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Activities for Our Long Winters

March 12, 2016 1 Comments

How to Survive The WinterWith Your Family

Surviving the Winter Blues Can be Hard – Here are Some Ideas to Make it a Little Easier

I love Canada, I love pretty much everything about it.  I lived away from our great land for 2 years and I was so excited to get back on our soil.  I love the change of seasons, I love the colours in the fall, the warmth of the summer and the prettiness of the snow in the winter.  But there is one thing that I am not a fan of, is the length of our winter.  Finding winter activities that we all enjoy can be difficult.

I’m not sure if I suffer some kind of seasonal depression but I have a really hard time in the winter months, especially January onwards.  I struggle to get up in the morning (when normally I actually don’t have a problem in the summer), I cry almost everyday, I am irritable and miserable and frustrated at everyone and everything and so easily.  Over the years I have discovered a few things that we can do in the winter months to survive the bitter cold, wet feet, dark days and dry skin without spending a ton of money.

Get Outside

  1. As often as humanly possible, get outside.  Bundle up the little ones, and pick an activity.  My kids LOVE going to the local park at any time of the year but when there is snow over everything, it is something extra special for them – plus they have the park all to themselves which is an extra bonus.IMG_5802
  2. Go for a walk.  Walk on the sidewalks, walk on a trail, walk to the park, walk in a nature park, or for a little extra $ walk in the Zoo.  It is amazing what a little fresh air can do for ones emotional state. 
  3. Go tobogganing.  You can either find a local hill (we go to the closest elementary school).  You can usually find some sort of hill to go tobogganing for free.  But if you want a little more thrill for you and your family just do a quick Google search for a local hill near your community.IMG_6177
  4. Go snow shoeing. So yes this isn’t free – you will have to invest in some snow shoes (that you will have forever) or rent some from a local Nature Conservation area – but once you have made the investment your walking destinations have increased exponentially.
  5. Go cross-country skiing.  So again this isn’t free but I am constantly seeing cross-country skis on sale or for second hand for next to nothing.  You can also rent them at your local ski hill.
  6. On the warmer sunny days we have even been known to have a picnic outside.  Grab some snacks, a thermos of hot chocolate some chairs, and get outside and soak up the Sun – even through your snow suit.
  7. Make a snowman/snow fort, dig, makes piles of snow, get your sand toys out and have some fun in the white fluffy stuff. IMG_5370

Get inside

I know this sounds silly but by get inside I mean get out and find something to do inside.  Some of these ideas are completely free, and some of them will be a little bit of money, but worth every penny.

  1. Go to the mall – this is a win/win for everyone.  I get to do a little shopping (even if it is just window shopping) and the kids get to see new things, get a little treat and play in the FREE indoor play area that many malls have.  The kids get to see something new, meet new people and have some fun.
  2. IKEA – Ikea offers a play place for kids called Smaland.  You are able to drop off your children (age range varies from store to store) for one hour while you shop in their store.  I have never used this option as we live too far away from the closest IKEA and my children aren’t old enough, but I have heard amazing things about this service.  Check out your nearest IKEA
  3. Take the kids to the library, have them sign up for their very own library card and pick out a new book or two.
  4. Find a local indoor play area.  We love the Early Years Centre, our local Clubhouse, Joey’s World, one of the new indoor trampoline gyms, and so many more options.
  5. For a little extra money you would be able to go to the Science Centre, Museum, Aquarium, Bio-dome, CN tower, arcade, movie theatre, lots of options
  6. Head to your nearest arena for some public skating often communities have free events you can participate in – many even allow strollers for the younger ones who can’t participate.IMG_5718

Stay Home

There are so many things that you can do in the comforts of your own home, without having to change out of your pyjamas.

  1.        Lay a cheap plastic table cloth down on your table, lay out a bunch of craft supplies, have a plan or let your kids take over.  Pinterest is littered with amazing craft ideas for every holiday you can think of, every random object to turn into a telescope, a caterpillar, or a spaceship.IMG_6206
  2. Make a fort.  Get some sheets, move some chairs and cushions and make a fort, get some books and do some reading, drawing, colouring, watch a movie in the tent, etc.
  3. Set up a movie theatre, move couches around, pop some popcorn, get some treats, make some movie tickets, and enjoy a movie together.IMG_6211
  4. Redecorate the kids rooms.  My kids for some reason LOVE when we “organise” their rooms, change things around, tidy things up.  They love the change, they love to see their toys they haven’t seen in a while.
  5. Bake something.  Bake some cookies, cupcakes, brownies.  If you make a lot, walk around to your neighbours and give them a few tasty treats.
  6. Board games – bring out those old board games you haven’t touched in a long time, head to your second hand store, and play some board games.
  7. Along those same lines, grab a couple of decks of cards and play some card games – Go Fish, Cheat, solitaire, etc.