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Wisconsin Parent

Tips for Enjoying Cold Weather Outdoor Fun!

Nov 18, 2014 10:45AM ● By Diane Schwartz

Jacob and Racheal show that you can have fun outside even in November in Wisconsin. It doesn't hurt to be at a park with a great view of the State Capitol.

Winter hit Wisconsin early this year and some of you may not be prepared just yet. To help you get ready, I've put together a few tips to help motivate you to get out there with your kids.

1. Try not to complain about the cold:  Is it me, or are weather forecasts getting more an more dramatic? With talk of Polar Vortex-like temps, it's no wonder that kids don't want to go outside. We can help by insisting that they go outside anyway. Bundle them up and send them out. And then do the next thing...

2. Establish winter rituals:  Warming up and getting all snuggly is just as much fun as playing outside. So treat your kids to hot drinks like hot chocolate and cider and comfort foods like grilled cheese and tomato soup after they come in from the cold. Afterwards, you can all jump into your warm jammies and watch Frosty the Snowman or the Polar Express. There is more than a little magic to be made during winter.

2. It's not that cold! Temperatures of 20-30 degrees are perfect for winter activities. Lower temps are doable too if you keep moving. Minus 15 is another story.

3. Stock up on charcoal air-activated hand warmers: I never used to bring these on trips, but I do now. There is nothing worse than kids with cold hands. You can buy a package of 40 warmers for about $30 at Target.

4. Cook Outside!  I'm not talking about an entire meal, but something very simple. On a recent trip to Governor Nelson State Park, we heated up water for hot chocolate. Jacob and Racheal had a blast doing this and learned a lot. Check out the video they made.


5. Move your body. Use your mind: I'm a big fan of taking a walk at a state park. This will warm them up and they will see things that keep their interest. On this trip to Governor Nelson State Park, we saw several Indian Mounds along the Woodland Trail. This broke up the one-mile hike and made the kids think. We also stopped to listen to birds. Making hot chocolate completed this fun and educational day.