How soon 'til Spring?

Try as we might to stay out of the cold this time of year, at some point, cabin fever can get to all of us. We have watched the movies we want to watch, we have cleaned, organized, and reorganized as much as we can stand to, we have raided Pinterest and parenting blogs for the most fun and creative indoor activities to keep the kids busy but we are TIRED of staring at the same walls. We need to get OUT, to get some fresh air, to feel that little bit of freedom that being outdoors can bring. We need to escape the confines of our homes, cars, and any other indoor place. We need to spread our wings, let the kids run off that excess energy, and laugh until the cold air makes our lungs hurt. We need to be outside, no matter how many layers we must put on to do so.

We know we need some time in the great outdoors (the benefits of combating seasonal affective disorder and cases of the general stir crazies aside). But what do we do when the weather is cold and possibly snowy? Many of the spring, summer, and fall activities we enjoy just don’t have the same appeal in February and March. I’m not sure about you, but the idea of floating on a raft in the lake just doesn’t sound as relaxing this time of year. And although I enjoy camping and I know there are people who do choose to camp in the winter, sleeping in a sleeping bag on solidly frozen ground just doesn’t sound like a lot of fun to me. If you are looking to get out and enjoy Mother Nature this time of year, here are a few good options that won’t result in severe frostbite.

Light A Fire: Uncover that fire pit or pull it out of the garage and grab some marshmallows. This activity not only will keep you warm while getting you out of the house, you also get snacks.

Go Camping: While the idea of sleeping on frozen ground doesn’t appeal to me, there are people who do enjoy it. Or take along air mattresses to add a little comfort and insulation. If you like the idea winter camping but not in a tent, check out state parks in your area. Many have cabins available to rent and since it’s the off season, rental is often discounted.

Sit Outside: Make a large thermos of hot chocolate, grab some blankets and go sit on the porch or clean off the patio furniture. Snuggle up, share some stories, have some laughs, and enjoy both the outdoors and the family.

Snow Battle: If you are lucky enough to live in an area that does have snow, pick your teams, construct snow forts, and have an epic snowball battle. (You can even buy snow block molds at most discount stores to aid in the fort building.)

Winter Picnic: Fill thermoses with hot soup and hot drinks, grab some blankets, and have a winter picnic either in your own backyard or at a local park. If you opt for the park, you can always take a nature hike to work up an appetite.

Bird Watching: Most areas of the country have species of birds that don’t fly south for the winter and it can be difficult for them to find food. Grab some birdseed and see how many different species you can spot.

Photo Hike: Whether you use a digital camera, film camera, or the camera on your phone, go for a walk and capture some of the beauty that can only be seen this time of year. Look for anything interesting or trying looking at things from a unique angle and see how many memories you can capture.

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