Who else is excited for the Winter Olympics?
It’s right around the corner! Friday, February 9th, NBC will air the opening ceremonies from PyeongChang (Republic of Korea) in prime time. You bet we will be watching, decked out in patriotic attire and cheering on our American delegation as the world unites to celebrate a tradition that dates back to the Athen Games in 1896.
Besides, watching the opening ceremonies and catching some of the events, what else can you do to celebrate the Olympics with your family?
Here are 5 simple, fun ways to enjoy the winter olympics with your family.
Host a Winter Olympics Party
Invite your friends and/or family over to watch the opening ceremonies (DVR it if you can do it that night) or choose another evening of competition. Ask each guest to bring an internationally-inspired dish. If you aren’t sure what to make, a quick trip to Trader Joe’s will yield lots of inspiration, from Swiss fondue to Chinese soup dumplings. Many of the items are pre-cooked, making it a simple way to introduce international cuisine to your children.
In addition to the fun food, you could give out prizes for the person who is most patriotic or dressed most like a winter olympic athlete. You might even play Olympic trivia after finding some interesting facts on the Olympics website.
Try a Winter Olympics sport
Head out to Boone to Seven Oaks Recreation Center to go downhill skiing. They offer complimentary beginner ski lessons with the purchase of a daily ski pass.
If you want to try your hand at ice skating, you can head downtown to Brenton skating plaza. Metro Ice Sports also offers year-round public skating as well as open hockey sessions and figure skating lessons. Several towns surrounding Des Moines also have free skating rinks, you just need to bring your own skates. You can even attend a local hockey game and cheer on the Iowa Wild.
Did you know about the Des Moines Curling Club? For adults interested in learning, instruction is included in the league fee.
Even though there’s no bobsledding or skeleton racing in the area, you can try Zipfy Sleds and snow tubing at Sleepy Hollow Sports Park in Des Moines.
Winter Olympic Scavenger Hunt
You can download and print this free Winter Olympic Scavenger Hunt printable. Then, as you watch the Olympics, have your kids cross off items they see. You can have a conversation about what the different sports are, what the Olympics logo represents, explain what a podium is and what the different medal colors mean.
Read Books about the Olympics
Head to the local library and pick up some books for Olympic-inspired bedtime reading. It’s a great opportunity to expose your kids to countries and sports they might not otherwise have the opportunity to learn about.
Watch Olympic Videos
Watch Cool Runnings, a movie about the Jamaican bobsled team (rated PG) on Netflix. You can also check out the Olympics website and NBC Olympics website to learn more about the different sports, olympics history and the host nation, South Korea.
However you choose to celebrate the Olympics, it’s the perfect opportunity to expose your family to worldwide culture, celebration, and fun. What better time of year to curl up under a blanket and cheer on some amazing, inspiring, and hard-working athletes!