Creating valuable memories for my family has always been one of my top priorities. But even I'll admit that finding opportunities for quality family time in the winter can get a little tricky. Between chaotic holiday prep, fighting off that annual flu (how many times can it strike one house?!) and unearthing kid's mittens from minivan seats, it can be hard to remember to slow down and just enjoy the winter wonderland unfolding before us. Get a jumpstart on your winter fun this season and take the time to read up on 7 things you can do with the family to make this winter one of the best yet.
It may sound obvious but playing in the snow isn't always the first past time we adults consider when the kids are around and looking for something to do. Why? Probably because we know all of that finger numbing snow play comes with some serious prep work – for us. This winter throw caution to the wind and make the next snow day the best one yet complete with snowball fights, snow fort construction and snowman creating. And sledding. Make the getting-ready-for-the-snow part a little easier by pulling all of the essentials like their kid's winter coats long underwear and their kid's winter boots out the night before. It may sound like a lot of work for a few hours (40 minutes?) of fun but trust me, it's worth it – especially when you win the snow ball fight thanks to the refuge of that stellar snow fort.
Pile the family into the car and head to the mountains for an epic day of skiing they won't soon forget. If you're not lucky enough to have skiing – or snow for that matter – close enough to drive to then hitting the slopes may require a bit more planning than your average day trip. Either way you'll need to put a little bit of forethought into what everyone is going to wear to maximize warmth for the sake of maximum fun. Dressing in layers is a good strategy for a day on the mountain. Think breathable cotton beneath fleece jackets or a quarter zip fleece. Not only will the fleece add an extra layer of warmth when that mountain wind chill howls, but it won't feel bulky under winter coats.
Sharing the thrill of one of your favorite sports with your family can be a special experience. Explaining the play by play, pointing out your favorite players, even sharing an over priced pretzel that tastes a little better when your mini-me is enjoying it with you. This winter share your love for the game with your family and treat them all to an action packed hockey game – local or national (foam finger optional). And of course, part of the fun is dressing in your favorite team's jersey – all of which go really well with jeans and layered over cozy flannel shirts.
One of the perks of winter is definitely all of the decorations that pop up around the holidays. Enjoy the festive spirit of the season this winter and spend a night walking around your neighborhood or driving through town looking for the best Christmas light display. You can even bring along a thermos of hot cocoa to help the kids warm up when they start to lose steam. Your best bet for an all around pleasant night is to make sure everyone is dressed warm enough to sustain the evening cold. Think down coats for everyone, cashmere sweaters for mom, a men's quarter zip fleece for dad and long underwear under their kids' jeans. Oh and don't forget the mittens. Yeah, that should do it.
Slow things down this winter and spend the next snow day cozied up together at home in your pajamas watching some of your favorite family movies. Of course matching flannel pajamas are a great choice for any planned PJ day but not required. Soft and comfy Supima cotton pajamas are an excellent choice too – especially when chances are good that you'll be eating 2nd breakfast in place of lunch.
Whether you grew up practicing figure eights or you're more of a 'hold the wall all the way around the rink' kind of skater, ice skating is a winter sport everyone in the family can enjoy (even if you're just snapping pics from the sidelines). Make it a point to get your kids comfortable on the ice this winter and take them to a local rink for a little practice – and some falling. Word to the wise: it may be cold around the rink but it's easy to work up a sweat. Dress in layers like flannel shirts or cotton sweaters beneath a light weight winter coat that offers movement and flexibility. Maybe a packable coat or jacket? Even a parka with a removable lining can give you the coverage you need in a women's winter coat worthy of your double axel skills.
When the weather outside is frightful crack open the recipe books and warm up by the fire of the oven as you spend the afternoon baking all of your favorite winter treats. Not only will your family love eating the fruits (or cookies?) of your labor but they'll work up an appetite helping you mix, knead and taste test all of the yummy goodies. And the best part of a baking day at home? It's practically required you wear comfy sweatpants or yoga pants (maybe with a cute flannel tunic) while you do it. After all, you're bound to burn countless calories baking on your feet all day. Might as well wear some active wear with good stretch for all of that hard work (and eating you'll be doing later).
Make it a point to keep things fun this winter with the help of a few of these smile inducing activities. Shop landsend.com today for all of the cold weather wear you need to keep your family warm – and happy – this winter.