Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Embrace Winter Like a Child

With just a dusting of snow and the chance to pull out winter hats and mittens, I'm filled with a renewed sense of what a wonderful gift it is to live in New England.  Sure, I'm sad to put on hold those days of exploring in the canoe and nights spent in the tent, my kids and I snuggled up in sleeping bags.  But having kids has given me the chance to see from their perspective how each season can be a new opportunity for fun.

Despite my tendency to often need multiple layers to stay warm, I'm choosing to relish all of the fun winter has to offer.  I know many people dread the drudgery of shoveling and the inconvenience of driving in the snow.  But for my kids, those white flakes falling from the sky mean another way to play, and it has nothing to do with video screens.

Here's what we are looking forward to this winter:

  • Alpine Skiing.  First and foremost in our family, winter means sliding down the mountain with boards strapped to our feet.  When the kids drive by ski areas in the summer and ask, "when is it going to snow?" I know we are doing something right.

  • Cross-country Skiing.  When fellow blogger Meghan McCarthy McPhaul asked me recently whether I liked alpine or XC skiing better,  it was a tough decision.  Although I think my kids would pick alpine as the winner at this stage in their life, I know that the lure of cruising the trails and the endorphin rush of that exercise is hard to beat.  

  • Sledding. Whether it's laps on the tubing hill at Bretton Woods, or bundling up for some rides down the hill in our backyard on a plastic sled, it's instinctive for kids to make it happen, even on the coldest of days.

  • Snowshoeing.  As simple as walking with big shoes on, even the littlest walker can strap on some snowshoes and explore.  Even when the snow isn't so deep that snowshoes are warranted, my kids love to see their big footprints in the snow and go on an expedition to see if they can identify any animal tracks along the way.

  • Sleigh Rides and Dog Sledding.  Animals make everything more fun, including winter trails.  

  • Snowmobiling.  Once in a while, the need for speed takes hold, and this is a great way to cover a lot of ground out there.
And what about trying something new this winter?  Maybe some ice climbing?  

It's late November, and the winter season is our oyster.