Adventures weren't just made for the warm summer months! Winter also offers endless amounts of fun, and depending on where you live, it could be right outside your front door! Many winter activities are adaptable to meet the needs of children too. So whether your skijoring through faraway mountain villages, or snowshoeing through the greenbelt of your suburb, I'm positive that you can find winter activities that are perfect for your family!
Arguably the most popular family snow activity, sledding is relatively easy to access and offers hours of fun! Sledding can also be a one person activity or a big family extravaganza! Invite your friends, the neighbors and maybe even grandma! Stock up on hot cocoa with all the fixings to make it a party!
Snowshoeing takes a little more planning, and has a small learning curve, but is loads of fun! If you don't have your own snowshoes, that's not a problem. Many outdoor sports stores, and even university recreational facilities, offer day use and extended rentals on most outdoor gear, including snowshoes. If you live in an area with an abundance of snow, try using your snowshoes for the first time in your backyard to get accustomed to them before going out into nature. If you need further assistance, head to an outdoor store to ask questions or ask the rental agent to assist you before you take the snowshoes home. If you're hoping to head into the mountains for some snowshoe fun, check out the groomed trails first. These trails offer the beauty and serenity of nature while still providing an easy trail to follow. Usually, snowmobiling trails are great for first timers. If you're hoping to forge your own path through the woods, be prepared with a map and compass as well as your ten essentials
! You never want to find yourself lost in the woods!
Downhill & Cross Country Skiing
While these two sports are entirely different from one another and require specific types of gear, both downhill and cross country skiing can be great family activities! Downhill skiing is a fantastic option if you have a toddler to adventure with. Many toddlers are successful on skis and actually enjoy it! A variety of skis are available to rent or purchase in your community or on the mountain. Most ski lodges also offer a daycare program that includes short ski lessons for young children. These programs are very beneficial for parents and children because the parents are offered a chance to hit the slopes solo while their children are being cared for; and the children are taught the basics of skiing from someone besides their parent--and we all know that sometimes that proves more successful! Cross-country skiing involves specialty skis, poles and boots. Some cross country enthusiasts prefer backcountry skiing, meaning they create their own trail in the deep snow, which proves to be difficult and takes an exceptional level of skill and knowledge. Others prefer groomed trails that are meticulously cared for by park officials or maintenance workers. These trails provide easy trail access and require less planning.
Wherever your winter adventures take you, my hope is you stay warm, safe, and keep a smile on your face! Remember to always bring a day pack with you with your ten essentials and extra layers. Remember that these activities will most likely make you sweat even if it's cold outside, which puts you at risk of hypothermia. Remove layers before you start to sweat to reduce that risk. Have a fantastic time!
Written by Lindsay Helm