It wouldn’t be winter in Canada without snow, ice and chilly temperatures — and that’s why Canadian Tire and Yahoo are here to help you make the most of the season. With everything from fun outdoor activities to how to turn your backyard into a skating rink, we’ve got the rundown on how to make this winter the best one ever.
The best way to accept that warm weather is still months away is to embrace all the fun that winter has to offer.
Besides, what would Canada be without glorious winter scenes and a plethora of fun cold-weather activities to enjoy? Sure, the beach is great, but there’s something undeniably Canadian about tearing down a snowy hill on a toboggan or playing a spirited game of hockey.
Rather than stay indoors when the weather calls for chilly days or heavy snow, think of all the fun, family-friendly activities you can do in this country we call home. Bundle up give old man winter a shot with these outdoor activities.
Go down hill
Next time you send the kids out to toboggan, why not make it a family affair? Sliding down a hill will get your adrenaline pumping and show you what winter in Canada is really about.
You may prefer a classic wooden toboggan for nostalgia reasons but kids today may opt for something a little more streamlined. Modern-day snow racers are designed for maximum speed and style. Curved skis and a pro-style steering wheel allows for increased speed and steering control.
Whatever you’re looking for, Canadian Tire has you covered with top-rated, quality snow racers, sleds and toboggans.
Hit the ice
Icy conditions are usually seen as a negative unless it pertains to Canada’s favourite pastime, hockey. In that case, the more ice the better. One of the brilliant things about hockey is you can enjoy this winter activity alone, with a partner or in a group.
To get started, all you need is need a good pair of skates and a hockey stick. And luckily, these items don’t need to be expensive either. A solid pair of skates for beginners can cost well under $100. The CCM JS 345 Hockey Skates, Junior are designed for comfort, speed and durability. Hockey sticks can also be exceptionally budget-friendly. The Sher-Wood PlayRite 0 Composite Hockey Stick, 20 Flex, Youth is a great piece of equipment for those learning to hone their stick handling skills.
Hit the slopes
What would winter be without skiing? If you don’t. already have your own ski equipment, you don’t have to commit to buying to enjoy the sport, since any reputable ski resort or facility will have rentals. What you do need is protective equipment and warm winter gear to keep you safe and comfortable.
New ski bunnies should invest in a helmet and goggles like the Decibel Youth Helmet with Snow Goggles. Busy parents will appreciate ticking two things off the list with one purchase. Warm winter outerwear like Outbound Asher Junior Insulated Snow Pants and waterproof Kombi Gloves are also essentials for an enjoyable ski season.
If downhill skiing isn’t for you, there are also hundreds of great cross country ski trails to enjoy across Canada.
For an out-of-the-box winter activity you can enjoy with the whole family, try snowshoeing. It’s a great way to get in some physical activity while also allowing you to take in the beauty of your surroundings. Outbound Kids' Snowshoe, 16-in are the perfect starter snowshoe for adventurous kids.
It may not be the most well known of winter activities but it’s something you can do relatively close to home. There are lots of places across the country to ice fish — and there are plenty of guided excursions if you’re a beginner.
Of course, like with any activity involving ice, it’s imperative to exercise safety and caution. Stick to accredited ice fishing areas and obey the rules and regulations of the body of water you’re fishing on. You still need a fishing license for ice fishing, so ensure you have yours on you at all times — you can find details on how to get one if don’t yet have it here.
Make sure you keep safety top of mind throughout your excursion. Ice does not freeze at a uniform thickness, and ice near the shore is thicker than ice further out. If you’re moving further towards the middle of a body of water, use an auger to measure thickness to ensure safety.
You should also always bring a charged cell phone with you and let someone know where and when you’ll be fishing.
Unlike freshwater fishing in warm conditions, ice fishing requires its own set of tools and rods. Ice fishing rods are designed to withstand colder temperatures while maintaining its flexibility. Fish are also less active in cold temperatures, so ice fishing rods need to be more sensitive to a gentle bite. The Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Rod Combo is great for catching small fish like perch and is one of the sturdiest rods on the market.