Ready for Some Good, Old-Fashioned Fun?
Winter is a great time to get outside with the kids. Many families have found the perfect get-away spot near Grand Rapids, Minnesota. While all four seasons are enjoyable (due in part to Grand Rapids’ family-friendly lodging, restaurants and shopping!), for a lot of Minnesota families, it’s all about spending time out of doors in the fresh fallen snow.
“Hey mom, can we build that snow fort now?” Moms and Dads enjoy their morning cup of coffee and a bit of relaxation. The time that the kids actually spend at home, however, is becoming increasingly rare with sports, school activities, and spending time with their friends. So anytime they ask to spend time with their parents – take advantage of it!
Although there are many programs and events to attend as a family in the Grand Rapids area, there’s nothing wrong with simply having some good, old-fashioned, free family fun!
Quinzhee – A Snow Fort Extravaganza
For example, after attending a family program at the Forest History Center about winter survival, many of the area youth have been excited to try building their own quinzhee hut.
Quinzhees and snow forts are fun outdoor activities for kids because all ages can participate. First, everyone gets a shovel then works together to create a huge snow pile (12 feet wide, 6 feet tall). Even little ones like to help for a while…before making a personal snow pile to jump in. When the quinzhee is piled high, the snow needs a few hours to settle before digging out the interior. Since a fort improperly constructed can be dangerous (cave-ins are a serious probability), a safe way to excavate is by eliminating the roof completely, and simply building roofs and arches.
Most children will remain focused on the snow-fort building process. For those little ones, however, there’s another activity that can be accomplished in the backyard while th e”big kids” worked.
Instead of a traditional snowman, snow is sculpted into a sea creature shape (or a horse, deer, pig, etc.). Use a spray bottle with water and food coloring to make purple dolphins dancing in the snowy waves. Younger kids have a blast climbing on them.
Rosy cheeks and wet mittens tell the story of a great day playing outside. Tomorrow may be another day of hitting the slopes at Mt. Itasca for tubing and a snowboard lesson. In Minnesota, there is so much more fun to be had in the snow!