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Outdoor activities and local tourism in your community this winter

This is going to be a difficult winter for many of us. Some of us are used to bundling up and getting outside - although maybe not for walks as long and leisurely as in the fall - but some of us need to have a destination. When we would normally go out for dinner and a show, we now need to find reasons to be active outdoors instead of hibernating at home 

Outdoor attractions

Are there neighbourhoods in your communities with wonderful holiday lights? What about art walks, local history tours? There will be a lot of snow sculptures in K-W this year because of Matt Morris' Snow Sculpting Club and it would be great to go for a walk and see some snow creations. Does your community have something similar?

Parks as destinations

A recent article in the K-W Record suggests that Waterloo Region could add amenities or attractions to public spaces to give people a reason to go outside. One suggestion is to make rinks and toboggan hills community hubs by adding a hot chocolate bar, makeshift patio, or outdoor fire pit.

Explore Waterloo Region lists places with heated patios to warm up when you're out and about. The City of Kitchener has PDF maps of self-guided walking tours and the Region of Waterloo has a brochure for a Downtown Kitchener Stroll highlighting public art and historical buildings. Consider making maps of parks, ice rinks, and toboggan hills as destinations and show trails leading to them. Are there great places to cross-country ski and snowshoe when the snow is too deep for a walk in the woods?

Here's a detail of a new winter facilities map of McLennan Park in Kitchener, showing that the Laurentian Trail is snow-cleared so people can still easily use it in the winter. (This map will soon be on avenzamaps.com.)

detail of McLennan Park facilities map

A reason to enjoy the winter season

The holiday light displays are unfortunately only up until early January, but the City of Waterloo is extending its annual Winterloo event from January to March, instead of a couple of weeks in February. That's a great idea to give people a reason to spend some time outdoors in Uptown Waterloo. 

Many people have a difficult time in a normal winter, and this winter will be worse. It's important that we find ways to keep active and social, while following all public health recommendations to keep everyone safe. 

Please follow and share your suggestions for local winter destinations and activities on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

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