The Chicago area will see an end to its mostly snowless winter this week. Snow and ice are forecast to return Tuesday through Wednesday, then another round on New Year’s Eve. If you’re like me, you’ve been anticipating the return of our snowy days wondering HOW ON EARTH we’re going to keep the kids occupied with so many of our favorite indoor activities on hold due to Covid-19. For inspiration, we turned to our friends at the Barrington Park District. Superintendent of Recreation, Jodi Krause shared this list of ideas for safe and active Cold Weather Fun..
1. Explore Our Own Winter Wonderparks
Find a local park or forest preserve and learn how to snow shoe or cross country ski. A great family activity is building a snow fort and then having a nice warm cup of hot chocolate. You can tap into your creative side and “paint” a picture in the snow, liquid water colors work great for this. Get some exercise and go on a winter scavenger hunt. Can you find animal tracks? What animal are they from? How about the first bud of a flower showing us spring is around the corner? You can leave a trail of food such as bird seed for the animals.
The Barrington Park District’s parks will continue to be open for your outdoor enjoyment and playgrounds will remain open, weather permitting. Dress for the cold and take your own winter tours of the community’s beautiful parks:
2. Find Time for Fitness
Get your sledding, skiing and cold weather wear ready but keep your indoor gear within reach, too! You can still find time for fitness at the Barrington Park District headquarters where the Barrington Park District Walking Track and Fitness Center are currently open on a reservations-only basis. Capacity is 10 people on the Walking Track and 21 people in the Fitness Center and masks are required at all times. Walk-ins are not allowed. Reservations will be accepted until 5:00pm the previous day. Reservation slots are for one-and-a-half hours. For the thirty minutes in between time slots, the Fitness Center will be closed for cleaning. Click here to reserve your fitness time today.
3. Virtual Science Classes
Mad about science & S.T.E.M.? The Barrington Park District has some fun virtual science classes planned for the new year. Here are the classes, dates and descriptions:
- Science: Celebrate Self-Esteem & Leadership Lab
Age: 7-13 years | 4:30-5:30 p.m. | Starts Wednesday, 1/27/2021
This self-esteem building lab experience offers incredibly fun activities and games to boost our children’s gifts and talents for 2021. Everyone is good at something. We just have to roll up our sleeves and figure it out! Through wacky dramatizations and experiences, kids will have the chance to cultivate self-worth and will not even realize they are working on it! What to expect? Interactive games like: Splat Ball Scatter, Lollipop Marathon, King’s Throne, Balloon Bust, Whirling Confetti Storm, Compliment Cafe and more! Kids’ emotional “buckets” will get filled and will likely be overflowing with confidence when they depart this class. Research shows that children who had opportunities to build self-esteem as a child, display higher leadership skills later in life. Kids will learn from a Certified Professional Life Coach. In a self-absorbed and competitive world, garnering and keeping self-esteem is sometimes a tall order, but this class will help harness it! Click here to sign up today.
- Science: Wacky Winter Wonderland Adventure
Age: 5-12 years | 6-7 p.m. | Starts Wednesday, 1/27/2021
Let’s play with winter! No snow on the ground? No problem! We will make our own fluffy faux snow. Color it, scent it, and more! If there is snow present, we will do experiments to mix it and make great discoveries! Also, explore eye-popping pine-cone science and the mystery of how icicles grow so long. Then, while playing the song “HOT CHOCOLATE,” we will learn the history and science of the sticky- mushy marshmallow that floats in your hot chocolate cup! Lastly, we will have a marvelous social adventure as we enjoy a cup of hot cocoa and some winter themed donuts. Winter truly is an avalanche of wild and wacky fun! Drop off class. Kids keep the faux snow they make. Click here to sign up today.
4. Decorate Your Front Door
Now that the Christmas lights are coming down, why not decorate your front door for 2021!?! This can be a new year’s theme, something funny or some way that represents your family. Work with your neighbors on this and then go for a walk to see what others have done.
5. Build a Campsite in Your Living Room
On our snowy and bitterly cold days of winter, tap in to your summer spirit and build a “campsite” in your living room. Make S’mores in the fireplace, sing campfire songs and break out the sleeping bags and tell ghost stories with flashlights.
6. Bake or Cook Up a Storm
It’s always wonderful to bake cookies, banana bread or apple crisp. This year will be a great time to break out the cookbooks and try a new recipe, something you’ve always wanted to try but never made the time.
7. Write It Out
Can you write your own bedtime story? Don’t be shy, read it to your family for fun. If story writing isn’t for you, start a journal or write a letter to someone who lives alone or who can’t be with their family this season.
The Barrington Park District invites us to join them in exploring new ideas, making new memories and having fun this winter! Learn about their current and upcoming programs at BarringtonParkDistrict.org.
The Barrington Park District seeks to enhance the quality of life and the environment; to acquire, conserve, and protect natural resources; and to provide health and recreational opportunities for people of all ages and abilities in our community. Learn more at BarringtonParkDistrict.org.