The cool temperatures of the winter months can make staying inside in front of the TV very tempting. Don’t let winter weather stop your children from leaving the house and experiencing the activities that winter has to offer. In speaking with several local fitness professionals, the following were some of the most popular recommendations to help keep your child from becoming lethargic this winter.
Ice Skating Lessons
Waconia Ice Arena
1250 Oak Ave.
Waconia, MN 55387
In order to keep your children active this winter, consider signing them up for ice skating lessons. Not only will your children have fun on the rink, but they will also learn a skill that can be used for the rest of their life. The Waconia Ice Arena offers skating lessons for children of all ages, as do several other local ice rinks. (Contact staff at the arena for pricing and class times.) If your children already know how to skate, consider taking them to an open skating session at your local rink. Or, you could take them out to a local lake or pond, provided that the ice is thick enough.
Theodore Wirth Winter Recreation Area
1301 Theodore Wirth Parkway
Sledding is a popular winter activity, and dragging a sled back up the hill is sure to help your child avoid winter lethargy. Consider hitting up Sunset Hill in Minneapolis. With a total length of more than 100 feet, this hill is one of the most popular in the Twin Cities Metro area. The free public park is located about half a mile north of the Wirth Winter Recreation Area in Valley View Park.
Foss Swim School
421 Lake Drive
Chanhassen, MN 55317
Taking swimming lessons might not seem like the most friendly activity during February, but the winter months are actually an excellent time to learn to swim. There are several indoor pools in Minnesota to help your children learn in a warm and safe environment. In fact, Foss Swim School has several locations of its own, though the staff at the Chanhassen location is particularly friendly, supportive and helpful in teaching your children how to swim.
Take advantage of one of the 10,000 lakes in Minnesota and go ice fishing with your children this winter. Fishing can be a bit of a hurry-up-and-wait activity, but think about the work that goes into setting up for and catching a keeper sunfish or crappie. Not only do you have to lug your equipment out to the perfect ice spot, but you also have to drill a hole and bait the hook, all to hopefully reel in a few big ones. Do these activities with your children to keep them active and engaged, all while building memories. Just make sure the ice is safe before venturing out to catch dinner. Consider checking out Lake Parley in Carver County or Prior Lake in Scott County.
Playing in the Backyard
Sending children outside is one of the simplest ways to keep children active during the winter months. Instead of parking your children in front of the television, bundle them up in warm clothes and send them out to the backyard to make a snowman, play tag or build snow angels. This is something you can do with your children, and it’s a great way to make memories while enjoying the cooler temperatures. Playing in the backyard or park doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment, and it can be entirely free, so it’s the perfect activity for everyone.
Kristyn Gansen is a freelance writer covering all things Minneapolis. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.