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This time of year is honestly one of my favorites. Okay, I might say that about every time of year, but right now really is awesome.
You see, we live in Colorado so while one day can feel just like summer, the next morning it’s not uncommon to wake up to inches of snow. Oh, and we love it. The weather is warm, but we’re still able to hold on to the last bits of winter before it all disappears. Now if you’re experiencing similarly indecisive weather, here are some great ways to enjoy and embrace it as you transition from winter to spring:
1. Spring Skiing: We’re HUGE ski fans around here and with 3 little kids in tow, spring skiing is simply fantastic. The weather is warm and the crowds are starting to thin out, making it a perfect time for families. With those spring temps, conditions are not always at their best. To make the most of it, we head out around 10am so we avoid the ice from the overnight freeze, and leave around 2:30 when things get really slushy and tricky for little skiers. If you eat lots of snacks on your way up and then back home, skiing for this whole time should be pretty doable.
2. Snowshoeing: When the snow gets really soft, skiing is often not an option, but snowshoeing is fantastic. Make sure to dress in layers since the spring temps can get you dripping with sweat in no time! Also, make sure to wear good, waterproof boots since you’ll be dealing with lots of slush (check out our top boots for kids here).
3. Kite flying: Spring often means lots of wind, so embrace it with a day of kite flying. We have a little obsession with these trick kites. They’re so much fun for adults, that you’ll almost forget that you’re trying to entertain your kids – that is until they do something ridiculous like ask to have a turn flying it 🙂
4. Plant a garden: Yes, it’s the first of April and we’ve already planted our garden. Somehow as soon as the weather warms up, I have as much of a desire to dig in the dirt as my kids. Cool season vegetables can be planted as soon as the soil can be worked. Several weeks ago we planted our peas, lettuce, spinach, kale, and radishes. Although we will probably have frosty nights for at least a month longer, all of these plants can tolerate the cold so it’s not a problem.
Gear to Transition from Winter to Spring:
Finding the right pieces of gear for constantly changing weather can be kind of tricky. Here are a few pieces that have helped us:
This helmet is brilliant. It’s one helmet and you can switch it from being a ski helmet to a bike helmet. It’s especially fantastic for days that you ski and then your kids want to come home and go for a bike ride. It has removable liners and ear warmers and can easily be converted from a ski to a bike helmet in less than a minute. It also has a dial at the back to help get a perfect fit (which also helps it grow with your kids more). We also really love the magnetic clasp. It’s easy to clip and unclip, and you don’t have to worry about pinching your kids’ chin (it just slides to the side). These cost about $80 but are really worth it since they can fit from around ages 1-5 (it fits both 9 month-old Jimmy and 3.5 year-old Chloe, which is a rare find), and have multiple uses. The only downside is that they only come in one size (XS), so they won’t fit bigger kids or adults.
We love softshell jackets in our family. They are lightweight, warm, and are wind and water-resistant. In the spring or fall, we’re always wearing these or a fleece. Free Country has softshell jackets for the family at very affordable prices. We got the Girls Hazy Plaid Softshell for Chloe and were instantly in love with the cute print and the soft butter-pile lining (it’s simply luxurious). It also has a detachable hood which I really loved. Softshells are also great because they are nice to wear on the slopes on spring days since they’re much lighter weight than our typical winter jackets. The only problem was that the neck isn’t big enough. For me, I want something that they can stick their faces down in if it gets chilly, but this is so small that I can’t even zip it up comfortably on her (without her complaining that it’s smashing her chin). Super cute, and a good deal, but a few kinks need to be worked out.
While this is not necessarily an essential transition piece, it sure makes biking with kids nice. Chloe is destined to be my little hoarder. She wants to take everything with her everywhere. It’s not uncommon to start heading out the door only to see her arms brimming with all the stuffed animals and toys she can possibly carry. This basket has saved us. Since it just hooks onto the bike, she can bring it in and load it up with all her “essentials” and then go and hook it onto her handlebars. Easy-peasy! Oh, and it’s steel so it’s super durable and can handle all the craziness and adventure that kids will put it through.
It also works perfect for the snake that keeps hanging out in the backyard, that the kids want to tote everywhere.
Basil, Freecountry, and Nutcase provided us with these products in exchange for our opinions. As always, these are our completely honest opinions and are exaclty what we’d tell our friends!