An Active Winter Break

My kids are all out of school for the next two weeks.

(I would say that today is Day 3 of a 17 day break, but who’s counting?!)

While plenty of you are reveling in the opportunity to go skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, tubing, or some other Norman Rockwell wintry activity, those things aren’t available to us here in Austin.

I do have some fun things planned for keeping the kiddos active:

  • Hiking.  Lots of hiking.  We are fortunate here in Austin to have some pretty fantastic urban trails.  My kids love hiking as a way of feeling like you’re a million miles away without having to go to all the effort of packing.  I love hiking because it’s something all three of my kids– ages 2, 7, and 10– can do at the same time.
  • Biking.  The boys are now able to ride for longer distances, and The Stowaway is happy to ride.  I’m thinking of trying to bike to three playgrounds we don’t go to very often over the course of Winter Break.
  • Backyard ball games.  When I feel like any of us (myself included) are getting just a little bit too whiny, I will take it upon myself to break away from what I’m doing and instigate a ball game.  This has an almost 100% success rate in making small people happy again.
  • Christmas Carol Dance Party.  It’s a family tradition.  Mock if you must, but there’s nothing like grooving along to John Denver and the Muppets “A Christmas Together.”
  • After-dinner walks.  We like to walk around the ‘hood and check out the Christmas lights.  It’s a great way to fill that last hour before bed when some people tend to get a bit crabby.
  • While we’re in Dallas to visit family, we’re going to visit the new Children’s Adventure Garden at the Dallas Arboretum.  We’ve watched it being built with great anticipation.
  • While we’re in California visiting friends, I’d like to do a little kayaking, a little tidepooling, and a little biking.  I have some outdoorsy friends, and I need to use their expertise to my advantage.  My kids need some experiences that I wouldn’t be able to give them on my own. (That’s the whole point of travel, right!?)

What are your favorite ways of keeping the screen time zombies at bay during long school breaks?  I’d love to know!

Good health and great happiness to you.

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