Three things you may already know about me:
- I hate crowds.
- I’m a weather geek.
- It’s a priority for me to give the kids outdoor time every day.
Thank goodness we don’t have tornado season in California or I’d probably be some kind of storm tracker. Instead, we have close to perfect weather almost every day.
In Southern California, we’re not going to spend $200 on clothing to keep warm on the 10 days out of the year that it’s really cold. Even with our comparatively mild winters, I hear the rumblings of families wanting to stay indoors. People generally don’t go out when it’s windy and cold by California standards.
Not me!!! (See #1, #2, and #3 above.)
I’ll give you my tips for dressing for the Southern California winter:
- Dress in layers since it’s often cooler in the morning and warms up in the afternoon.
- Invest in a good rain coat and rubber rain boots. I have waterproof rain coats that I always keep in the car for the kids (make sure they have hoods). The ones I got are really lightweight windbreakers that stuff into their own pouch. I like to shop Land’s End at Sears, especially when they have sales. Getting rain boots will take away any of your worries that their nice school shoes will not be functional ever again.
- So – the kids might get wet and cold – but you shouldn’t plan to be outside for super-long chunks of time. Solution: Bring a change of clothes. My kids love putting on warm sweats and dry socks for the ride home from our outings.
- Fill them up with tea, cocoa, or hot apple cider when you get home. My favorite combo is Trader Joe’s hot apple cider with one of their creme-filled maple leaf cookies (kind of like an Oreo, but in the shape of a leaf and flavored with maple).
The beach is one of my favorite places to go when it’s blustery out – unless there is concern for flooding or crazy tides. I’m talking about a regular old wintery day at the beach. The kids dig holes and play with their sand toys and there’s NO ONE around. You don’t have to fight for parking or lug a whole bunch of beach stuff for a full day event. You can just visit for half an hour and see things like pelicans flying in formation:
You can see Catalina peeking out from under the storm clouds while the waves crash on the shore:
I guarantee the kids will see it as a special time when they were allowed to play in the cold! Do you remember “ice skating” on the grass at school when there was a frost day?
If you have a baby or a stroller-bound kid, then bundle up yourself, stuff a blanket around them and head out for a brisk walk in the brisk weather. You’ll see things differently and want to do it again and again.