It can be challenging to figure out how to get outside with kids during the winter. Sometimes the ground is covered in a blanket of snow as deep as some toddlers are tall!
Luckily there are plenty of organizations who offer low-cost or free, family friendly outings to help you make the most of this season. Find a few opportunities below.
Guided Family Snowshoe Hikes
Snowshoeing is easy for kids and beginners to pick up, and it’s cheaper than skiing. Snowshoes provide more maneuverability than skis or snowboards, so you can practice it pretty much anywhere snow covers the ground.
There are a few guided snowshoe hikes coming up. Each one covers the basics of snowshoeing and many will also include interesting winter ecology tidbits.
Chelan-Douglas Land Trust and City of Wenatchee Parks & Recreation Department will offer guided snowshoe hikes for the whole family on Jan. 26 and Feb. 2 from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. at Squilchuck State Park. There is a small fee. Snowshoes are provided. Contact Sascha Smith at the Parks & Rec Department to register (888-3283 or ssmith@wenatcheeWA.gov).
The Wenatchee River Institute is also holding snowshoe tours every Thursday until Feb. 14 from 10 a.m. to noon. You can join area naturalist guides and stroll along the Wenatchee River near downtown Leavenworth. There is no fee, and snowshoes are provided. Reservations aren’t required unless you’re a group of 8-plus, but you can let them know you’re coming by calling 548-0181, Ext. 5.
The Leavenworth Hatchery also offers free guided winter snowshoe tours every Friday at 1 p.m. and Saturday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. until Jan. 26. Take a stroll along their snowshoe trails along the Icicle River and look for wildlife. Snowshoes provided. Call to reserve your spot: 548-7641.
Lake Wenatchee State Park will also offer snowshoe tours at 1 p.m. on various weekend and holiday days throughout January and February. Snowshoes are required, though there are a few pairs available to rent. Find more information at lakewenatcheeinfo.com/events.
Other ways to get outside
On Jan. 20, Plain Valley Ski Trails are holding a Full Moon Ski & Snowshoe Party. Bring a headlamp, your skate/classic skis or snowshoes & play on the trails for free. This event is free and starts at 7 pm. You do need your own snowshoes or skis. Call (509) 763-3836 for more information.
If you’d like to introduce your kids to cross-country skiing, they can ski free on Plain Valley Ski Trails all winter. They just need to be 17 and under and have their own skis. They can also rent skis (or snowshoes) at Plain Hardware.
Hillary Clark is membership and education coordinator for the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust. For more ways to get outside with your children, visit cdlandtrust.org/whats-new/events.