With restrictions on social gatherings and many places closed, entertaining the kids during Christmas break is even harder than usual. Here are some activities to keep kids moving and outside and some tips to keep the usual winter activities fun.
1)Ice skating Ice skating is always a popular winter activity and luckily in Calgary there are lots of outdoor ice rinks. Keep things interesting by trying out some new rinks. This is also a great strategy if the rink you go to is full. While team sports aren’t permitted, you can still have a mini game of hockey or ringette with the family. If there is lots of space you can also make an obstacle course. A list of some of the skating rinks is here, though there are still many that are not on the list.
2)Sledding Similar to the skating rinks, keep things fun and safe by exploring some new sledding hills. Bring a shovel to make a few jumps if you have more daring kids. Older kids can also experiment with things like cardboard, baking trays and plastic lids for some homemade sleds to change it up. While there are official hills for sledding, you are generally welcome to use any hill.
3)Biking If you haven’t done any winter biking before, now is a perfect time to try it. Most city pathways are generally navigable with a mountain bike once they’ve been cleared. It’s a great time to see the city covered in snow or see the rivers frozen up. For those that want to really embrace the snow, fatbikes can be rented at BowCycle though kids ones are not available. New this year is ice biking at Bowness Park. Kids and adult ice bikes are available to rent.
4)Night Walks Calgarians have taken decorating to a new level this year with Covid. Go for a walk and check out some light displays. Check out some of the best light displays here and here or just park in any neighborhood and go explore.
5) Snow Ice Cream Grab some fresh snow and mix it with some vanilla, sugar and milk for snow ice cream. For some extra fun add in some sprinkles or food coloring. While it may not be as good as Made by Marcus or Village Ice cream, it’s an easy dessert you can make with ingredients that you probably have in your house. Recipe 1 Recipe 2
6) Snow Sculptures If making a snowman has gotten old, take out your sand castle kits or bring out some kitchen supplies for some different shapes. They also sell some specific snow molds if you prefer to use them. Older kids they can try to compress snow into a large bucket or garbage can and then shave it into a shape.
7) Snow Painting Paint your snow sculpture or just use any white snow as a canvas. You can buy snow paint, or just make some yourself with food coloring and water. Corn starch can also be added if you want something thicker. Brushes, spray bottles and drip containers shampoo bottles all work great for coloring the snow. Once kids have used up all their artistic creativity, they can also play tic tac toe or pack down a track and make a board game.
8) Senior’s Centre Drop Offs Write some cards or make some arts and crafts and drop them off to your local senior’s centre. You can check out a map of them here. There is likely at least one within walking distance.
9) Frisbee Golf While the snow can make it slightly harder to find your disc, disc golf is still easily playable in winter. Head out to one of the City’s disc golf courses or make your own course in your yard or local park. All you need is a disc.
10) Snowball Fun So much fun can be had with just snowballs. There’s the classic snowball fight, some snow baseball and some snow target practice.
11) Mural Walks Since museums and art galleries aren’t open, get your art fix by looking at Calgary’s mural collection. Check out all the murals in the Beltline here, check out Sunnyside’s Garage murals here and some of the murals around the city here.
12)Outdoor Decorating If your kids want to do some more decorating, find a tree outside and put some ornaments on. It’s a great way to brighten up a neighborhood/area. Just remember to take the ornaments down after Christmas.