Four Safety Tips for Seasonal Transitions

iStock_000034808008_sTake a deep breath. Can you smell it? Spring is almost here! You may remember that season: Plants are blooming, grass is growing, winter coats are being put away and the most important part; windows are down while we’re driving. I can almost feel it now! Making the transition from winter driving to spring driving can be tricky if you live in a colder winter climate. Let’s take a look at a few things to make this seasonal transition easier. Continue reading Four Safety Tips for Seasonal Transitions

Get Fuel Fit

Get shopping, maintenance and driving tips to help you and trim your gas bill Eco-footprint

Be Tire Smart Canada’s Get Fuel Fit Vehicle Guide is your resource for tuning up your auto and tire care knowledge with shopping, maintenance and driving tips that can help you save money and protect the environment. Learn from their Fuel Fit Coaches who share valuable advice for trimming your eco-footprint.

Some of the questions you will find answered in the guide are related to how to pick the best vehicle to maximize your fuel savings and how your choice of tires has a big impact over the life of the vehicle.

See the Get Fuel Fit Vehicle Guide to start saving today.

How to Avoid a Dead Car Battery This Winter

Cold winter weather can drain a car’s battery quickly, increasing the danger for a breakdown on a chilly day. However, some simple preventative steps can help preserve a vehicle’s battery from auto repair.

Assess the Battery’s Condition

While batteries can last up to ten years, older ones may be ripe for replacement before winter rolls around if they are between three and five years old. Even if a battery is newer, it should be regularly inspected for signs of corrosion, such as acidic residue around the terminals.

Know the Signs of a Weak Battery

Drivers who notice a clicking noise, headlights that dim when slowing down, and cranking during start-up should replace their battery.

Take Preventive Maintenance Steps

These preparations can help prevent a dead battery during the coldest conditions.

Active Green + Ross Guide To Great Winter Family Escapes 8) Go Ice skating

AskPatty_Guide_To_Great_Winter_Family_Escapes-Jan2016-08-ice_skatingYou can go winter ice skating outdoors, even if it’s 90 degrees outside!

Outdoor ice skating rinks are the perfect place to hang out with friends and family, enjoy a first date, or sign up for skate lessons. Many even have private cabanas where you can hold a special event. Maybe you’re lucky enough to live near a frozen lake for ice skating, but if you don’t, just do a google search for outdoor ice skating rinks to find one near you.

How do outdoor ice skating rinks stay frozen in the warm weather?

It has to do with a substance called propylene glycol, says Willy Bietak, president of Bietak Productions. His company has installed outdoor rinks at Pershing Square in Los Angeles, California, and by the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California.

According to an interview at, the propylene glycol is chilled to anywhere from 5 to 15 degrees below freezing using a large refrigeration system. Then, Bietak says, it’s run through pipes housed in aluminum panels that sit directly under the ice itself. The glycol cools these panels to very cold temperatures and the panels in turn cool the ice above them. Bietak says these warmer daytime temperatures create a “soft, smooth, soapy surface where you have a good edge.”


Active Green + Ross Guide To Great Winter Family Escapes 7) Build a Snowman 

AskPatty_Guide_To_Great_Winter_Family_Escapes-Jan2016-07-build_a_snowmanWinter means snow, and snow means snowmen (and snow women too).

If you live where it snows, don’t let winter pass you by without building a fun snowman (or woman) in your yard! If you’re heading outside for winter’s play, brush up on your snowman building skills here at to ensure that this will be a fun family activity for all of you.

Guess what? You don’t need snow to build a snowman, you can also do it with sand! Building a snowman out of sand is both easier and harder than you might think; learn how by following these easy steps at


Active Green + Ross Guide To Great Winter Family Escapes 6) Have a Family Night

AskPatty_Guide_To_Great_Winter_Family_Escapes-Jan2016-06-family_game_nightInvite some neighbors over to join in the fun!

Do you ever find yourself running out of ideas for fun family activities? Whether you want to spend the evening playing games, vegging out with Netflix and a warm drink, go out to a local destination like a museum or zoo, or even spend a day volunteering, here is a list of 20 ideas for a fun family night, courtesy of


Active Green + Ross Guide To Great Winter Family Escapes 5) Go Ice Sculpture Viewing

AskPatty_Guide_To_Great_Winter_Family_Escapes-Jan2016-05-ice_sculpture_viewingPay a visit to an ice and snow festival to experience the frozen magic of ice carving.

Originally a skill taught in culinary schools, the art of ice carving has moved out of the kitchen to the great outdoors where teams of ice and snow sculpture artists from around the world come together to compete in sculpting events with the resulting artworks put on display for the rest of us to enjoy.

These frozen displays are carved from solid blocks of ice and snow by a variety of tools including chisels, handsaws, and even chainsaws. Whether you want to visit gorgeous sculpture displays, walk through entire castles built of ice,  visit a music festival where all the instruments are made from ice just hours before each concert, or play on a playground constructed entirely from ice with slides, rides, and mazes, these ice and snow festivals elevate ice carving into magnificent works of art.

Learn about some of the top 10 ice and snow festivals around the world, gathered by

Active Green + Ross Guide To Great Winter Family Escapes 4) Go Ice Fishing

AskPatty_Guide_To_Great_Winter_Family_Escapes-Jan2016-04-ice_fishingIce fishing has long been a favorite winter sport.

Though some might think the idea of sitting over a hole in the ice waiting to catch a fish might seem a bit crazy, the activity can be quite a bit of fun — from the planning to the party atmosphere your family can have once there — making it a favorite winter sport all over the country.

Drive The Nation has gathered a few great spots to get out and try ice fishing, so check them out here.

Remember: Before you head out to your winter destination, be sure to prep your car for safe travels. Whether you’re taking off for a fun vacation in the snow, or just to visit loved ones and friends near and far, if your family is hitting the road, getting your vehicle ready for a safe trip needs to be on your list of things to do.

Active Green + Ross Guide To Great Winter Family Escapes 3) Go Sledding

AskPatty_Guide_To_Great_Winter_Family_Escapes-Jan2016-03-go_sleddingSledding is a winter tradition for both young and old to enjoy.

If you’d like something with the same amount of speed but without the noise of the snowmobile engine, then consider these great sledding locations suggested by USAToday that offer specially groomed courses with ramps and hills for urban sledding, snowboarding, and tubing.

Sledding can be great fun, but it can also lead to serious injuries. Research shows over 20,000 emergency room visits per year were a direct result of sledding injuries in patients 19 and younger, so don’t let injuries get in the way of your family’s winter fun. Make sure you all wear helmets and proper sledding gear. And NEVER sled head first!

Finally, before you hit the road for your great winter escape, be sure you’ve prepared yourself, your car, and your family for the adventure ahead. And when you’re on the road, make sure everybody in the car is properly restrained by their seatbelt or child safety seat!