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Sometimes it takes something a little extreme (a Chicago winter definitely qualifies for that) to discover the silver lining of it all. So what’s the silver lining of winter? Read on for classic cold-weather favorites plus a whole lot of new inspiration for happiness-after-the-holidays for the whole family.


Sure, the first snow day is fun. And the second one. But then…as days and weeks turn into months, it all starts looking and feeling the same and I find myself asking the same question I ask every year: Why do we live here? And even though I grew up in this beautiful city (it really is beautiful), it wasn’t until my son was born on a snowy January morning that I really learned how to take advantage of all that Chicago has to offer, especially in winter.

I love that about parenting. It really does help you realize (out of absolute necessity at first!) all of the amazing resources you have available.

So, what to do when the cold truth of January finally arrives? First, the classics: Even if you don’t have your own skates, most public rinks rent them in all sizes (though a quick trip to a sporting goods thrift store might be a fun outing) and there are so many rinks to choose from. From your neighborhood rink, to the Maggie Daley ribbons, to the Peninsula Hotel’s sky rink, there’s truly something for every skater. Check out some of the very best rinks Chicago has to offer.

And sledding hills. Even in a city as flat as ours, you don’t have to be left out in the cold. Here’s a great list. It’s possible you’ll run out of winter before you run out of hills to fly down! Pro tip: Snowpants for grown-ups are a real thing. Mine are my most cherished (if not my most fashionable) winter clothing item.

However, if the thermometer has dipped too low and you want to take the action inside, two words: Indoor skydiving. I had always wanted to try this and my son finally convinced me I was brave enough. He needed no convincing about his bravery. He was a natural. It turned out to be one of our favorite winter outings ever! But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s another mom’s opinion. Or, if you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, how about an indoor snowball fight (think balled up white socks.)  Check out this site for more simple but really fun ideas.

And here’s a great way to get ahead of the I’ve-been-cooped-up-in-here-too-long- get-me-out-of-this-house-right-now nuttiness starts to set in, there’s always yoga and meditation. We parents know this is a great thing to keep us calm and content, but it turns out, it has the same benefits for our kids too. And you don’t need any special supplies. If you have a candle great. If you have a gong, great. But you don’t need them. Just criss-cross-applesauce on the floor next to your kids, and let the winter crazies drift away….

And once you’ve gotten in touch with your inner self, how about having fun with your outer self? Declare today “Dress up mommy/daughter day,” and start it off with a visit to your favorite KidSnips salon. The stylists are always ready to help fancy you up with an up do, or a special braiding technique or even a whole new who-cares-about-winter-when-I-look-this-great haircut. They’ve got lots of fancy accessories too, like sparkly headbands and scrunchies for the perfect finishing touch.

And if you’ve tried everything on this list and still can’t imagine what you’re going to do with one more snow day, there is this: snow ice cream! This delicious activity is moving to the top of my winter to-do list today.

So don’t let winter be anything less than wonderful for you and your family this year. Skate, sled, snowball fight, skydive, meditate and make sure you look great doing it. Because nothing beats the winter blahs better than a new haircut or a pop of color and great product to keep our kids hair healthy and happy. (And yes, you CAN beat hat hair!) So before you do anything on your list, book an appointment at KidSnips to make sure everyone’s hair is winter-proof and ready for anything.

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