Maintaining an Active, Outdoor Lifestyle in Every Season

Published on February 17, 2021 - Updated on February 17, 2021

When days are shorter, outdoor hours are more important than ever. Proper preparation & gear help you resist the desire to hibernate!

As the weather changes, I'm occasionally struck by the desire to curl into a ball, binge watch my favorite shows, bake & EAT all of the bread products within reach. I always seem to crave a little extra sleep with fewer daylight hours.  BUT, I must ask myself, is this really what I need? Is this best for my kiddos and for our family? Nope! But good news! We are moving back in the direction of longer days, and in the final stretch of the cold season, we need the re-energizing power of fresh air more than any other time of year.

This year I came across a powerful book, "There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather," by the amazing Linda McGurk. I've long been inspired by Danish culture and their thoughtful approach to most things, especially parenting. The need for outdoor time is a paramount theme and Linda’s book serves as an encouraging reminder that this doesn’t change, even in the moments we’re compelled to retreat from the cold, mud or rain, or whatever the local climate brings your way. 

So, as you prepare to brave the elements to guarantee your family gets the fresh air they need (rain, shine or snow), here are some of our favorite finds that are already making an outdoor lifestyle easier to manage!

Stroller and baby carriers 

Colugo Stroller and Gracie.jpg

When getting out with your little one, no matter what time of year, equipment is critical. Whether you’ll be on the go with a stroller, or plan to wear the baby, you really must try Colugo. We love their products and the thoughtful ways they make life easier for our family. The incredible carriers come in vibrant colors and can change from inward to outward facing quickly while providing support for the wearer. Perhaps my favorite part - it comes with an attached storage pouch for snacks, money and keys, eliminating the need to carry a bag.

The Colugo strollers are fabulous too, lightweight and reasonably priced. I am struck by how easy it is to fold and unfold the Colugo Compact Stroller with one hand and pleased it doesn’t crowd the trunk of the car or block the hallway. We’ve used it on paved pathways, bumpy brick walkways and even on grass, and it transitions well between surfaces. I can easily hold one child’s hand and push the stroller with the other. Accessories like The Cozy and the Compact Rain Cover ensure that we can keep moving and enjoying the outdoors with confidence in any weather conditions.


Declan in Primary at a Lake.jpg

I'm generally the parent that overdoes it, buying pricey jackets because we live in a place where temperatures can reach -10 on any given winter day. That said, I'm learning (as we do as humans and mommas) that more expensive doesn't mean better.  

My incredible mom first discovered Primary and loved it for its simple, sturdy and colorful clothing. I agreed, instantly loving their great designs and the simplicity I was seeking in clothing for my kiddos, but I was still hesitant about the jacket options. That is until we tried them and fell in love. Our favorites currently include the winter jacket, the all-seasons awesome puffer option and the vest, paired with our current favorite tutu obviously!


Hanah Iksplor photo.jpg

To be sure getting outside works year-round in every climate, layers are everything! For the colder days, we love Iksplor base layers as well as Nui Organics. They are merino wool (not itchy, yay) and wash nicely. They also come in cool colors for all ages.

For even more detailed suggestions for dressing for every weather condition, here's our Go-To Guide, designed by my adventurous husband to ensure we are all prepared for ultimate comfort when enjoying the great outdoors, regardless of the temperature!


Baltimore Hikes for Families with Kids

According to a recent study performed by RunRepeat in partnership with AllTrails, the number of logged hikes was up a staggering 171.36% in 2020. This is, without a doubt, related to the draw of nature, fresh air and safe social distancing during this challenging pandemic. We are so thrilled that nearly 136% more hikers are out on the trails. Hopefully, if your family wasn't made up of avid hikers already, it has become a regular part of your lives! I guess it's one silver lining of this Covid-19 Era. Check out the complete study here.

It's a great time of year to invest in your outdoor attire because so much is discounted, so while we are nearly ready to put the snow gear aside, layers are no less important, so prepare for an active season ahead.. I don't know about you, but I've had my fill of time beside the fireplace, and while we get out in nature year-round, at this point I'm always eager to hit the trails more and more. See you out there friends!

If you've crossed over into hiking happiness, you'll notice the more you get out there, the more you will value the footwear you choose. There is so much on the market, it's really hard to narrow the scope and have confidence in your choice, which is why you should check out RunRepeat. With a scoring system based on first-hand reviews of activity-specific shoes and a platform that scans prices for the best available option, you can expect quality at the right cost. We sure hope they start covering kids' shoes soon!

Please send us your favorite safe outing ideas at, and tag your highlights on Instagram @gethappyly! We love to hear from you! 

For more inspiration, check out another recently featured activity, Find A State Park Near You, make time for Family Bike Rides,  or for ideas about keeping it fun, check out our tips for Hiking With Kids! For a fun activity at home, check out this list of fun Chalk Games.

If your weather still calls for a little more time indoors, check out our Top Ten Chapter Books to Read Out Loud to Little Ones or employ our Five Tools for Unearthing a State of Calm.

Enjoying our content? Please download the free happyly app, the country’s only mobile-first family activity planning app, for fast access to all of our frequent blog content, favorite activities, and expertly designed adventures, both locally and in many communities and travel destinations across the country.

Thoughtfully captured by:
Caitlin Iseler
Caitlin Iseler, happyly founder and CEO, was born in New York and is one of eight children. Her favorite holiday is Thanksgiving and the chance to sit at one table with her favorite 40 people. Caitlin, her outdoor loving husband, Thomas, and daughter, Hanah, live in Virginia Beach. She is also blessed to be a bonus mom to 2 incredible humans, Max & Elizabeth. Being a mom has always been something she dreamt of and it brings her joy beyond measure. Before starting happyly, Caitlin spent 15 years working in executive search with technology companies, most recently with Korn Ferry. In what seems like a lifetime ago, she attended the University of Virginia and was a member of the National & ACC Championship Teams, a gift that keeps giving.
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