Oh, ho, ho. Holiday break will soon be upon us. That means 11 straight days of no school or regular activities. I'm hoping for skiing, sledding and lots of time for the kids to play outside with their buds. But in case we find ourselves drawn too strongly to the screens and sofa, I've made a backup plan. Not counting Christmas, New Year's Day or their eves, here are outside ideas for every other day of the season.
Saturday, December 26
Annual Christmas Bird CountIf you’re like my family and usually spend this day lounging around in jammies nursing a cookie hangover, here’s a better idea: Join in the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania’s annual Pittsburgh Christmas Bird Count. Contact the ASWP ahead of time to connect with a local organizer.
Sunday, December 27
Ice Skating at PPG Place/Market Square
The tree will still be up, and you can enjoy Christmas in Downtown Pittsburgh without the hustle bustle part. Hours for Sunday Dec. 27 are noon to 8 p.m., skate rental is available. The rink will remain open for evenings through Jan. 3, click here for more information.
Monday, December 28
Christmas light walkThe moon will just be past full, and the Christmas decor will still be blazing. No school tomorrow, so we can wait for hubby to get home from work and walk through our neighborhood as a family.
Tuesday December 29
Visit the Pittsburgh Zoo
Winter is one of my family’s favorite times to visit the zoo. It’s not crowded and some of the animals are more active in cool weather. The zoo is open every day of the year except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Dec. 31, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting on Jan. 2 .
Wednesday Dec. 30
The playground in winter is a treat. If you haven’t been there in a while, it’s like visiting an old friend. And it will look different, especially if it has snowed. Invite a friend along, because you might be the only ones there.
Saturday, Jan. 2
Pittsburgh Botanic Garden
We have never visited the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden in Oakdale, and this seems like a great time to go. Walking trails are open Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Click here for fees and weekday hours.
Sunday Jan. 3
Try out a new trail
The last day of holiday break. Back to school tomorrow. We will definitely need a family walk. I’ve always wanted to check out Mt.Washington’s Emerald View Park. Or maybe we’ll just try a new path through our community.