As the temperatures drop so does family time spent outdoors, but the wealth of fun amenities and beautiful parks in Dayton give residents a reason to bundle up and get outside.
Outdoor time is just as crucial for kids in the summer as it is in the winter. Keeping our bodies moving, getting a much-needed dose of vitamin D and escaping indoor germs are all benefits of being outside. As long as your family is prepared for the elements, there’s no reason to skip out on the frosty fun. Be prepared for an outdoor winter adventure by:
Bundling up: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants and children should wear several thin layers, such as long johns, shirts, sweaters, warm socks, boots, gloves and coat. They suggest that parents dress children in one more layer than they would typically wear.
Checking the forecast: Before you venture outside be sure to check for impending inclement weather. While it is safe to go outside and play when there is snow on the ground, ice and freezing rain can make for slippery conditions. Be sure you have the right foot gear before venturing out into the snow.
Now let’s have some fun!
Hit the ice: During the winter months, Five Rivers MetroParks transforms the RiverScape Pavilion into an outdoor ice rink, complete with skate rentals, holiday decorations and plenty of hot chocolate. The MetroParks Ice Rink is one of the region’s largest outdoor skating rinks, hosting special events all season and offering lessons for those who want to learn to skate. From a Frozen-themed skate to seasonal skates with holiday music, there are special skating occasions throughout the winter. Lessons include a three-week course designed to get children comfortable on the ice and two free skating passes. Visit metroparks.org/icerink to learn more about the rink’s hours, admission and special skating opportunities.
Head for the hills: A staple of childhood is celebrating a snow day by hopping on a sled and zooming down a hill. Be sure to celebrate the first big snow at Englewood, Germantown or Taylorsville MetroPark.
Take a hike: Winter provides a peek into nature that other seasons don’t provide. Bare trees and bright snow make it easy to spot local wildlife, including a variety of birds and mammals. The parks also feature many points of interest along the trails that are especially beautiful in the winter, including:
- Martindale, Patty and Oaks Falls: Take the green trail in Englewood MetroPark to discover three cascading waterfalls that freeze over when it gets exceptionally cold during the winter months.
- Three sisters and Osage Orange Tunnel: Take the orange trail in Sugarcreek MetroPark after a fresh snow to view the “Three Sisters,” impressive 550-year-old ancient white oak trees. Stay on the trail to walk through the Osage orange tree tunnel, created by large arching branches of old Osage orange trees.
- Old forest: Germantown MetroPark is home to the largest tract of old woods in Montgomery County. This mature, old-growth woodland can experienced along the yellow, orange and blue trails.
Go back in time: Experience what winter would have been like on a farm in the 1880s at Carriage Hill MetroPark. Presenters provide period demonstrations and special programs, in addition to holiday-themed events. Visitors can also visit the family farm house and barn animals before hitting the trails along the lake. Visit metropark.org/carriagehill for more information and a list of upcoming programs.
To learn more about opportunities to explore Five Rivers MetroParks in the winter visit metroparks.org/winter.