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How to Survive November

So that the cold and wet does not get you down
by Maris Lemba

I don’t know about you, but in our household November has always been a bit of a tough time for family fun and motivation even in the best of years, not to mention in 2020 with the new provincial public health guidelines.  With memories of long warm summer and early days of fall still fresh in our minds, it seems that overnight the days become very cold, wet and dark and it takes a bit to get used to it again.  While already chilly, there is usually too little snow yet in the family accessible mountain tops on the North Shore to offer a bright and exciting adventure.


Here are some of our favourites things to do for keeping the spirits up and embracing November on the North Shore.

Gear up and go on a family hike on a tree-covered trail (that’s pretty much most of our low elevation trails around here).  Even if it rains, you will be much drier than out on a playground or strolling your neighbourhood street.  The entire family will get exercise and fresh air, with all the benefits: from lifting your mood to improving the immune system.  Some trails can be easily navigated even with a balance bike or beginner rider, so you can accommodate a kid who prefers two-wheeling while taking advantage of a tree canopy.  Or you can bring a stroller.  Check out our trails page for some ideas.


Embrace the dark and take a family lantern walk.  You can find fairly robust inexpensive lanterns - even ones that also change colours - that work beautifully to illuminate your dark neighbourhood or the edge of a park or a beach, and can offer a magical experience for the entire family.  Throw in some glow sticks or glow balls and the possibilities for games are endless.  For post-sunset explorations, we like a park that’s not too isolated or wild to keep the spook factor down.  Our favourite for this is Mosquito Park.

Find a playground that’s lit and make it an evening affair.  We regularly enjoy Ray Perrault (love the big field for exploring!) and Shipyards (anything within walking distance to good food and coffee is a win in our book).  The newly renovated Semisch Park Playground has amazing visibility and will allow kids to have fun past dusk.  Don’t expect the lighting to give you the illusion of daylight, but your little ones are not likely to be particular.  


And lastly, keep your eyes peeled on the mountains for fresh snow.  We won’t toboggan, ski or snowshoe our way out of the misery that is 2020, but snow sports and snow play may be just the fun new activity that lifts you and the kids out of the November funk.  If you don’t have time to keep track of snow levels or pandemic impact on your usual mountain fun, don’t worry.  We’ll let you know when to head up to the mountains and what to expect. 

So you see, it may be dark and wet, but you can survive it! Better yet, you can have fun out there with the whole family! 

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