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family fun

5 Winter Activities to Get Kids Outside

Author: Kirsten Clark 

It’s January in Alberta, which means peak season for staying indoors watching movies, reading books, and cooking delicious recipes. But getting outside is still important, even in the middle of winter. After all, who doesn’t feel better after some fresh air and sunshine? This roundup of five winter activities for kids will give you some inspiration to get your family outside!

1. Frozen Sun Catchers from Take Them Outside

“Do you need extra motivation to get outside when the temperature drops below freezing?  Perhaps this craft will be just the thing to get you and your kids outside.”

2. Ice Lanterns from Little Pine Learners

“Try making beautiful ice lanterns. Freeze them during the day and illuminate them at night! You can make a single lantern or a bunch of them at one time.”

3. Easy Snow Painting from Surviving a Teacher’s Salary

“My kids LOVE playing in the snow but when we add color to all that beautiful white ice outside it really adds a creative element to their sensory play! This post will take you step by step on how to easily make your own kid’s snow painting art recipe!”

4. Snow Volcano Experiment from Growing a Jeweled Rose

“Making a snow volcano is really easy . . . Make sure you have lots of baking soda and vinegar on hand, because your kids will want to make their volcano erupt again & again!”

5. Freezing Bubbles from No Stress Homeschooling

“Have you ever experienced -33C weather? Its fantastic! Now before you think I am crazy, I will explain and show you our impromptu freezing bubbles winter activities.”

Kirsten Clark is a college instructor and academic strategist, a writer, a reader, a runner, a podcast junkie, and, most importantly, a mom.  Kirsten lives in Beaverlodge with her husband and son, a curious and energetic toddler, who keeps his parents on their toes! Connect with her on Instagram @kirstenlanae and at thefaucet.net, where she blogs every Monday, no matter what. 
In Camping, Explore, Health, Lifestyle, Parenting, Random Thoughts on
November 25, 2020

Try These Fun, Kid-friendly Activities to Change Your Mind About Winter!

Do you feel like it’s the same old thing every year? Quickly after the beauty of fall fades, the next season creeps in. A season that makes even some of the world’s most resilient animals say… yeah, no, gonna sleep through this one. 

I’m talking about winter. 

Winter makes us feel the need to bury ourselves under every blanket in the house, turn on the fireplace, and debate whether letting our kids watch TV for the next 5 months straight is reasonable. Anyone with me? I haven’t always been the biggest fan of winter and my fiance is even less impressed with this particular season. 

Unfortunately (but also, fortunately), our 5-year-old child tends to set the stage for our daily activities, so… OUTSIDE WE GO! He has truly helped warm my relationship with winter. Greatly. I’ve come to actually love it! So I’m going to spend the next little while trying to convince you, while winter isn’t the easiest season to tolerate, it can be one of the most fun! Believe me? 

Safety first! 

First, let’s quickly touch on safety. Safety in the outdoors is always important, but I would say it’s the most critical in the winter with all the ice, snow, and darkness (I know… I’m selling it. Please keep reading!). I’ll keep it short. I strongly suggest you check the forecast and overpack with many layers and backups if you’re heading out. If your kiddo is typically unimpressed with the cold weather, bringing hand and foot warmers can help keep them toasty and you happy! 

Winter Fun in the Backyard 

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Fort Saskatchewan Event – Spark The Energy Credit Union Grand Opening

The first thing I asked myself is – What the heck is Spark The Energy Credit Union?

Here is a snippet from their About Us Page to give you an idea:

“Originally founded in 1953 as a credit union for employees of Shell Canada.
As the energy industry evolved, so did the credit union. On June 13, 2018, the membership approved to change the name from Shell Employees’ Credit Union to SPARK The Energy Credit Union to signal our opening to the people of the energy industry at large – no matter if you’re an employee, contractor, or consultant.”

They’re not just like any other financial institution – they’re for Albertans, by Albertans and they have the financial products, advice, service, and understanding to help you and your family thrive financially. 

And they’re opening a Credit Union branch in Fort Saskatchewan to do just that! 

The Grand Opening provides you with an opportunity to check it out AND have a little family fun!

DETAILS

When: July 26, 2019; from 10 to 2 pm

What:

  • Special SPARK gift bags for first 50 attendees 
  • Door prizes
  • FREE treats from the Tiny Tim’s mini-donut food trucks
  • Face painting & balloon animals 
  • Mix 107.9 will be live on location 
  • Grand Opening Giveaway of a Family 2019 Seasonal Membership to Jurassic Forest  

Read more

In Edmonton, Explore on
January 10, 2018

Winter Fun: The IceWay Skating Trails at Rundle Park

I admit it, I am not a huge fan of outdoor winter activities…. Cold weather is not my jam. Neither is skating around a circle over and over. BUT I proved myself wrong when my family, along with some family friends, decided to check out the IceWay Skating Trails at Rundle Park this weekend. After a Christmas break of being cooped up inside from colds and severely freezing temperatures, we were ready to get the heck out of the house.

Rundle Park has just under 2 kms of smooth, well maintained ice skating pathways that wind you through the trees and beautiful setting in the parks area. We skated the trails at dusk and really enjoyed the Christmas lights and lanterns along the path, though, it would be awesome to see even more lights. Skaters can explore the trails, all of which interconnect, and enjoy larger skating surfaces along the way. It really is a beautiful setting!

Some tips for enjoying the IceWay Skating Trails at Rundle Park:

  • Park your car in the lot in front of the Family Centre (not ACT pool). There’s an indoor heated building (with bathrooms) where you can leave your shoes and put on your skates.
  • Bring hockey sticks or a skating aid for your child if you have one.
  • Always wear a helmet.
  • If you are going just before dusk, like we did, a headlamp might be a good idea. It got a little dark in some spots of the trail.
  • Make an afternoon of it and take advantage of one of the many picnic areas with fire pits along the trail. There was a family enjoying a nice hot dog roast while we were out and it looked lovely!
  • Warm up in the warming hut along the trail. Read about this innovative building here.
  • Bring some hot chocolate in a thermos and enjoy a post skate treat by the fire in the Family Centre when you are finished.
  • Always check the ice conditions via the City of Edmonton Notifications, located here.

Another option for fun skating is the IceWay Skating trail at Victoria Park or take a little road trip and check out the skating at Miquelon Lake Provincial Park.

Skating on Miquelon Lake

Where do you like to skate in the Edmonton area?

Every Day Girl

In Calgary, Explore, Rocky Mountains on
December 10, 2017

5 Reasons for Families to Love Nakiska Ski Area!

Nakiska is a very family friendly place to ski in Alberta

5 Reasons for Families to Love Nakiska Ski Area in Kananaskis

Nakiska is a very family friendly place to ski in Alberta

My name is Tanya and I have accepted the assignment of “Ski Writer Extraordinaire” for the Alberta Mamas this winter! And while I admit that I may have added the “extraordinaire” part myself, my mission is clear: I plan to review and write about ski resorts across Alberta and BC all winter long, and to share all my family’s favourites with you.

I’ve chosen to start with Nakiska Ski Area in Kananaskis because it’s the hill that we’ve chosen as our “home hill” this winter as a Calgary based family. We believe in “skiing close” when we head out for a Saturday ski day, and we want to make sure we spend more time on the hill than we do in the car driving.

Nakiska is a very family friendly place to ski in Alberta

Nakiska is a great hill for families that I recommend for the following five reasons:

  • Nakiska is good for beginner skiers

With a dedicated beginner chair, you can rest assured that your children aren’t going to accidentally drop down a black run when they get ahead of you (and yes, this has happened to me in the past at a bigger ski resort, and it was terrifying.) Stick to the Bronze Chair and ski worry-free on short, groomed beginner runs.

And, when the kids can confidently ski the runs off the Bronze Chair, they’ll enjoy Nakiska’s newest run, Easy Street, a true beginner run, top to bottom off the Silver Chair.

Other perks include free skiing in the beginner area for all skiers (young and old) with a free magic carpet pass.

Nakiska also offers a full assortment of ski and snowboard lessons including family coaching clinics where the whole family can learn to ski together (provided kids are 5 and up, and everybody skis at a similar ability.)

  • Nakiska is Easy to navigate.

Have you ever skied at a big resort and lost somebody? I have, and it was not pretty! Waiting at a chairlift, wondering if you are at the right one, or if you’re even on the correct side of the mountain, is a scary experience when skiing with kids. Fortunately, at Nakiska, there is no “back side,” all runs end at the mid-mountain lodge or at the bottom of the hill by the main lodge, and it’s easy to stick together as a family.

  • There are bathrooms everywhere you’ll need them at Nakiska.

I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been stuck somewhere far from the nearest bathroom at a ski resort, my child panicking, and us having to dash quickly into the trees. At Nakiska though, there is a heated mid-mountain lodge with bathrooms and a cafeteria, and then there’s the main building at the base of the hill (with all services you could ever need.) You’re never more than a short ski down to the nearest bathroom at Nakiska.

  • Nakiska is great for families with young children.

Looking for somewhere to hang out with a tired toddler who’s finished skiing for the day (while the rest of the family still wants to stay at the hill?) I recommend heading to the nearby Delta Kananaskis Lodge. There’s a coffee shop, large fireside room with cozy sofas, walking paths, a playground, and even a skating pond (with rentals on site.) It’s a great place to hang out with younger kids near Nakiska. (Just have your partner text you when the rest of the family is ready for you to come pick them up at the hill.)

  • Spend a weekend and enjoy a variety of fun winter activities.

You’ll find plenty of activities near Nakiska for a well-rounded winter getaway. The resort plans to build a snowshoe trail from the base of the hill to the mid mountain lodge for non-skiers that might be joining you. There are also snowshoe trails nearby at the Village beside the Delta Kananaskis Lodge.

You’ll also find a tubing hill at Nakiska, cross country ski trails in the Village area, along with a skating pond and a sledding hill at the Delta Lodge.

The Delta Kananaskis Lodge offers a wide assortment or rooms and has great dining options for families (including the children’s buffet at Forte Restaurant.) There’s also an indoor swimming pool and a large indoor/outdoor hot tub.

For families on a budget, you can also book a private room at the HI Kananaskis Hostel nearby where you can save money by doing your own cooking in the communal kitchen. The hostel is a wilderness property but has indoor plumbing and heat, so you’ll be comfortable during your stay.

Whether you visit Nakiska for a day trip from Calgary, or you spend the weekend in Kananaskis, it’s a great family-friendly hill and a safe place to get the kids on the slopes this winter.

Enjoy!

Tanya Koob

Tanya is an active Calgary-based mom and an outdoor family travel blogger over at Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies.

Rural Ramblings Encouraged : Alberta Open Farm Days

Have you ever;

Enjoyed a local chef prepared, 5 course outdoor meal, surrounded by the very plants your dinner ingredients were picked from, complete with locally sourced meat & wine, followed by live entertainment?

Or

Seen hands-on demonstrations, pony rides, a petting zoo, a tractor obstacle course and a barrel train ride for kids followed by a community meal?

Or

Been part of guided food tours through a local brewery, crop development center & green house that concludes with a chef prepared dinner within the greenhouse?

This just scratches the surface on the events happening during Alberta Farm Days, August 19 & 20 throughout Northern, Central & Southern Alberta.

This province wide, two day event is all about Alberta. Your family can learn how food gets from the farm to your table, a “backstage pass” to meet your local farmer. This will be the fifth annual Alberta Farm Days, featuring over 100 farms and 16 culinary events to take part in.

Watch this great video highlighting the previous years for even more of a glimpse into the fun.

Many of these events require tickets to be purchased ahead of time. So be sure to visit the website and plan your weekend!

Born and raised on a farm in northern Alberta, I highly recommend checking out some fun on these two special days. You and your kids will make memories you won’t ever forget!

Photos provided by the Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies

Edmonton's Child