I'm a beach-lover at heart, but this time of year I'm in the mood for some trips and adventures involving snow and chilly weather, and so are my kids. Here are 7 activities I'd love to try and places I'd love to go to with my children:
- Visiting Santa - Santa seems to have lots of homes (and even theme parks) all over the world, but I think one I'd really like to take the kids to is located in Finnish Lapland.
- Dogsledding - Mush! I'd love to try this out with the kids. And since I would also love to travel to the Yukon with them, why not go dog sledding there? Maybe then we could experience the famous Yukon Quest sled dog race.
- Building an igloo - My daughter who is 4, recently asked me if people can live in the snow, so we had a conversation about igloos. In Whistler, north of Vancouver, BC, Canada (not far from where I live!), there's a course in snow camping and igloo building. I'd love to try that with the kids!
- Going for a sleigh ride - My grandfather kept horses when I was little, and I do have wonderful winter memories of riding in a sleigh with the torches lit and jingling bells around the horse's neck. I'd love to try this out with my kids. Maybe we'll try it on Grouse Mountain just north of downtown Vancouver. Or I might try to get us in on a ride when we're in Skellefteå, Sweden visiting my parents. Apparently the local operators Stall Loke, and Skellefteå Vagn och Körförening organize sleigh rides in the winter.
- Riding an ice breaker - In Finland, you can go on a mini-cruise on an icebreaker! First you ride a snowmobile to the ship, and then you ride the icebreaker around the Gulf of Bothnia. Now that sounds like a pretty awesome winter adventure!
- Seeing the snow monkeys in Japan - I've seen the Japanese snow monkeys in a few different nature shows over the years, and I find it fascinating that animals can make such clever use of natural hot springs. I'd love to take my kids to see them, up close and personal! The hot springs and the monkeys are located in the Yamanouchi municipality.
- Going on an Arctic safari - In one Canada-based version of an Arctic safari, you get to see walruses, caribou, muskoxen, polar bears and whales. I'd love to do this one, and the African version with the kids!
Photo thanks to my dad. It's taken in Burvik, Sweden, December 2011.