Homegrown with Hope: Ways to Get Kids Active Through Winter

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Let's make a New Year's resolution early this year. Let's stop making excuses that it's too cold, too icy or too snowy to get out and play this winter.

I'm a common offender of spending too much time inside, so I want to challenge my family and yours to find a new way to embrace the colder months. In this week's Homegrown with Hope, we look at a few ways to beat cabin fever this winter.

"Everybody should be active," said Kevin Klipfel, Facilities and Programs Director at Bismarck Parks and Recreation. "We have all kinds of activities."

The office at Bismarck Parks and Rec is proving your family can be active all year round because they are, too.

"We don't have real downtime. We just reload." he said.

If you're nostalgic for summer, drop by the BSC Aquatic Center. The Wibit Water Toys inflatable play structure is open on weekends until you can take the water play time outdoors again. Also at the aquatic center, families can enjoy open swimming or start children as young as 6 months with swimming lessons.

Right next door, the Turtle Beach Playground inside the aquatic center is one place where Weekday Morning Playdates are held. This is a time for families home with children during the week to take the mess and chaos of playdates out of the house. It’s also a great chance for parents to meet new families in town.

These playdates alternate between the Turtle Beach Playground the World War Memorial Building.

By partnering with organizations around town, Bismarck Parks and Rec is keeping costs in check, helping you spend time and not money.

Their open gym program every weekend is another example of those partnerships at work.

"It's a partnership with Bismarck Public Schools, where they provide the gym space and we provide the supervision. We keep some local schools open on Saturdays and Sundays, where kids can recreate and just burn off a little steam," said Klipfel

The parks department also says about 95 percent of their trails are open for the winter, so families can cross-country ski or hike.

Of course sledding and ice skating is popular when the weather is right.

Parks employees also encourage you to try geocaching with the family by using their list of 12 established geocaching sites around town.

Finally, the parks department is hosting a new event for families to get in the holiday spirit. Cookies & Crafts will be held on Saturday, December 15 with a few different time slots in the afternoon for families to create holiday crafts and decorate sugar cookies. It will be held at the Hillside Community Room on East Boulevard Avenue.

For more information on any of these programs, visit bisparks.org.