Friday Five: Favorite Winter Activities
Even though winter has been slow to start this year in New Hampshire we all know that it is inevitable that winter will soon be here. Rather than hiding or hibernating indoors when the cold weather and snow arrives I have learned to embrace all that winter has to offer. There are so many amazing ways to get outside and stay active during the winter months. We also love sharing the outdoors in the winter with our kids and showing them how to enjoy everything that winter in New Hampshire has to offer.
1. Ice Skating
I grew up figure skating so have loved being able to share this sport with our kids. We are very fortunate that my kids school takes the whole school ice skating on Fridays for 6 weeks where they have a blast whizzing around the ice with their friends. We are also lucky to have an outdoor ice rink right in our town where we can go and skate whenever we want. Ice skating is a fun way to be active as a family. Ice skating is still one of my favorite winter activities because it was such a big part of my childhood.
2. Cross Country Skiing
I discovered cross country skiing when we first moved to New Hampshire. Cross country skiing has two styles, Skate Skiing (faster and more cardiovascular, mimics an ice skating motion) and Classic Skiing. Skate skiing is a fantastic cross training workout. I could skate ski for hours. It is so freeing and enables me to find the endorphin rush. We have started our kids out on classic cross country skis as it is easier to learn. They love heading out on the trails and learning how to glide on the snow.
Snowshoeing is a great alternative to cross-country skiing if you can’t find any groomed trails to ski on. Snowshoeing is easy once you get the hand of wearing something strapped to your foot. They make snowshoes in all sizes and even make kid ones and if you are up for the challenge running snowshoes (we are like to have some great snowshoe racing series here in New Hampshire and Vermont). There is nothing more fun then heading out in fluffy snow during a snowstorm and having hot cocoa to warm up when you are done!
4. Downhill Skiing
I was fortunate to be able to learn how to downhill ski when I was little. Even though we lived in Pennsylvania my Dad owned a ski shop when I was a little kid and most of the vacations that we took were to Vermont to go skiing. I am thankful to have learned as a kid now that I live in New England. My kids are lucky too because once the skating program is done we switch to weekly downhill skiing. It has been fun to watch the kids develop as skiers and gain confidence each time that we head to the mountain. We finally graduated from the bunny slope last year. We have many ski areas (Bretton Woods, Cannon Mountain, Loon Mountain, Burke Mountain, and Jay Peak) close to us which gives the kids an opportunity to learn how to ski on all kinds of terrain!
5. Indoor Climbing
Sometimes the winter weather can be more than chilly here in Ne Hampshire which can make outdoor activities uncomfortable due to the extreme cold. When this happens we still like to stay active and were fortunate to discover the joys of indoor rock climbing last year. We finally had an indoor rock gym (North Country Climbing Center) open in our area. We have all loved learning how to climb and I have even discovered that I am not as afraid of heights as I thought I was. The North Country Climbing Center has open climb times, ladies climbing nights and lessons. Once you learn to belay another individual you can get a membership to climb without having to rely on one of the indoor guides. The kids love climbing on the bouldering wall and have gotten braver about going higher on the wall each time that we have gone!
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