Klean Voices: 3 Ideas for Family-Friendly Winter Escapes

Winter doesn’t mean you have to be stuck inside all day. While braving the rain, snow and cold with kids requires additional layers and a little more planning, this season has lots of wonderful treasures for those who venture out!

Here are three ideas for avoiding cabin fever and enjoying all that winter has to offer.

  • Explore a blue trail

Rivers and streams offer great opportunities to connect with the outdoors. Blue trails are rivers with enhanced access and recreation amenities. Stroll the boardwalk along South Carolina’s Congaree River Blue Trail, or watch birds along Arizona’s Verde. Even if it’s too cold for fishing and boating, blue trails are a great place to hike, play and explore. Find a blue trail near you. 

  • Visit a wildlife refuge 

If you’re looking wildlife, head to a National Wildlife Refuge (look for the map on the homepage and type in your zip code). You’ll find lots of hiking and wildlife-watching opportunities for all ages and abilities. Winter is a great time to see birds. On a recent visit with my kids to the Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge near Portland, we encountered lots of waterfowl and bald eagles. We also enjoyed a good deal of puddle stomping (always good to bring a change of clothes)!

  • Go on a scavenger hunt

Sometimes with kids, it’s best to keep it simple and close to home. You can get inspiration from these scavenger hunt printables and lists (here and here). Take them with you on a walk to your local park and discover winter treasures in your own back yard!

Klean Voice Contributor Amy Kober is the Senior Director of Communications at American Rivers, as well as the mother of two little boys. She lives in Portland, Oregon.