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Winter has arrived – so get outdoors!

With winter’s cold grasp now upon us, it’s easy to only think of warm, indoor activities to occupy the family. Armed with a snowsuit, boots, toque and mitts, there are plenty of activities to help keep you outdoors, enjoying the beauty of the below-zero months.

Here’s a list of fun winter activities that all family members can participate in.

“S” is for skating, skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing

These four activities are a great way to exercise while having fun in the cold. And, the gear for each activity is easily accessible if you don’t already own a pair of skates, skis or snowshoes. For example, bike shops often rent skis, snowshoes and snowboards through the winter months, and public rinks often rent skates for the whole family.

Fish on the water – without a boat

Ice fishing is a popular winter activity. Across Canada, many ice fishing derbies are held every year and often contain a family-focused element – a great way to introduce children to the activity. Speak with your provincial conservation department to find out about ice fishing events in your area.

Celebrate winter!

From the east coast’s Fredericton Frostival and Carnaval de Québec , to Manitoba’s Festival du Voyageur and Edmonton’s Ice on Whyte – and everything in between – there are plenty of festivals that celebrate the winter season.

Snow provides the perfect backdrop

Is there a photographer in your family? Daytime photos in the snow can provide some great shots. Keep your eyes open for northern lights as well – these natural displays are best seen between January and March.

Walk, hike or bike!

Yes, you can do all three of these activities in the winter! Many urban parks have trails to walk or hike during the winter months, and in some cases, even bike. “Fatbikes”, as they’re known, are bicycles with large oversized tires that grip the snow. They come in a variety of sizes for the family, and can often be rented from a local bike shop.

Whether it’s skating on a local pond, sampling maple syrup at a festival or snapping a photo of Aurora Borealis, being active outdoors through the winter months is a great way to create lasting memories for the family. And that’s something worth investing in.