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4 Ways for your family to beat the winter blues

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

Party on this winter

Have the winter blues? Beat the chilly day doldrums with these fun ideas for your family.

crafting kids

The cold temperatures are sometimes so bone-chilling that you feel like you will never be warm again. The brisk wind sometimes tears through your warmest parka, sweater and countless other layers. The skies are that milky grey -- neither sunny nor stormy, just somewhere in between. It's winter and weather like this, which keeps you inside, can really bring you and your whole family down. It doesn't have to, though.

Here's what real moms are doing to help their families (and themselves!) beat those winter blues.

1Bring the outdoors in

Who says that outdoor activities need to stay...outdoors? From those favorite yard toys to beloved summer activities, you can bring some of it indoors for lots of winter fun.

Once a year Eileen Wolter and her family celebrate summer in the winter. "We have an indoor beach day on a snow day. We wear shorts and drink fruity drinks and eat corndogs," says Wolter.

2

Be artsy

The chilly gloom outside doesn't mean you can't bring some cheery activity to your home -- with art. Kids love creating, and the creative outlet can be a fun activity for an otherwise inactive day.

Seattle mom of two Allison Ellis enlisted her kids to create some new living room art. "Both of my kids like paint and we had some really bad hand-me-down art hanging in the living room. I went to an art store, bought some huge canvases and let them go to town! Now I have two beautiful pieces to brighten up the days and cheer up the living room," says Ellis

3

Embrace winter sports

Winter sports can be tremendous fun for kids and adults. Whether you are into ice skating, snowboarding or something else, the cool temperatures are the perfect time to take up an active winter sport.

For New York City mom of two Gia Machlin, that means a lot of weekend skiing in Vermont. "We rent a half share in a ski condo for the winter, sign the kids up for the developmental ski programs, get season passes, and drive from NYC to Vermont every other weekend from Dec 15th to Mar 15th. It's a schlep, but it sure beats hanging around the city on frigid days," says Machlin.

4

Have an indoor campout

Who says a campout has to happen outdoors? It can be tremendous fun to pop a tent in the living room and pretend.

Cass Comerford of New York did that with her daughter recently. "There was tons of imagination play (I'm going swimming in the lake, aka the couch) and we had hot dogs (well, tofu dogs) on sticks and we made roasted marshmallows in the toaster oven, sang songs and read books and pretended to star gaze which she thought was hilarious ("I see Max & Ruby in the stars Mommy!")," says Comerford.

More winter activities

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