Oh, the weather outside is frightful...

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I'm a native Buffalonian. I grew up accustomed to cold, long, and snowy winters. It's never been a problem for me. Friends, winter is coming. *I can't resist a good Game of Thrones reference. Forgive me*

While I love a cold and snowy Christmas, I know the cooler temperatures prove to be problematic for many, especially when it comes to keeping the little ones entertained. In a season that's already overwhelming and exhausting, it's easy to go Ebenezer Scrooge and say "bah humbug" to an earlier sunset and crisp air. However, if you're like me and you don't mind the heavy coat, hat, and mittens way of life, then there's still plenty of outdoor fun to be had. As always, the goal is simple and affordable fun.

Holiday Lights at the Zoo

Each year the Turtleback Zoo hosts a free light display. It's a perfect family-friendly outing and a fun walkable outdoor activity. The zoo opens a few select animal exhibits and there are additional activities available for small fees. Food and clothing donations are happily accepted. Open on weekends from 5:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m., this has become a favorite family tradition.

Morristown Christmas Festival on the Green

This month-long celebration has various events, which includes miniature electric train rides, crafts, ice sculpting, and Santa visits. It's the perfect sized event for tiny tots.

Lake Mohawk German Christmas Market

Held on December 2nd and December 3rd, this creative and charming outdoor market has something for everyone. If you're desperate to get the kids outside and expend energy, the petting zoo, pony rides, and Santa Hut are sure to do the trick.

Holiday Festival (Friends of Lord Stirling Stables)

Held on December 2nd and December 3rd, this affair offers hayrides to Santa's house, pony rides, and games. For anyone who didn't get their fill of hayride happiness in the fall, this event is a great addition to your calendar. There will also be a holiday horse show with a warm viewing area available.

Main Street Madison

I saved the best for last. I like to put the baby in the carrier and walk hand-in-hand with my favorite two year old. Kudos to several of our small businesses as many of the storefront windows are decorated in style. My littlest shoppers love to stare at the displays as we march towards the tree. Amongst the festive spirit and the promise of a hot chocolate from one of our local restaurants, I sometimes believe we've stolen a scene out of Bedford Falls. All I'm missing is a spotting of George Bailey because these days I swear I'm on the set of It's a Wonderful Life.

Enjoy your outdoor adventures. Until next time, wishing you a very merry Madison experience this holiday season.