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This week we’ve talked about the value of getting outside in the winter months — and from an informal survey I know it’s a priority for many parents this year.

But how do we make outdoor time a new habit?

One way is to actively schedule outdoor time, the way we schedule dentists’ appointments or sign up for recreational activities. It doesn’t have to involve signing up for an organized program — just putting it there on the calendar will help you and your kids get excited about doing something outdoors.

Maybe today isn’t an ideal sledding day, but it might be a perfect day to make plans.

Outdoor time: Tasting snow as it falls is an all ages joy

Here are a few great ideas to kickstart your Outdoor Fun resolution:

1. Kids In The Woods Initiative (4-8) and 9+

KIWI is a great outdoor education program that we talked about here this fall. Their programming is based the gorgeous Rouge valley — and their goal is to reconnect kids to nature through adventure and play.

This year they’re offering their first-ever Winter Programs. Kids 4-8 years old can try Little Rougers Club: Saturdays 9:30 until noon. Kids 9 and over can join Adventure Club: Saturday afternoons 1-3:30 pm. 

Just some of the activities they have planned:

  • building snow forts
  • snowshoeing
  • animal tracking and winter bird discovery
  • going on a winter scavenger hunt

The programming starts this Saturday, Jan. 11th so get in touch right away ** (Due to trail conditions, program start date is now Jan. 18th) The cost is $95 for a six-week program: Registration is here.

2. Nature Baby – at the High Park Nature Centre (6 mo – 2 yrs)

Got a wee one and nervous about a long winter cooped up with a baby? The High Park Nature Centre runs a wonderful program called Nature Baby, for parents with children aged from 6 months to 2 years.

It runs on Friday mornings through the winter starting Jan. 24th until Feb. 28th (six meetups). It runs from 9:30 a.m. until 11 and the cost is $80 – register here. The Nature Centre has a ton of other programming for families with kids of all ages — see the full list here. A great way to connect with other new parents!

3. Nature’s Course Art + Yoga at RedFish BlueFish Cafe (7-10)

Okay, so this activity is indoors — but why not work it in to afternoon of sledding, and grab a hot chocolate when you arrive?

Nature’s Course runs a variety of arts programs for families with kids up to age 10. Starting this Friday, they’re offering a great program for kids 7-10 years old, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. — a half hour yoga practice tailored to kids, followed up with a half hour of art. It runs for 6 weeks and the cost is $150: see the description on their website (scroll down) to sign up.

Nature’s Course also has a ton of other great programming, including a ‘Dad Craft’ class for boys and their dads — so check it out!

Okay – I’ve given you three (or more, actually) great ideas to get busy outside and  in, and enjoy the winter as you never have before.

Get BUSY Out There.


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