Yup, this is us, in the middle of a FROZEN Trout Lake in East Van.

This winter has already been one of the coldest and snowiest in Metro Vancouver since the 2008/2009 season, and we are expecting a lot more snow this weekend according to Environment Canada. Things are going to get messy around here, or should I say messier?!

We have been dealing with all of the snow and learning to appreciate its beauty a bit more since the boys LOVE it. As adults it’s hard to love it since we have to deal with clearing sidewalks, bundling kids to get out of the house and driving on dangerous, slippery roads and sidestreets. Add our garbage pick up taking over 3 weeks, packages not arriving on time and you get the idea. But I must say one thing; the snow is still pretty to look at.

Since meteorologists say there is no definite end or warming trend in sight for the prolonged cold snap, we just have to get used to the idea of the snow sticking around for a while. I’ve learned lots of new things dealing with all of the snow and we are surviving so far.  Below you’ll find some of our tips on fun things to do with all the snow and to help you survive Snowcouver now and in the future.

  • Use coffee grinds on icy surfaces: Walking to and from school? We are unable to push a stroller to school now because of the messy uncleared sidewalks so we walk every day. To deal with icy and dangerous surfaces, I carry a small ziplock bag filled with used coffee grinds and sprinkle these over any slippery surfaces I have to walk on to provide some traction. The dark colors will also absorb more heat and help to melt snow and ice.  Nice eco-friendly option when there’s no salt around and your neighbors don’t clear their sidewalks!
  • Get Those Snowboot Ready:  Make sure your child’s snow-boots still fit before the winter starts. I though we had proper boots but of course, both boys outgrew their boots, and we had to go shopping for new boots. We couldn’t find any in the correct sizes locally so ended up ordering new boots on Amazon. We are thankful for our Prime membership now!
  • Go Sledding Locally: No need to drive outside of Vancouver to go sledding anymore! You can head to a local park with nice hills and get in the sledding fun. Some favourites:  Kensington Park: Knight Street and East 37th Avenue, Falaise Park: 3434 Falaise Avenue, Queen Elizabeth Park: 4600 Cambie Street at West 33rd Avenue, and Rupert Park: 3402 Charles Street.
  • Go Skating at Trout Lake: Get your skates out of the closet and go ice skating at Trout Lake in East Van! The lake is frozen and open to the public for skating for the first time in 20 years! We went yesterday, and it looks beautiful, so many people skating and going for a walk on the lake.
  • Sand, lots of sand BEFORE the snow hits: Get a ton of sand and store it in the garage way before the winter starts. We thought we were doing o.k with a large bag we had before the winter started but of course, we didn’t have enough. I am talking about a large bin filled with it, large garbage bin. Not happening this winter of course, because we are not lining up for free salt to deal with this mayhem. But we’ll be prepared for the next! Ps. People DON’T go to the beach to take sand, please! You’ll ruin the ecosystem and get a fine!
  • Space Heater Safety: Do you use space heaters to stay warm during the winter? Every winter, we hear of at least some space-heater related accidents with tragic results. Remember that space heaters should only be used under the direct supervision of a responsible adult, and children and pets should be kept away at all times. You must also turn off the space heater every time you leave the area.

Sledding at a local park in Vancouver

Finally, learn to embrace the snow and cold, I am working on it! The snow IS beautiful, and we have gotten some very nice pictures out of this cold season. Remember to drive carefully and stay in if you are able and the roads are a mess. Stay safe and warm friends!