RI encourages getting outdoors for vacation week

Don't let old man winter ruin your winter break. Rhode Island State Parks say the cold weather is the perfect time to explore the wonders of the outdoors.

On Tuesday, the Department of Environmental Management is offering tours of the Lafayette Fish Hatchery in North Kingstown. Tours start at 10 a.m. and go until 2 p.m.

But on Monday, it was a winter wonderland at Pulaski State Park in Chepachet and sledding isn't the only fun to be had.

Colin O'Rourke and his wife, Heather, strapped on their snowshoes and got ready to explore.

"It's a nice way to get you out and moving instead of huddled out on the couch with a movie," Heather O'Rourke said.

The park held tutorials and introduced local families and kids to the different trails available for snow shoeing and cross-country skiing.

"We wanted to get kids outdoors like we do in the summer," Chief of Rhode Island State Parks Bob Paquette said. "It's the perfect opportunity during school vacation to get the kids out of doors and see some new activities."

Several parents like the idea including Kinga Bajer.

"Since its winter vacation I said ok come with me you got to get moving," she said.

Bajer and her daughter Kateri drove about 45 minutes to strap on their skis hit the trails and get in a good workout.

"I enjoy it because it's kind of like a rush of adrenaline," Kateri said. "Usually I stay in my room all day and play video games. Skiing is like video games but in real life in a way."

Over on the pond there's no need for lifeguards as several people enjoy the frozen water and go ice fishing.

It's a winter activity for patient souls both young and old.

Several kids learned to check the safety of the ice, drill a fishing hole and use a pole or tip-up to catch a fish.

"It's fun," Nathan LaFleur said. He and his dad often ice fish at the park. "Catching little things like these. They're still a fish."

Nathan and his dad plan to eat their catch. They started fishing at about 11 Monday morning.

"Still got to sleep in," he said.

A little extra sleep and some winter fun is all he needs for an awesome break.