21 Dec, 2008
The Fishbowl guide to surviving Ottawa winter with kids
We’ve been invited to our neighbor’s place for a Snow Day lunch today. I love this idea. It’s pretty easy to make a big pot of chili or stew and invite the neighbors over to share. Throw in a bottle of wine (to be shared while the kids play) … it’s a pretty good way to spend the afternoon. (Especially one like today. Egads, it’s really coming down out there!)
It’s no surprise, really, this is a regular topic of conversation among parents in wintry climates. What the heck do we do with our kids when all we want to do is curl up and wait for winter to go away?
My theory has always been this: if you don’t get out and enjoy winter (or at least PRETEND to enjoy winter) you will not survive the winter. Trust me on this. If you hide, you will go bonkers.
Here’s my list of family fun things to do outdoors, in Ottawa, over the colder months. I like to think of this as a public service to ALL the parents out there!
– Tobogganing. Simple, I know! But so much fun. I am fairly certain that Santa is bringing us a good lookin’ four-seater sled this year. This pageis a good tobogganing resource.
Don’t forget to bring some hot chocolate with you! I like the idea of bringing two thermoses (thermii?) with us, one for kids, and a special one for the grownups.
– Skating. We’re in the Nation’s Capital. There’s no excuse! Skating is required, whether you do it on the canal or at your local arena. If skating is already a regular thing in your family, shake it up and try a new destination. How about checking out the outdoor rink at Rideau Hall? It opens January 5 this year.
– Skiing – In pre-child days I enjoyed a bit of ski-related fun. I haven’t done it in ten years. I hope this is the year I return to it. A local skiing mom tells me the ski school at Vorlage is better but the skiing is more fun at Edelweiss and is cheaper. There’s a recent article over at SavvyMom about it too. If cross country is your thing, do check out Nakkertok. It’s a co-operative ski club.
It’s a longish drive for us (about 90 minutes I think), but so worth it if you prefer a low-key wintry activity. It is amazingly pretty. Tip: dress warmly, and bring food. There is a restaurant on the premises, but a couple years back there was a situation which inspired us to start bringing our own portable dinner (i.e sandwiches and fruit). I think it might have been a long line up, or maybe it was closed that night. Regardless, we always bring our own now.
– Winter camping? I am not sure about this but I thought I’d throw it out there. I think if I had access to a yurt I would totally consider it.
– Are you familiar with Kids Ottawa? This website is an excellent resource for family-friendly events/activities in the Ottawa/Gatineau region. If you can’t find something to do in their extensive holiday pages, well, I don’t know what to tell you.
Any other ideas? if so, bring it to table. Ottawa moms will thank you!