Swimming, softball clinics and church camps – you can likely rattle off the lists of summer activity options in your sleep by now. However, there may be one “fun genre” you may have missed while packing your calendars full – winter sports! Sure, it may take you a moment to shift your focus from sipping ice water poolside to watching your child learn a new skill rink side, but as you weigh the benefits, chances are your family may become winter sports enthusiasts – even while the weather is hot.
1. Beat the Heat
Unless you live in an uncommon destination where snow’s the norm, chances are your summer plans are often driven by your desire to stay cool during a standard heat wave. Reduce your spending on A/C units and family-sized popsicle packages, and instead head to the local ice skating rink for the chance to chill out while your child enjoys learning a new skill. Many skating rink day camps around the country offer your family the chance to not only learn how to ice skate, but also participate in arts & crafts, movies and games – all with an abundance of air conditioning for mom and dad.
2. Enjoy a Discount
Most camps will offer some sort of discount, either via promotional code or multiple registrations. However, winter sports offer an additional incentive – many of them are more affordable than their summer counterparts during this time of year for the sole reason that they are often an afterthought for many families. Elite figure skating lessons and ice hockey gear can get pricey, and summer is a great time to take advantage of discounted public sessions or kid-focused day camps that can save you a bundle.
3. It’s Unique
Especially with slightly older children, the idea of doing something out-of-the-box may make the annual mundane activity selection process a bit more exciting. And you don’t even have to sell them on the idea of participating in a winter sport all summer long. Groups that make summer camp their business maintain a more traditional fusion of academics and camp events, while making each Friday a field trip day. Included with many? Ice skating.
4. Support Local Business
Yes, we know it’s nice to take that big sigh of relief when your kids are on their own for a bit under the watchful eye of an adult that isn’t you. While we all need alone time, even with a full camp schedule the cabin fever crazies can set in during even two days in a row at home. Get out and support local businesses by taking them to your neighborhood rink to participate in a public skating session or to cheer on a friend on the ice hockey league. Or, if you live where it snows, find out what those local resorts are offering now that it’s all melted away. They may have some great summer options like whitewater rafting or mountain biking that don’t get a lot of publicity because their snowy reputation precedes them.
5. Get More Mileage Out of That Wardrobe
Remember that hot pink sweater she NEEDED to own, only it was stubbornly never on sale? Or, even better, did you purchase a warm weather clothing item for your child only to experience the weather shifting dramatically only a week or so later? Seasonal shopping can be tricky, and winter sport participation during the summer months ensures you get the most mileage out of those items that would otherwise hang out in the back of the closet. So pull out those sweaters and long pants for a hockey camp or ice skating party.
6. Get What You Pay For!
Finally, summer camps are great fun, but many times the schedules change because of the weather. Yes, it’s warm outside – but in most regions of the U.S. summer still involves at least a bit of rain and windy days. This means a swimming day may get canceled, as can any outdoor event. Since the majority of summer camps plan their thrills in the great open air, the very thing that motivated you to sign up for that specific destination may not materialize. With winter sports and activities, Mother Earth doesn’t get much of a say in what kids can or cannot do. Controlled temperatures and routine schedules reign supreme when it comes to indoor, winter-themed fun.
Author: Tamara Warta