4 Ways to Celebrate the Winter Olympic Games as a Family

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boy on snowboard. winter olympic games. Des Moines Mom

“Feel the rhythm. Feel the rhyme. Get on up, it’s BOBSLED TIME!!”Cool Runnings

The winter Olympic Games are almost here, and I am counting down the days. Historically, our family has hosted a big watch party of the opening ceremonies (It’s Friday, February 4, 2022), but this year we’re skipping a big party in favor of several smaller experiences.

Here are 4 ways to celebrate the Olympics as a family

1. Watch Party

Turn movie night into a family Olympics watch party. Tune into prime time coverage of the Opening Ceremonies or on the night of a favorite event and root for your favorite athletes.

Disney+ also has a number of feel-good Olympic movies, including my favorite Cool Runnings, and my hubby’s favorite hockey movie, Miracle. Don’t forget the popcorn and M&Ms. 

2. Try a New Winter Sport

Ice Skating
Do you have a little one enamored with figure skating or hockey? Sign them up for learn-to-skate lessons with the Iowa Figure Skating Academy or let them practice their skills at Brenton Skating Plaza. If you have your own skates, you can take advantage of the free outdoor ice rinks in Johnston and other metro communities. Check out our Guide to Winter Activities

Curling
As much as I love watching the popular winter sports like bobsledding and downhill skiing, I’ve never actually gone skiing. And I’m intrigued by some of the more obscure sports like the duathlon, which combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. Who thought up that one?

Curling is another family favorite at our house! It seems like a sport that would go well with a pizza and a beer. Did you know Des Moines has its own curling club? We sure do! Check out the Des Moines Curling Club to learn more about this beloved winter sport and how you could join their league.

Snowboard and Skiing
If you’ve never tried snowboarding or skiing, pack up the family and head to Seven Oaks near Boone. They offer free beginner mini lessons for kids ages 7 and up. (Under 7 they have to be accompanied by an adult.) It’s a great way to test the waters… or rather, snow. They also have snow tubes if you just want to fun day of sliding down a hill!

Feeling confident to take off on your own, check out our guide to winter fun for tips on where to rent snowshoes, cross-country skis, and more.

3. Taste of the Olympics

We started our Olympic Party tradition 8 years ago with an old-fashioned potluck where we invited everyone to bring a dish inspired by another country. It was a delicious night!

Plan a special meal in honor of the Olympics and make foods from the host nation (China) or another nation you see participating. Create an at-home international food festival by sampling one dish from several nations!

4. Read about the Olympics

 Trying to explain a triple-sow-cow to a 5-year-old may not be the easiest thing, but you can inspire your child to be curious about these unique sports with books that explain the games and highlight specific sports or athletes:

What are the Olympics

Ice Breakers

Powder Power: Snowboarding

Shaun White

Magic Treehouse: Hour of the Olympics

What are your favorite ways to celebrate the Winter Olympic Games?

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Content Coordinator Megan doesn’t really fall into any one mom category. With three kids from ages 5 to 12, she’s been a working mom and a stay-at-home mom. She’s breastfed and bottle-fed. She’s kept kids on strict sleeping schedules in their own beds and also embraced the benefits of co-sleeping. She’s a big believer in finding what works for you and your kiddo (and it’s often different for each kid). Megan is an Iowa native and lives in Ankeny with her husband Darren. They love to travel and are often planning their next road trip (even it’s a year away). They also enjoy entertaining and are famous among their friends for throwing big bashes to celebrate the Olympic Games. But her everyday life is mostly comprised of playdates, trips to the park, and trying to stay ahead of the never-ending laundry pile.    

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