I’ll admit to being a little bit of a winter scrouge. Coming off the beautiful days of Fall, into the bitter days of winter is a blast in the face and every year I’m #lessthanimpressed with the change of seasons. But come January, winter doesn’t feel so miserable and the countdown to Spring is much to close. I’m not a huge fan of Spring because the winter thaw is wet, muddy, and gross. Plus no snow and the snow is so much fun.
Getting outside with 2 young kids is a hassle. It’s so unbelievably tough, but for that reason, I love the Playground in the winter. Playgrounds are the spice of life, giving the adventurous an adventure without the overwhelming sense of dread. There’s something safe about going to the playground in the winter. It’s also totally easy and manageable. Finding easy ways to get outside with toddlers is my priority. I would love to be more adventureous but I need to be safe and secure first.
We’ve been going to the playground almost weekly thru the winter, and there’s one alarming realisation: nobody else is at the playground. I thought we could check in and tell you what you’re missing out on.
I have 5 totally fun reasons you need to go to the Playground this winter because outside play isn’t just for the summer, it’s all year round. I do not go as far as to play winter playground activities, I just let the kids be kids. Expect play time on the playground to vary: cold days less than 20 minutes, warm days more than 40 minutes.
- Change: Not only are you out of the house and the backyard, but the seasons have changed. Changing seasons offer an amazing opportunity to explore things differently. We learn the slides go faster, boots make climbing more difficult, the metal is slippery, and the snow it’s fun for throwing.
- Challenge: The playground in the winter is just that much more challenging and a perfect treat for growing children. Learning to walk, run, climb and play in boots and gear is a challenge. Pro tip: they tend to tire out faster!
- King of the Castle: Nobody else is ever at the Playground unless I invite them, and having the whole place to yourself is a playground delight. There is joy in learning from others, but there is also peace in exploring the playground and just being outside together alone.
- Fun: Playground fun doesn’t stop when the season change! Everything is just as much fun in the winter, and I guarantee the laughter is ten times louder.
- Easy: It’s easy to take two young kids to the playground for an afternoon of fun. It’s easier than going for a hike, or a snowshoe. I have to drive to a playground to find one, so that means the car is right there when things turn south, and if I forget something its right there, and if we get cold, its right there to warm us up. Playgrounds are easy to get to, easy to manage, and easy to leave. The exit strategy when the shit hits the fan is manageable at a Playground – not so much when you’re a kilometre into a trail.
For those 5 reasons we’ve been at the Playground all Winter, and we’ll keep going. I dress the kids up warm and no matter the weather we’re outside. I’ll play in the cold until -15C/5F. Anything colder, I’ll opt for the mall or another indoor getaway in Prince George. It’s too much to bundle the kids up for the deep cold to play for 10 minutes. If its -20C, maybe we’ll play in the front yard instead.
Our favourite Prince George playground this winter is Duchess Park.