You may have heard the Norwegian word “friluftsliv” (pronounced free-loofts-liv), which means “open-air life.” It reflects the Scandinavian view that the outdoors should be enjoyed in all seasons and weather.

Tacy Quinn, a mother of two from Bernardsville, had her friluftsliv moment in the fall of 2020, as Covid-19 cases were on the rise after a summer lull.

Tacy and her husband, Brian, brought their sons Charlie and Teddy, now 13 and 10, to Raritan Headwaters Association’s Fairview Farm Wildlife Preserve in Bedminster for the annual Lantern Walk, a fundraiser held each November.

As children joyfully paraded through the preserve’s meadows carrying illuminated paper lanterns – a tradition borrowed from European harvest festivals – Tacy realized that finding fresh air activities would be the key to her family maintaining a healthy mindset during the winter months.

“The Lantern Walk is so powerful to me, I just love it,” said Tacy, who is part Norwegian. “You bundle up and walk, and it’s healing and re-energizing. It’s about bringing the light in a season of darkness, and it’s hopeful.”

In that spirit, the Quinn family embarked on the “15 Weeks of Friluftsliv Challenge,” aimed at joining or creating at least one fun outdoor activity each week. Tacy posted the challenge on her family’s Instagram page, Friluftslivingfamily, inviting other families to join or create challenges of their own.

The challenge was a hit, as the Quinns met new friends and discovered many new places and activities. Tacy decided to repeat the friluftsliv challenge this past winter – a smart choice, as the Covid Omicron variant was starting to spike and families were again looking to avoid a winter of isolation.

The 2021-22 kickoff took place at Fairview Farm, where family and friends played a rousing game of “kubb,” a lawn game also known as Viking chess. The game involves setting up wooden pieces resembling castles, then throwing sticks to knock them over.

Other friluftsliv activities this winter included creating a gnome-themed Christmas tree for a festival of trees, sledding, visiting an outdoor sculpture garden, strolling the bridge crossing the Delaware River in Frenchtown, tapping trees for maple syrup, and wassailing at Terhune Orchards. “You soak bread in last year’s cider harvest and sing to the trees,” she explained of the wassailing.

“The whole adventure has been good for stress levels,” said Tacy. “There’s fun to be had outdoors, so let’s focus on that. When you’re doing something new, it takes your mind off the cold.”

As a bonus, she noted, her sons enjoyed contributing photos and reels to the Friluftslivingfamily page. There are now about 570 people following the Instagram account.

Although the Quinn family’s winter challenge is ending with the arrival of daylight saving time, their love of outdoor activities isn’t. They’re planning to continue the friluftsliv mindset throughout the spring and beyond.

One spring activity Tacy is especially looking forward to is co-leading an outdoor weaving workshop at Fairview Farm on Sunday, May 1, using backstrap looms. The workshop is geared toward kids and beginners at hand weaving.

Never heard of a backstrap loom? “You have a belt around you and you tie it to something sturdy like a tree,” Tacy explained. Then, using your hands, you weave yarn through the taut strings to create a colorful, decorative band.

“Being together outdoors has been such a gift,” Tacy remarked. “The idea, really, is to give other people ideas that they can use in connecting to the outdoors.”

Here’s to embracing the outdoor lifestyle! To follow the Quinn family’s friluftsliv page, go to