Wild Tales of...

http://wildtalesof.com/

Kate is an elementary school teacher, turned stay-at-home mom living in Seattle, Washington. As a mother and wife to a baby and husband who love adventure and are always on the move, she’s either on a trip or planning one up!

Kate is a winner of Top 25 Outdoorsy Moms - 2013

What's your favorite affordable outdoor activity to do with your kids?

We love getting out and exploring the local parks and even state parks in our area: Seattle, Washington. Hiking in particular has very little overhead costs!

Seattle Parks are free and provide us with so many amazing and unique landscapes to get into. Some of our favorites include: the Washington Park Arboretum, Discovery Park, and Seward Park.

We also take advantage of Washington's state park system whenever possible. With a $30 annual "Discover Pass" (as opposed to paying $10 per one time visit), it's a bargain, and a great way to learn about and experience new parts of our state, historical sites, and natural wonders.

What tips do you have for spending time outdoors when its cold?

Be Brave! Be Prepared! Know your limits!

We certainly don't let the Seattle rain stop us from getting outside, and we definitely don't let the cold weather stop us either.

Our best cold and wet weather investment this past year was a two-layer waterproof suit with fleece lining. The suit kept Bergen dry and warm throughout the fall and winter, and I'm sure the outside portion will come in handy this spring. He used the suit for outside play here in Seattle, it was great in the snow for our trip to the Tahoe area, and came in handy for a week of rainy and wet hiking on Orcas Island (North of Seattle). Also, the ends of the sleeves fold over to cover his hands, which means we never have to worry about losing mittens!

Even though we aren't afraid to get a little wet and a little cold, we also know not to push it. We have our outside fun for a few hours, and then take a break to get warm and recharge. I'm also not one to turn down a nice, hot cup of coffee!

What's a great vacation destination for families that want to spend time outside?

There are so many worth mentioning!

Any of the Hawaiian Islands will provide families with fun and memorable outside excursions. We recently took Bergen to Kauai and had a blast swimming, hiking, and exploring historical sites, but the outdoor activities don't stop there. We saw plenty of others surfing, paragliding, kayaking, snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding, and caving. The list goes on and on. The surroundings are tough to beat, and the weather as long as you don't hit too much of a rainy spell is perfect!

We also recommend not going to far from your own backyard! Earlier this year, we decided against an international destination in favor of a more local week away. We stayed on Orcas Island, one of Washington State's San Juan Islands, and took full advantage of the laid back island lifestyle. We hiked everyday, beachcombed, and saw almost every part of the island, yet it was one of the most relaxing weeks of our lives! When you choose to stay closer to home, the stress of a full and involved travel day becomes nonexistent.