get outside this winter
to Get Outside This Winter
Beat cabin fever and wintertime boredom By Sarah Bradley
hen middle-of-winter cabin fever strikes, it’s tough to find activities that will keep everyone happy. You don’t want to spend another day stuck inside the house, but it’s way too cold to go outside and explore… right? Think again: Winter hikes with your kids can be just as fun as warmweather ones. All it takes is a little creativity and a lot of warm layers (and maybe a thermos of hot cocoa, too!). So, don’t hang up your hiking boots when the first snowflakes fall — take your family on one of these snowtastic adventures instead.
Look for animal tracks
You don’t have to be a zoologist (or a detective!) to figure out which animals are leaving their tracks behind in the snow. With a pocket ruler and a basic field guide, your family can observe, measure and identify many of the bird and mammal footprints you might come across on a winter hike. Be sure to check places where animals like to eat, drink and sleep, like icy
streams, snow tunnels and tree hollows. TIP: You can purchase a field guide online or at most outdoor recreation stores, or download a handy set of printable track identification cards from explorationamerica.com.
Blow frozen bubbles
Bubbles may be synonymous with summertime, but they’re even more interesting in winter when the air gets extra cold (i.e., below freezing). Take any basic bubble solution and wand outside, then blow bubbles along a cold surface. Once frozen, the bubbles will display a beautiful frost pattern that is sure to fascinate kids. Bubbles blown into the air will freeze, too — but they might shatter when they hit the ground. If you don’t have any bubble solution left over from summer, you can make your own by mixing dish soap with distilled water and a little corn syrup or glycerin. >> parentmap.com •• Family Family Adventure Adventure Guide • 7 parentmap.com