1. Buy Memberships and Outings for Christmas Presents
I will admit I have not done this myself yet, but I have many friends that buy memberships to local spots that their kids love. Some examples include the zoo, aquarium, Thanksgiving Point, Discovery Pass, Pass of all Passes, etc. You get the idea. A lot of times you can find similar passes and deals on Groupon, Living Social or Amazon Local Deals. KSL has some too for those in Utah.
These make great gifts for Christmas and you don't have to store them in the toy bin ;) I gifted Allie a Groupon Manicure this year and girl's day out and I think it may have been her favorite present!
2. Play in the bad weather!
This is the first year having lots of snow that my kids are finally old enough to go out and play in the snow without me having to be with them! It is so good for them (and me) to get out in the snow and play! I have always been the type to make things easier on myself and stay inside in bad weather, but I am learning to enjoy it more and there are ways to help with that too- which leads to the next tips...
3. Have the right gear
When it comes to winter weather it makes a night and day difference to have the right clothing! I am obsessed with these Stride Rite snow boots "Snoots" Macsen uses currently. They keep his feet toasty warm and dry, are easier than others for him to walk in (hence the sneaker-boot combo), and they fold down which makes them 100x easier to put on. If any of you have a foot-finicky kids like I do (very particular about socks, shoes, and very sensitive to anything being not perfect) you know how big of a deal this is haha!
I also just bought myself a cute pair of rain boots this year and they make a world of difference in the dirty, wet snow when I am running errands! Another thing I just bought with my Christmas money was a fleece shell for inside my coats and that has made being outside SO much easier for me!
4. Keep blankets in the car
Half the issue for me of getting out in the winter is the COLD! If I am running errands or driving to somewhere indoors I don't want to wear all my heavy winter clothes- and especially dress the kids in theirs, not to mention it is less safe to put them in their car-seats with a heavy coat. SOOO, blankets are the answer for me! I love the lightweight fleece ones that are still very warm and easy to wash (they will get dirtier easier with kids shoes and such from having them in the car) If you park your car outdoors you could also start it a few minutes before leaving, or you can pull it out of the garage and start it. Make sure you don't run it in the garage though ;)
5. Hand Sanitizer
Besides the cold, the other biggest problem holding me back from getting out a lot is all the GERMS! I am a little paranoid so I like to keep hand sanitizer in the car, my purse, and anywhere else I can use it at any time I need it! Besides keeping your hands germ-free there isn't much else you can do to control getting sick in the winter. Just accept that you will get sick and be okay with it, or you will spend way too much time and energy stressing and worrying. And stay home when you are sick and 24 hours after having a flu bug for goodness sakes! ;)
Now go get out there and have some fun with your kids!