Why it’s important for children to play outside in winter

Every winter, as the temperatures drop, so does the amount of time we spend outside. This is especially true for children — playtime can become limited to the indoors.

It may be tempting to hide inside until the weather warms up, but outdoor play is essential for your children’s well-being all year long.

Here are some of the top reasons why you should get your kids outside and active this winter:

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5 ways to stay active in the cold

Brrr! Temperatures are dropping, and winter’s icy grip is almost upon us.

We bet you’re feeling just about ready to tuck into a nice, long winter’s hibernation.

Not so fast! We’ve partnered with our snow-loving friends at Subaru Canada to share some great ways to stay active and enjoy winter.

Outdoor activity is important for our mental and physical health all year long. Getting outside is good for you even when the weather is not ideal.

Ontario Parks has 30+ parks open in the winter. Each park offers plenty of ways for you to get active in the chilly months.

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Health benefits of dark skies

Today’s blog comes from Senior Marketing Specialist Sarah McMichael-Chen. 

My most memorable camping memory didn’t come from a crackling campfire, a panoramic lookout, or a stunning sandy beach.

It happened at 3:00 am at Lake Superior Provincial Park.

As I stumbled out of my tent for a late-night bathroom break, I noticed something different about the sky above me. There were stars.

A LOT of stars.

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It’s Take Me Outside Day!

Written by Discovery Program Project Coordinator Jessica Stillman.

Teachers, did you know you can help your students be more engaged and enthusiastic in all areas of their learning by taking them outside?

Studies show that students who experience nature as part of the educational process score higher on tests in reading, writing, and math and have demonstrated better listening skills.

Not that you need any more reasons to get outside, but here are four more reasons to take your class outside for Take Me Outside Day:

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Painting the picturesque: a guide to art in nature

Today’s blog comes from Megan Callahan, a customer service assistant for Ontario Parks. Her love for nature and educational background in fine arts has created wonderful synchronicity in her parks career.

Oftentimes, when someone thinks of art and Ontario Parks, they think of the Group of Seven.

You know, the group of artists that were inspired by the Canadian landscape and made famous the windswept trees in Killbear Provincial Park or the many landscapes painted in Algonquin Provincial Park?

Your art education may have even dabbled in recreating their art, like mine did in high school!

However, there are SO many artists that visit our beautiful parks to this day, to create masterpieces from their experience in nature.

Art is therapy, and so is nature! What a fantastic combination the two make.

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5 ways to practice fall mindfulness

Can you believe we’re already well into fall?

If your day-to-day is anything like ours, your summer flew by, leaving you wondering where the time went. It’s amazing how quickly summer comes and goes, year after year.

But that’s nothing to worry about — fall at Ontario Parks is a favourite time of year for many, and for good reason!

So if you’re feeling stressed from fleeting summer, back-to-school routines, or the impending winter, this blog is sure to help you take a step back, relax, and enjoy the best time of year.

We’ve partnered with our friends at Subaru Canada to share 5 ways to practice fall mindfulness in parks:

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Add nature to your self-care toolkit

As the days get shorter and the colder weather arrives, it’s time to talk self-care.  Bubble baths and meditation are great options, but have you considered adding nature to your self-care toolkit?

October 10 is World Mental Health Day, and it’s the perfect time to think of ways we can take care of ourselves and our families.

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Accessible locations to view fall colours

As the cold weather hits, opportunities to view a stunning array of fall colours are popping up around the province.

Ontario Parks is committed to making our parks as accessible as possible for visitors. If you’re planning a trip, we’ve rounded up a list of parks with accessibility features that are perfect for viewing the beauty of fall.

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Nature on the brain

Today’s blog comes from Kelsey Fenwick, senior park naturalist at Blue Lake Provincial Park

Growing up in small town Ontario, I’ve always loved and appreciated the natural world.

Interestingly, I spent most of my life appreciating nature from a distance.

Although my hometown of Dryden is surrounded by the beautiful boreal forest, for most of my life I was content to stick to the familiarity of the paved streets and the “safety” that I perceived as being within city limits.

I was always nervous to stray “off the beaten path” — you’d never catch me backcountry camping or hiking on a trail more than a kilometre in length.

This all changed for me after high school when I scored a summer job working outdoors. The idea of having to venture from that familiar beaten path was really intimidating, but I’m so glad I took the chance because it changed the course of my life and career.

I realized how good I felt after coming home from work.

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