Enjoying winter is a must for Canadians. If you don’t have a pastime to get you through the cold, dark, wet months from November till March, you will spend a lot of time bored, sad or spending money on big vacations. As a family that doesn’t ski or snowboard and has skating skills that are still under construction, the winter is a challenge for us. The lure of warm getaways seem to call louder as the months drag on.
Here are some of our tried-and-true tricks to help resist the siren call of the south, enjoy winter and keep the cost down.
- Get some decent winter gear: Part of enjoying our winter is getting the right clothing – if you don’t believe me, try going on a hike with wet mittens, or worse, a kid with wet mittens. If you’ve waited this long to shop, the season is well underway and there are plenty of deals to be had.
- Get out: once you are dressed to face the weather, take the first step. Visit a park or trail in your community that you would visit in summer and watch the kids go wild over how it has changed.
- Get a toboggan: If skis, snowboards or skates sound like too big a commitment, go for a sled. This is pretty much a required piece of Canadiana and even if it only snows once a year in your area, you’ll appreciate it when the time comes.
- Snow forts, snow people and snowball fights: Have you done any of these as a grown-up with kids? No? Do them all, ASAP. If you don’t have kids, throw a snowball at the paper carrier. They will likely throw one back. They may also run away from the strange grown-up who throws snowballs at children. Have an apology ready.
- Go inside: if you are sick of the snow, rain and cold weather, hit up a local greenhouse, aviary or butterfly conservatory. They’re like mini tropical vacations that remind you about the smell of living things and help the warm-blooded among us cope for a few more weeks (read=months). They may cost a bit, but they are definitely cheaper than an airline ticket.
- Public swims: Check out the swim schedule at the pool – again, likely not free, but a great taste of summer in the middle of winter. If your pool has windows, all the better to see outside and laugh at Old Man Winter.
- Indoor beach party! Lay some beach blankets out on the floor, pop open your biggest umbrella, get some tropical-looking drinks and put on some beach music. Limbo, learn to hula or watch a warm-weather movie.
Whatever you do – do something. Winter isn’t going away and glaring at it won’t help.