As requested by the most recent instagram poll.. what activities do we do in the winter! If you are reading this from a warm weather winter location.. then probably disregard haha because here in Edmonton, Alberta we are pretty darn cold. Today’s current weather report: -31 feels like -40 degrees Celsius.
Some days (like today) outside is maybe just a glimpse.. from vehicle to place of being. There’s only so many layers you can have on a toddler, and sometimes it’s just not worth the risk of frost bite. With that being said, our go to ‘indoor coldest-days activities’ currently are: play dates, drop-in gymnastics, groceries and of course grandparent visits (these are on top of regular play at home).“Normal” winter days though are bound to include a good chunk or two of outdoor time. We have a dog (Rue - he’s a Beauceron (French Shepherd) and he needs a lot of exercise), so we try to find activities that work well with him.
- Dog park walks are key for us mostly because the Edmonton river valley is pretty unreal, but also because getting Rue off leash is wonderful. Most of the time I have a kid carrier on so that he’s out of reach of dogs and we like to hike single track trails. On extra cold or windy days I will use our Thule stroller (urban glide 2) with the rain cover to keep in the heat and keep out the wind.
- Walking in the river valley, in general, in the winter, is so nice and quiet. There are tons of single track trails to wander (nice and close to our house) that this is always a key activity all year round to explore the “urban woods”. We 100% use the kid carrier for these adventures.
- Backyard play!! I am a believer in less is more.. and buying used. In our yard for winter we don’t have too much as our son is currently only 16 months old. We were super fortunate to find and buy two used “play snow secure igloo structures,” which you’ll see in the photos. They are SO wonderful for our son to get use to the snow and explore outside! He doesn’t love the unbalanced feeling of walking on snow with his winter boots on (which is weird because inside he loves walking on our dogs bed, inside, which is very uneven.. who knows!) but he sure loves going in and out of the igloos! We have also come to love the game “smash”.. all I’ve done is taken a plastic cup outside with us, and I use it similar to sand toys/bucket for making castles.. I make him a little tower and then he smashes it. We can do this MANY time in a row.
- Our newest.. and still working out the kinks.. is cross country skiing. I’m in the process of retrofitting our old MEC bike trailer with some skis, some rope and a harness to turn it into a xc-ski trailer. This means Rue in front, harnessed to me (skijoring style), then behind me is the bike trailer/converted ski trailer. Yes.. I know you can buy attachments for this, but even used they are really expensive, so, this will work for us!
- Then there is winter running. I’m not the biggest runner, but to get out and fill my lungs with cold air.. sometimes is just what my body needs! I opt for our Thule Urban Glide 2 with cover for this, and have our dog on a running hip belt wit’s his Ruff Wear front range harness. With the winter sidewalks, I definitely wear running spikes.
Andddd without a kid!
- Some days I’m able to get out while my husband works from home and while our son naps. This means fat biking!! And this means one happy dog!!! So far the coldest day we went out was, I believe -25! As long as we’re moving we both did great.
I hope this inspires you to get out!
In the next few days I will post about what we dress our son in on these cold days. I do wish companies would make adult sizes of toddler winter gear!
peace and gratitude! And of course happy holidays!