Your mini Eskimo doesn’t need to stay in the igloo all winter. Margaret Rietano — mother of four, outdoor enthusiast, and founder of kids’ adventure program The Elements — has these tips for getting the fam outside.
Winter means no ticks, poison ivy, or snakes, so head to the park and move beyond the woodland edge. Call it an “adventure,” instead of a “nature walk.” Take headlamps, cameras, magnifying glasses, and binoculars.
Play It Safe
Tell the kids they need to be able to see you (and you them) but to explore freely. Have toasty socks, shoes, coats, and hats at the ready.
Create obstacle race courses; encourage stump jumps and log crawls; and help construct forts and gnome homes with fallen branches, leaves, acorns, and rocks.
Make It a Party
Take a thermos of hot chocolate or sweet peppermint tea and a warm buttered baguette wrapped in foil. Call friends to head out with you. If all else fails, spend a few minutes (no matter the weather) gathered on the balcony, patio, or front steps.
It’ll be cool.
Sassanova Insane Sale
What: Score big on small boots from L’Amour and See Kai Run.
Why: It’s crazy not to go.
When: Thru Jan. 31.
Where: 1641 Wisconsin Ave. NW, b/t Q St. & Reservoir Rd. (202-471-4400); 7134 Bethesda Ln., Bethesda (301-654-7403).
Wild Side Stage
What: A brand new performance series has musicians, puppeteers, storytellers, and dancers, plus opportunities to meet zookeepers and animals that were in the shows.
Why: You’ll roar with excitement.
When: Sun., 11 a.m. & 1 p.m.
Where: Smithsonian’s National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW (202-633-4800). Tickets available at National Zoo stores or online at ticketmaster.com.
Pajama Story Time
What: Throw on your pj’s and curl up for folk tales, crafts, and snacks.
Why: Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town, upstairs and downstairs in his nightgown.
When: Thurs., 7-8 p.m.
Where: Palisades Library, 4901 V St. NW, off MacArthur Blvd. (202-282-3139).
Photo: aliasgrace / Flickr