We’ve all been there. The holidays can be a whirlwind of fun and delight, January is full of newness and resolutions, and then the reality of the New England winter sets in.
I have to say, I’ve come to embrace winter over the years, and this year I wanted to think more about how. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
Embrace indoor playgrounds
(And then douse yourself and your children in hand sanitizer. Those germs are no joke.) Boston has SO many options to play indoors. One of our favorite spots around is at the Natick Mall. Their indoor playground is great for open-ended play, dancing, climbing, running, and there are even some games. You can sit at the counter and sip a delicious bevvy while you watch your kids burn off some cabin fever. Go grab a pretzel at Annie’s or a meal at the burger bar at Wegman’s afterward to make it a full outing.
Especially at any sign of sunshine. Bundle up and bring the kids. Or if you’re at work, pop out alone and face that sunshine. You need ten minutes of vitamin D a day for it to have the needed benefits of boost in your mood and your health. Bonus points if you do something active!
Join a gym
I’m partial to the YMCA for its family-friendly nature, its affordability, and its sense of community — I see a ton of friends there, and we love the staff as well. Our Y has childcare included in the membership for something like two or three ENTIRE HOURS. And after I work out, the kids can play on the indoor playground at the Y as well. Win-win. Seriously, this saves me with two young kiddos. This winter, on Mondays I have my personal training class; on Fridays, I swim. On Wednesdays, the kids have swim lessons. And on Sundays, we do family swim! Endorphins and easier bedtimes for the win!
Plan a trip
I don’t care if it’s to see friends a few towns over for a weekend when it gets nicer. Or now. Having something to look forward to, especially if it involves family and friends, is everything. We’re going to a bonfire in the town I grew up in this coming weekend with some of the kids’ cousins, and we’ll have a sleepover. It’ll be grand. I’m also planning some girls’ weekends sprinkled throughout the spring, and a family getaway to NYC in May. So much fun ahead!
Plan things with your favorite people
Plan things with the couples you love. With the kids’ friends. With your family friends. With your family. Making memories with friends is something your kids will cherish forever, and so will you and your partner. It can be as simple as inviting some friends over for takeout and putting on a movie. Or starting a monthly taco night tradition. Whatever you do, do it with love and an open heart, and it’s sure to give your New England winter blues the boot!
Find a way to embrace winter sports
Both with and without the kids. This past Christmas we bought my son a new pair of snowshoes so we could pass his old ones down to my daughter. I’ll never forget the first year we introduced him to snowshoes. He was only 4, and he could’ve bopped around on those things with me for hours. This year we took the kids skating, and it was the same thing — pure joy. He didn’t even want to stop for burgers and milkshakes. They both have lessons on Saturday mornings now. It’s a great way to get their bodies moving and build confidence learning something new.
I’d love to hear more ideas on how you thrive in winter in New England. We’ve got this!