9 Winter Activities Sure to Wear Your Kids Out

Carolyne AndersonY News

Even though the groundhog Punxsutawney Phil is predicting an early spring this year, we still have a few months of winter ahead of us. This winter has been, well, interesting to say the least. We’ve experienced more school closings, late starts, and early dismissals than we can remember any other year. It’s natural to go a little stir crazy.

Here are some fun, family-friendly activities to enjoy these days:

BE ACTIVE INDOORS…

  • Indoor playground
    Let your kiddos run, jump, slide, and climb in the indoor playgrounds while you get a moment to sip your coffee. Or, if you come to the Kid Zone at the Y, you can get a workout in while they’re busy playing.
  • Dance party
    Flossing party, anyone? Let your kids take the lead on this dance party and teach you how to do their favorite dance moves. Then, show them the hottest dance moves from your (Remember the Carlton?!) Harvard Medical School found that music stimulates the brain’s reward centers, while dancing activates its sensory and motor circuits. We don’t need any more reason to turn up that music and have a family dance party in the living room.
  • Bowling
    Have your kids ever been bowling? When is the last time you’ve been bowling? Invite your neighbors (who you haven’t seen since the first snow) and get your bowl on at the local lanes! Take your bowling to the next level with Xtreme Bowling at Great River Bowl in Sartell and enjoy the lightshow and dance party while you bowl.
  • Rock climbing
    Build strength, agility, and balance by doing some rock climbing. Check out the rock climbing wall at the Y for a fun, challenging way to burn off energy as a family. We have climbing for new and seasoned climbers, and we change the paths on our climbing wall regularly to keep climbers challenged and engaged.
  • Library events
    We’re so lucky to have the Great River Regional Library in our backyard. Take your library visit to the next level by creating a scavenger hunt before you leave home. What things would you expect to find at a library? Make a list, then have fun exploring the library as check items off your scavenger list.

BEING OUTSIDE CAN BE FUN, TOO…

  • Ice skating
    Indoor or outdoor, ice skating is a great family activity. Find a local lake, pond, or indoor skating rink and make it a family date. Your kids will love learning to balance, move, and become creative in their skating. Bring a small chair with tennis balls on the feet to help the littlest of skaters get a feel for the motions. For older kids, grab a puck and sticks for a fun pick-up hockey game.
  • Cold weather experiments
    Turning sub-arctic into a learning tool can be fun for kids of all ages. Encourage your kids to blow bubbles into the brisk winter air to see if they freeze before they land. Or soak a t-shirt in water, leave it outside overnight, and watch it shatter the next morning when you drop it on the driveway. Check out a great list of more cold-weather experiments from Scholastic.
  • Snowshoeing
    Snowshoeing is a great activity for adults and kiddos (that are over five). It’s a great way to explore nature during the winter and get some great exercise as well. Whether you’re new to snowshoeing or want some guidance and company, check out our snowshoeing group at the Y.
  • Shoveling contest
    Everyone does better when it’s a contest, right? Challenge your kids to see who can shovel yours (and the neighbor’s) driveways the fastest. They’ll burn some serious energy, you’ll get your driveway shoveled, and your neighbor will be thrilled with the unexpected act of kindness. Channel their creativity by using the snow piles to build forts, creatures or their favorite things.

Whether you’re a kid or adult, Minnesota’s notorious winter can be a bit…long. These activities are sure to tire out your kids, and you, in the process of having fun and making memories.

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