Hey, it’s wintertime! An exciting time for someone who likes winter sports such as hockey and skiing. But if you are like me, a person who doesn’t do many sports and may prefer the warmer weather, you might wonder what to do during the long winter months.
The biggest thing about winter – it is cold!!! The temperature difference between the indoors and outdoors is so drastic that it might feel shocking to go outside in -20. It takes a few minutes to adjust to that first breath of cold air and it’s good to cover your face with a scarf to make breathing easier, as it will create some insulation and less of a shock for air passages.
But I am getting ahead of myself here. This article is about ways to enjoy your winter, make it less stressful for you and your family.
As you might know, attitude is what makes the experience bad or good. We can’t change the outside temperature and we can’t sit indoors all winter either, so preparing for the winter is important. And with that thought in mind comes tip number one:
1) Dress warmly.
Think of all the details. To feel comfortable in winter you’ll need a warm winter coat – ideally from natural materials such as wool or goose down in parkas. Polyester-filled coats are most common and not all of them are actually warm. I would generally stay away from buying a polyester-filled coat, although some companies that specialize in winter gear and clothing can do a good job with polyester. Winter boots are the second most important item. If your feet are cold, there is no way you can enjoy the winter, so take your time to find really warm boots made of natural materials.
Snow pants are a must if you are planning to play in the snow, go tobogganing or do anything active outside. Don’t forget warm mittens and a scarf to protect your face and hands. Have a few sweaters handy to wear underneath the coat when you go outside in the really cold weather.
2) Check out local winter festivals.
Winter festivals are perfect for going with family or friends or both. Inquire about the parking in advance and give yourself plenty of time to walk if there is no parking nearby. Events like Edmonton’s Deep Freeze or Ice on Whyte are located in a central location with limited parking and if you aren’t there early, you might have to walk for 5-10 minutes from a parking location. So, once again, dress really warm. Bring snacks, water and perhaps warm drinks in the thermos. Outdoor vendors might have those things, but the lines can be crazy, so having a warm drink and a snack will really make a difference especially if you have kids. Festivals are a great way to enjoy time outside, watch performances, look at artful ice sculptures and enjoy fun activities.
3) Get a snow removal service
Snow shoveling is not the best part of winter especially if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow. The problem with snow shoveling is that the snowfall doesn’t give us much notice. It might snow for 2-3 days in a row and if you are already busy with work and family, finding time to shovel can be a real challenge. And it’s a really hard job, so if you have any back injuries or other health problems, shoveling snow yourself is probably not the best idea. Some companies offer snow removal services and will come and shovel as many times as necessary during the month. Also if the snow isn’t removed on time, it will get compacted and is much harder to clean later. What’s worse is that if the weather fluctuates a lot, the snow can melt and freeze, turning into ice.
4) Put a bird feeder in your yard
The bird feeder will attract different kinds of birds, so you can enjoy watching them. You can build your own or buy one at the home and garden store. Birds have a hard time finding enough food in winter, and with harsh winters their survival chances go down drastically if there is no food. Kids will enjoy looking at the birds and you can even get a book on local kinds of birds, so you can recognize different kinds when you see them. You can also go for a walk in a nearby park and look for wildlife there, animals like bunnies, squirrels and birds are very common and easy to spot.
5) Make snow angels
It is a really fun activity to do, especially for children. Find some fresh undisturbed snow, stand with your back in front of it and carefully fall backwards while holding your arms out. Then move your arms and legs back and forth a couple of times. Get up carefully, so you don’t change the shape of your snow angel. Enjoy! I find falling in the snow part the most exciting. But you definitely need to wear a scarf and mittens for this activity.
Here are some ways to enjoy winter and make the best out of it. Having good winter clothes is a good start. Getting reliable snow shovelling services is also a great idea. The more different outdoor activities you try, the better your chances of enjoying winter. So try the activities described above and any other winter activities such as skating, tobogganing.