Outdoor Winter Activities & Fun
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - 1:58pm
It’s a cold winter here on the Canadian Prairies. In Regina, we have had more snowfall this past November than we did all winter last year. Most of us want to hunker down and stay indoors, but if you bundle up enough, this is the perfect time to get outside with the kids and experience all the great winter activities available only at this time of the season. Not sure what to do? Here are some of the best outdoor winter fun activities the whole family can experience together.
There is nothing like ice skating outside during the winter time. It’s inexpensive fun the whole family can enjoy together. The city of Regina has some great outdoor rinks located in every neighbourhood. To find a rink in your neighbourhood, visit the City of Regina’s website: www.regina.ca/residents/recreation/recreation-facilities/outdoor-rinks. The Wascana Centre public skating area is located in Wascana Park (www.wascana.sk.ca) at the marina. It is open every day from 9:00AM – 10:00 PM. It is a free, unsupervised facility open to the public. There is a heated indoor skate change area available and free parking can be found at the Marina parking lot and lower lot. Another great new addition for outside ice skating is the Victoria Park Rink, located in the heart of downtown Regina. Skates are available for free use, there is a warming hut open for use too. If the temperatures are -25 or below, the hut will be closed.
Please remember to be safe this winter by skating on areas of water that are designated safe areas. Avoid parts of the creek, lakes and ponds as the ice may not completely freeze.
This is a simple and fun way for kids to get out and experience winter and you can do it pretty much anywhere. Snow shoes help provide an even surface that allow you to walk on top of the snow. Some great places to try snowshoeing could be as simple as your backyard, but if you want to really get out then look no further than the McKell Reserve, located in Wascana View, where you can explore the wildlife in the winter time. Or head over to Candy Cane Park in Wascana Park with its open space for snowshoeing all day. Right now, Candy Cane Park is covered with snow, but the kids will love to explore it on snowshoes. If you want to try it out before you commit to buying a pair, FRESH AIR EXPERIENCE (FAE) on Albert Street has rentals available for kids at $15/day and $5 for each additional day. The age to try out snowshoeing is pretty much dependant on how active your child is and how well they can walk.
If you do decide to purchase a cross country ski or snowshoe set with FAE, then the cost of the rental will go towards your purchase. Catherine from FAE recommends calling early during the week to reserve your rental as they book up pretty fast for equipment rentals closer to the weekend.
This is a blast of winter fun for any age to enjoy! You don’t need any formal lessons to learn how to do this pastime either. Sledding is not only fun but great exercise for both kids and parents as you run up and down the hills while pulling the sleds and sometimes carrying little the ones up too. There are some great spots to sled in the city. The biggest is Mount Pleasant hill. Also, check out the Chapters Hill at Southland Mall. Once you are done sledding for the day, head inside to Starbucks and warm up with a cup of hot chocolate.
Have you ever wanted to try snow tubing? Snow Tubing Season is now open at RAVINE ADVENTURES. Located 1 hour east of Regina in the town of Abernathy, they offer lots of unique outdoor activities for kids and families. They also host birthday parties and groups. For snow tubing, the hill has a good amount of snow cover now and kids 4 years of age and under tube for free. They also provide hot chocolate for sale with free refills.
DOWN HILL SKIING & SNOWBOARDING
Whether its skiing or snowboarding, racing down a hill of fresh, snowy powder with the wind rushing in your face is exhilarating! It may be flat here on the Prairies, but there are some great places to try both these fun activities.
Just 45 minutes northeast of Regina, located in the scenic and beautiful Fort Qu’Appelle is Mission Ridge Winter Park. It offers the best skiing and snowboarding experience here in Southern Sask. There are 10 dynamic ski runs, a terrain park and 2 Bunny Hills for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. Mission Ridge has a Triple Chair Lift, a Magic Carpet lift and 2 Handle Tow lifts that get you to the top quickly for more fun. Check out the virtual chair lift ride here (www.missionridge.ca/chairlift.html).
They also have equipment rentals available, group rates, school rates and a beginner rate package. Private instruction and programs are also available for kids and adults who want to learn either of these sports.
For more information on how you and your family can learn about Skiing & Snowboarding here in Regina, visit the Regina Alpine and Nancy Green Ski and Snowboard Club (www.reginaalpine.ca), which are both affiliated with the Regina Ski Club.
Cross country skiing, also known as Nordic skiing, is a great alternative for kids and adults who don't enjoy the speed of downhill skiing or may be intimidated by trying it. It's a great recreational sport that will give you an all around workout and get everyone outdoors. For younger kids, it may be more of a challenge, but something that they can learn to enjoy. For anyone who wants to learn, the Regina Ski Club (www.reginaskiclub.com) have programs, private lessons and classes available and also where to go for the best trails in and around Regina. See Fresh Air Experience above for information on rentals.
Whatever your favourite activity is this winter, get out and enjoy – stay active and healthy!
Do you know a hidden gem of a sledding hill where kids and parents can let loose and sled? We'd love to share it with our readers. Email us firstname.lastname@example.org.
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