Chapter 150- Ways to get outside in winter!

Hi friends!  On The Morning Blend, I’ll be talking about ways to get your family outside in Wisconsin winters.  There’s never enough time on air to give specifics, so here’s a list of our favorite ways to take advantage of the midwest’s greatest treasure….WINTER!

Also, ok.  I know some of you probably hate winter, or at least like to complain about it because that’s what we do here in Wisco.  But I vote for changing the idea of lamenting the cold in the winter, and the heat in the summer.  Let’s embrace our seasons!  One of my kids was complaining about the end of last winter, and when I was trying to console her, I realized the beauty of Wisconsin.  We’re so lucky that we have the opportunity to practice patience and resilience and gratitude.  In order to not be miserable in the hot summers, we have to be thankful that it’s not winter all year long.  And in order to not scowl all winter, we can be thankful it’s not 90° with 80% humidity.

That said, my best advice for enjoying this weather is to make sure your people are in good outdoor gear.  It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does need to be warm/waterproof.  Check out your local neighborhood Facebook buy/sell/trade pages, look at used kids clothing stores, and keep tabs on what you need for end-of-season sales at REI, Land’s End and more.  Also, keep your adventures short.  Use hot chocolate as a motivator.  And know that it’s going to be messy/wet so bring extra clothes.

Aside from low-key, and no-planning adventures like building snow forts and playing in snow mounds at schools, I have a few favorite organizations that embrace getting outside.

Urban Ecology Center

  • Winter Equipment Lending.  It’s free with a very reasonably priced membership, and includes things like snowshoes, cross-country skis, poles, sleds, ice skates and camping gear.
  • The 2017 Candlelight Walk is happening this Saturday night!  Check UEC’s page to register for a guided and beautiful walk in the woods.
  • Saturday Animal Feedings.  Kids and families can meet with UEC staff and volunteers, and get a close up look at reptiles, birds, fish and more.

Wehr Nature Center

  • Winter Walk at Wehr on December 31st is a great way to take a guided walk followed by hot chocolate next to the fireplace.  Not a bad New Years Eve, I’d say!
  • Christmas Bird Count, a free and easy way to contribute to the worldwide count of birds!  Plus there’s a potluck.
  • This weekend you can attend Owl Prowls, a chance to learn through exhibits and instruction, followed by a walk in the woods to look and listen for real live owls.

Milwaukee County Parks

  • Slice of Ice!  Check out ice skating at Red Arrow Park all winter long, weather permitting.  Skating is free if you bring your own skates, otherwise rent them for $7-8 a pair.
  • Winter Sports at Whitnall Park…just click the link for LOTS of ways to enjoy the snow, from sledding the cross-country skiing to DOG SLED RIDES.  Need I say more?

I hope to see you out on some winter hikes (which reminds me, I’ve started referring to hikes as “playing in the woods” because it seems to go over better with my crew) or sledding hills or skating rinks!

Also, for more ideas join me on over on Instagram which is where I waste most of my time 🙂



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  1. Mom says:

    How about a walk in the ravine, when you can see the back of everyone’s home?

  2. Alison says:

    “Playing in the woods” = genius! Going to implement that tactic. My kids balk every time I mention going on a hike, but then love it once we’re out there.