Get Outside with Your Family this Holiday Season!
Happy Holidays to you and yours! Eagle Point-Blue Rapids Parks Council wishes you all the best this Christmas season! May your holidays be filled with outdoor fun!
In the spirit of outdoor fun, we’ve assembled a few ideas to inspire you and your kids to do some outdoor activities together. In this era of electronic temptations, getting the kids outdoors is a team effort! Hope you have fun trying these!
Fun Outdoor Activity #1 – BUILD A SNOW FORT OR “QUINZEE”
The word “quinzee” is of Athapaskan origin and refers to shelters made for winter camping, survival or outdoor fun constructed from soft snow as opposed to igloos, which are make from blocks of hard snow.
Equipment Required: Two or three snow shovels, one small shovel, snow, hot chocolate and cookies.
Step 1 – Mark out a level circle about 10 feet across and start shoveling snow into this circle from the outside until you have a mound about 6 feet high. As you shovel, make sure you mix the snow and try to form a dome shape.
Step 2 – Leave this mound for one to two hours in order for the snow to harden (also called sintering). Drink hot chocolate and eat cookies to warm up!
Step 3 – Cut about 20 sticks around 2 feet long and shove them into the mound from the outside so that half of each stick is pushed into the snow mound.
Step 4 – Hollow out the mound via a “doorway” on the downhill side. Small, sharp shovels work best. In order not to shovel through your ceiling, shovel until you hit the bottom of the sticks. If the roof appears translucent, you’ve shoveled enough.
Step 5 – Once your interior has been excavated, put down your ground sheet, sleeping pad and sleeping bags and you’re ready for an overnight experience. ( I’ve slept in quinzees with a hay floor – very comfortable)! In the wilderness, you can build a porch and block the entrance with your back pack, or use a tarp to make a door.
Fun Outdoor Activity #2 – TRY A NEW WINTER SPORT!
Eagle Point Provincial Park and Blue Rapids Provincial Recreation Areas offer many trails through beautiful woodlands, many with views of the river valley. You can walk, bike and use snowshoes in many areas throughout both park systems, you can snowmobile in Blue Rapids (on designated trails), and you can try cross-country skiing on Pembina Nordic Club’s amazing trail system! If you want to try cross country skiing, Pembina Nordic can help you with ski equipment and basic lessons! Call Rita at 780-514-6704 for more information. You can purchase a membership via www.zone4.ca too! The Pembina Nordic Club plans many fun events for members!
Fun Outdoor Activity #3 – NATURE INSPIRED ICE DECORATONS
Sometimes, it’s just too cold to spend all day outdoors. Get the kids out long enough to collect some pretty items from Mother Nature (small cones, dried berries, interesting bits of bark, feathers, grass, leaves, spruce or pine needles). Then head indoors to complete this craft. You can also use edible berries and seeds!
Supplies: yarn, water, small to medium containers to use as molds, items from Mother Nature, (glitter and/or LED lights (optional but not edible by birds)).
STEP 1 – Tie yarn into a loop and lay it in your mold with enough yarn hanging over side for tying onto tree or anywhere else you may want to hang ornament.
STEP 2 – Fill pan with water and any natural decorations you wish. Using boiling water tends to make clearer ice.
STEP 3 – Put your molds flat in freezer or outside if cold enough until thoroughly frozen STEP 4 – Dip the bottom of the frozen mold warm water for a few seconds to loosen, remove the ice and hang wherever you desire.
Find more ice craft ideas at https://www.digsdigs.com/24-creative-ice-christmas-decorations-for-outdoors/