KITCHENER -- The weather is cooling and local stores say people are preparing to stay warm outdoors earlier than ever.

Shopper Charles Corrigan is preparing to bundle up this winter.

"Trying to do a lot of walks, hikes, stuff that we can do that is baby friendly," he said.

He said his family of three is planning to spend as much time as possible outside this winter.

"Being able to get outside is a good thing," Corrigan said. "COVID has been a little bit weird."

Other shoppers are also preparing for winter activities.

"They want to stay active, they want to do things close to home," said Mike Furey with Adventure Guide. "Things as basic as walking, hiking on local trails, thing where you don't have to get on a plane."

After 32 years in the sporting goods business, Furey said this is the earliest he's seen shoppers stocking up.

"Normally we would have no snowshoes in September, October," he said. "We have already cranked through the inventory a couple of times, so it's off the charts."

For people wanting to hit the slopes this winter, Chicopee is scheduled to reopen next month for the first time since March. However, access to the chalet will be limited.

"People who are lining up and access to the washroom, but really that's it," CEO Bill Creighton said. "There's no sitting down and warming up, people will use their cars as their central base."

The ski hill's restaurant will be open, with contact tracing in place. There are also three new fire pits to keep customers warm.

Creighton also said people will need to pack a mask with their skis.

"Whether you are in the lift line, riding the lift, everything you are asked to do, you will be asked to have a mask on," he said.

The City of Kitchener is also preparing to reopen outdoor rinks.

"We are looking to secure the same amount of rinks we had last year," said Loriann Palubeski, program and resource services manager with the City of Kitchener.

Palubeski said there were more than 30 rinks in the city last winter.

Each rink will have a capacity limit. They're expected to open in December.