not as well know. But for those looking for a great activity for the family, here are alternative winter holiday ideas… from the Northern Lights to Wolf Tracking in Poland.

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/timo_w2s

The Northern Lights otherwise known an Aurora are natural displays of light in the sky, found at high latitude. They are caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere. The natural phenomenon can paint the sky with unearthly and surreal colours. The Northern Lights oval is the best place to see the show, the oval is the area with the highest probability of seeing the lights. It covers most of Alaska, northern part of Canada, the southern portion of Greenland, Iceland, northern Norway, Sweden and Finland.

Dog Sledding is a great alternative winter holiday for the family. It offers families a elemental taste of winter and authentic to boot. Dog sledding allows families to escape into the wild and give them a taste without being stranded miles from civilisation.

Lapland is one setting for the adventurous family to venture, not only can you partake in dog sledding but you can also go Reindeer sledding. So if huskies are quite Christmassy enough for you, reindeer sledding is for you. Lapland is, of course, the home of Father Christmas.

Canada by rail is an excellent way to explore this winter wonderland without the freezing temperatures. With daytime temperature in the Rockies and the forests and frozen lakes of Canada often falling to -20C or more you don’t want to be caught outside too often. But travelling by rail allows families to enjoy spectacular views of the winter landscape from the comfort of a Trans-Canada train. It takes three days to travel by train from Toronto to Vancouver.

Tracking wolves in Poland is a holiday the kids will relish sharing with their friends. With any luck you will find wolves but also a number of other animals, including lynx and bison. These animals are close to extinction in other parts of Europe but the population is stable in Poland. Tracking is easier in the snow, not only for prints but the cold and bitter winter weather draws out animals to search for food.

For those who have no wish to ski down a slope at high-speed but still wish to enjoy all the trappings of a luxury winter holiday, snow shoeing is the answer. Some of the prettier Alpine resorts are marking and preparing walking trails among the trees and along the ridges at the top of the ski lifts. The paths are compacted so that guests can use ordinary walking boots and are a great way to see the mountain landscape if you don’t want to ski.