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Stay Active This Winter Indoors and Out

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Baby it's cold outside! On days like today when the temperature is dipping below -20 with the wind chill it is smart to stay inside and keep warm, but just because it is winter, is no reason to hibernate completely! When you live where it is cold at least 4 months of the year, you have to embrace winter and get creative to stay active, both indoors and out. Busy kids and an active family is a great thing!

Having a list handy of nearby indoor family activities that everyone will enjoy and outdoor ideas that you can do together all bundled up is the key to surviving our long cold winter.

Find Indoor Fun for the Whole Family

Beach Volleyball
In the winter? Why not. One location, 
North Beach Indoor Beach Volleyball in Toronto gives the illusion of tropical surroundings while your bare feet sink into the sand! There is also a rock wall and a 20 foot blow up obstacle course that will have all ages (even parents) working up a sweat in no time.

Rock Climbing
Kids as young as 4 can join their parents at rock climbing gyms for climbing or a bouldering which is climbing a wall with no ropes or harness. It really is fun for the whole family, and quite the arm workout.

Roller Skating
The kids all have roller blades and have all mastered ice skating so why not give old fashioned roller skating a try?

Golfing
Give the kids a long stick and tell them to whack at a small ball. Get your swing warmed up at a local indoor golf simulator or play a family favorite game of glow in the dark mini putt.

Trampoline Park
They are popping up everywhere. Bounce from trampoline to trampoline and challenge each other with crazy jumps into the giant sponge pit. You can LITERALLY jump off the walls or perfect your jump shot with a basketball while taking off from a trampoline floor!

Swimming
Check out family swims at your local community pool and maybe even buy a seasons pass to make the most of your splash time on cold winter days.

Recreation Center/Open Gym
Many communities have Recreation centers boasting open gym times and provide soccer balls, basketballs, hula hoops, ride on toys and more.

When You Can - Get Outside

If you can get outside - GO OUTSIDE! Make the most of those days when the sun is shining and the snow is calling. Invest in a good pair of snow pants and warm boots and play with the kids outside. Check out the park in the winter, make snow forts and look into all kinds of winter sports your family may not have tried yet.

Ice Skating on a Pond
Don't settle for public skate at the local arena. Look around your area or drive a bit to find a hidden gem like a frozen pond or outdoor skating rink. Go to Ottawa for a family weekend and enjoy the 7km skate on the Rideau Canal or visit Arrowhead and their magical outdoor 1.5km loop through the trees. Don't skate? Learn!!

Snow Tubing
This winter Snow Tubing is making our Must Do List. Lots of ski hills offer tubing open to the public and the whole family can link up their tubes for fun runs down the hill.

Outdoor Swimming
There is nothing quite like swimming outside while it is snowing. Look for local hotels that boast an indoor/outdoor pool or trek to Collingwood for their Plunge pool that has water slides, a swinging rope and a giant hot tub outside with a huge pool and toddler play area inside.

Skiing
Kids love skiing. Get your family out to a small local ski hill and take lessons together. Have kids in Gr 4 or 5? They qualify for free skiing across Canada when you apply for a SnowPass. http://www.skicanada.org/grade-4-5-snowpass/

Tobogganing
No excuses parents. Put those snow pants to use and get on the toboggan with the kids. Tobogganing is just as fun as you remember!

Hiking
Dress warm and pack homemade muffins and hot chocolate for break time and go visit your favorite summer hiking trail and see how different it looks in the winter.

Geocaching
While it will be difficult to find hidden treasure under a few feet of snow on the ground, be sure to get out 
geocaching if there is a winter thaw. Kids love the hunt and the cold temps won't bother them if you bundle up.

Snowshoeing
Kids of all ages can strap on a pair of funky shoes and hit the snow! Give snow shoeing a try by renting first and hitting the trails.

The key is to keep moving all winter long! There is so much to do inside and out that is fun for the whole family. Try something new, check out facilities around you or just bundle up and explore familiar outdoor summer spots in the winter snow. Maybe a trip to the frozen beach would be fun!

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Deb Lowther is a mother of 3 young daughters who, when not running after the kids, is running in the trails! She blogs about Raising Healthy Kids and ensures her own have fun while eating healthy & staying active. You can visit her websites to learn more www.iron-kids.com & www.adultgummies.com