ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — With winter in full swing and many students still learning from home, it can be difficult to find COVID-safe activities for their children.

“We know these next few months will be challenging as we all wait patiently for this pandemic to be over. In the meantime, you can still get outside and have fun and do it safely,” said Rockford Park District board member Martesha Brown.

The Rockford Park District announced several new programs and activities designed to help local kids and families stay active during the coldest months of the year.

“You want to get out, you want to get physical exercise. You want to be in the outdoors, the fresh air, and be able to take in nature. Those are important things year round, whether you have a pandemic or any restrictions,” said Laurie Anderson, the Superintendent of Operations at Rockford Park District.

Throughout the winter, at Lockwood Park and Atwood Park visitors will be able to enjoy wagon rides, parking lot bingo, and drive-in movie nights. Snow Park at Alpine Hills is set to re-open in the next few weeks for tubing, snowboarding, and a new outdoor ice skating rink.

“We have a very small rink, but it’s a fun rink that you can get out on the ice and skate with your friends while you’re out there doing the different activities. So we always want something new and different,” Anderson added.

Starting in January, free playground programs will also be offered on Saturday afternoons at Brown Park and Wantz Park. Traditionally, these programs are linked to summer but park district leaders are hopeful that expanding them can help cut down on youth crime, which has been on the rise during the pandemic.

“One of the biggest challenges with the park district and supporting our youth is that idle time is not a good thing. And so the park district prides itself in being able to able to deliver recreation experiences, opportunities in a positive setting, for kids to play.”

Click here for a full list of winter events.