The winter months can be difficult for many people. Between the bitter cold and the darkness, it’s no wonder why families can feel tired and sluggish. Don’t let the winter blues take control of your family; it’s time to get out and get active! Bring back those smiles and put some fun back into your children’s lives as well as your own.
Going outside and being active will increase your overall energy and reduce stress and tension. Plus, it encourages your children to be healthier and will result in less time spent playing video games.
Here are 6 Outdoor Winter Activities for the Whole Family:
One: Ice Skating
There are 76 outdoor ice surfaces in the City of Red Deer alone that can be used by anyone. Most subdivisions have one or more ice surfaces for public use. Ice skating is a great way to spend some quality time with your family and to get a workout. Add some sticks and a puck and you’ve got yourself a family hockey game. Get the neighbours involved and turn it into a small community hockey game!
There is no better exercise than hiking up the side of a hill with your sled or GT Snow Racer in tow and nothing beats the feeling in your stomach as you race full speed ahead down the hill, slipping and sliding around. That, my friend, is what we call a win-win situation: Exercise and Thrill.
Three: Snow Shoeing
Snow shoeing doesn’t readily come to mind for most people, but don’t knock it until you try it! Snow shoeing is actually quite fun. When you are bundled up walking on the deep snow, you can really work up a sweat. Snow shoeing can also connect you back to nature, as you get outdoors on lesser used paths and trails. You will be surprised what types of wildlife you can see on your excursion. You can even make it a little more challenging by creating a scavenger hunt with your family. If you are interested in trying snowshoeing, visit the Kerry Wood Nature Center in Red Deer. They have snowshoes and trails for public use.
Four: Building an Igloo, Snow Fort or Quinzhee
Children love forts, and so do adults if we are being honest. Creating a snow fort in the backyard encourages outside activity and spurs the imagination. Having a snow fort for your kids to play in on colder days will protect them from the wind and may entice them to stay outside for longer than it took for them to put on their winter gear. Of course, keep in mind safety first! Alberta’s winters, as we all know, are unpredictable. Watch skin to be sure it doesn’t freeze. Ensure forts are created and reinforced properly so that there’s no risk of collapse while in use. Try using structures like pallets for stability and packing snow around. Always remember to put the fort where you can keep eyes on it from a window in your home so you can see that your children are safe at all times.
Five: Skiing or Snowboarding
Red Deerian’s are pretty lucky, we have our very own ski-hill located minutes outside of the city limits. That means we don’t have to plan weeks in advance and take days off of work to get out onto the slopes. If you end up with a free morning or afternoon, pack up the car with the kids and you can be skiing within a half an hour. It’s one of the best parts of living in Red Deer. Even if you have never been on the hill there are helpful instructors on location so you can ask questions, or sign up for a class. Instructors teach all ages and all levels of lessons for snowboarding and skiing. It’s a great activity for the whole family.
Six: Explore the Trail System
Good ol’ walking is great exercise. It can allow you to reconnect with your children as you engage in great conversations without any distractions from cell phones, social media, and gaming devices. Red Deer has a ton of really awesome trail systems throughout the entire city. Bundle up, get walking, and see where the trails can take you. Add in geocaching if you want a challenge, the options are endless. If you are into scenery, the sky’s are usually very clear in the winter months so you will be in for a real treat. Our winter night sky is unbelievably breathtaking.
These are just a few of the many ways you and your family can enjoy the great outdoors during the winter months. It can be challenging to muster up the energy to bundle up and head outside in the bitter cold, but you will be amazed at the difference it makes in your mood and the mood of your children.