Places to Go Out And About (Safely) In and Around Toronto This Winter
Your family could really use a fun outing, but you're committed to social distancing. You've already walked your neighborhood, and many on your usual destinations are too crowded for comfort. Luckily, there are new and interesting places to explore while staying a safe distance from others. If you can, switch your schedule and do your outings on weekdays to avoid weekend crowds. KidsOutAndAbout offers a few suggestions you may not have considered, and all of them nearby.
Thinking of taking your kids on a hike nearby? It's great exercise, it lets you connect with nature and each other, and best of all, it's free. Put away the phones (except for cool activities like geocaching, looking up new plants, or making a photo collage or map) and head out to the trail! Click the link below for nearby options, and also check out our article of tips and tricks for making the most of the experience and avoiding whining.
Snowshoeing and Cross Country Skiing
When many people think snow sports, they think downhill skiing. But for those of us who are gravity-challenged or prefer an outdoor snow experience that also allows for great family-togetherness and chatting, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing are terrific ideas. Some parks and nature centers offer beginner day trips and have equipment you can rent, which is ideal. Once you've gotten the hang of it, you can have fun in local parks whenever conditioners are good, making this a thrifty activity. We're fortunate to have some great places nearby so check out the list below, and get going!
Maple sugaring events are a great activity to do while you're socially distancing. Enjoy the great outdoors, meet local farmers and businesses, learn some science, appreciate the often-unappreciated season of late winter, and of course, taste some delicious maple goodness!
Because maple sugaring is weather-dependent, it's a good idea to call ahead and confirm that an event is still taking place before heading out.
Sculpture parks offer the opportunity to take in some sculpture while enjoying outdoor space. You can enhance your experience by bringing along sketchbooks or cameras to see how the sculptures can inspire your own compositions. The sprawling grounds allows kids to be a bit more relaxed than in a typical museum, and best of all, it's easy to keep distant from others.
The Haliburton Sculpture Forest is open and ready to explore - be sure to check their COVID-19 protocols first.
PineRidge Arts Council has created a map of sculptures around the region of Durham
Go On A Hunt
Kids love a good hunt! There is something very motivating and satisfying about seaching for something, whether it's treasure or not. One fun way to lean into that impulse is to go geocaching. Did you know that little treasures are hidden all over the place? If you've never tried geocaching, it's a wonderful opportunity for kids to get some activity outside while using using their deductive skills. There are also tons of companies that offer virtual scavenger hunts, either for items that you can find just about anywhere, or region-specific hunts that provide a tour of a special place. Both activities offer the chance to safely explore while keeping a distance from others.
When Staying At Home Is Your Only Option
We know that things are changing quickly, and whether it's new local regulations or your own family's need to isolate, even the safest "out and about" options may not be appropriate for you at some point this winter. If that's the case, keep in mind that we've got plenty of ideas to keep life interesting while you're at home.