Along with the improvement of dwelling quality, the length of time and frequency of outdoor activities in winter greatly increase in the north China area, although the outdoor thermal environments are still unsatisfactory. It is necessary for both planners and architects to improve outdoor thermal environments in the cold regions of north China. This paper firstly introduces the general winter climate features in some north China cities. Then, it takes Xi'an city as an example to show the shortage of uncomfortable outdoor environment. Thirdly, the design strategies to improve outdoors thermal comfort include wind and snow protection, sunlight usage, environmental zones and recreational facilities, etc. are discussed.