There’s a saying in Scandinavian countries: there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes. This winter, we’re taking a page out of the Scandinavian playbook and encouraging everyone to get outside, regardless of the temperature. We’ve come up six solid ideas for outdoor fun for folks of all ages. Bundle up and pick a favorite (or try them all) for a safe winter activity!
Junior Ranger Program
As a parent, sometimes you’re at a loss of what to do with the kids when it’s cold out. Well, we have an outdoor roadmap for you—our Junior Ranger Program! This is a free program for kids of all ages to learn more about Roanoke parks and conservation of our natural resources. It contains activities for outdoor exploration and puzzles to keep the kiddos entertained while learning about our environment.
Shoot us a message or give us a call at 540-853-2236 to schedule a time to pick up your free booklet, or grab one from Roanoke Mountain Adventures or Walkabout Outfitter!
Park Playground Checklist
Roanoke Parks and Recreation maintains 38 playgrounds in the City, and we’ve created a checklist to help people hit all of them! Some are elaborate with musical instruments and wacky slides; some are more modest with a slide and swings, but each playground is worth a visit! And here’s a little tip: you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy a good swing or trip on the monkey bars. Click here to view the checklist.
Get Swole with Workout Stations
Did you know we manage the biggest free gym in the city? It’s true! Our parks and greenways can double as a gym to get your workout in. You can use swings to do some suspension training; playground equipment doubles as a pull-up bar. If you want something a little more “gym-like,” Countryside, Washington, Horton, and Vic Thomas parks all have workout equipment for you to use! You can create your own circuit for a great workout, and each of those parks include paved greenway/walking paths as well. Click below to see a custom workout for each park:
-Vic Thomas Park
Greenway Walks with Hot Bevs
Movement + Hot Cocoa = Warm and Toasty! The thought of going outside when it’s cold can be daunting, but we promise—once you start moving, it’s really not too bad. Another thing to make it more pleasant? A hot beverage! And we’re in luck because we have several local coffee shops along the greenway system. Bundle up, grab a coffee/hot cocoa/tea/cider, and meet a buddy for a jaunt on a greenway or trail!
Join a Local Running Group
Roanoke is SUPER lucky in that there are several running groups (many of which are free) in there area for folks to join a community while getting fit. There are weekly pub runs, training groups, and more that are open to everyone. Check out C&C Runners, Fleet Feet, and Run About Sports to learn more about their weekly meet-ups and how you can get involved!
Explore Art in Parks
Roanoke has made it clear that it values the arts, so we’ve made it a priority to include as much art in our parks as possible! Our friends at Ride Solutions have even created a greenway art bike tour that highlights the art along our greenway system! Check out the Reimaging Roanoke art exhibition in Elmwood Park or head up Mill Mountain to check out the Big Ol’ Bikes. You can’t go wrong!
This winter, don’t let cold temperatures deter you from safe recreation! Bundle up, grab the fam or a friend, and experience the city in the colder months like never before. Remember–this winter, there’s no such thing as bad weather!