There are twelve weekends left until spring! It is time to start thinking about my winter checklist. When you pack all your fun into the weekends like I do, seasons go by fast. Even during years that I despise winter, twelve weeks doesn’t seem like much time when I make a checklist.
Here is a baker’s dozen of activities to try to pack into the next twelve weekends:
Active Outdoor Winter Checklist
Go Sledding. It seems like we’ve had some less-than-perfect sledding years recently – either too cold, or too warm. This year my kids have gone repeatedly. Now its my turn to get out there. To help inspire me to move, I compiled this list of Twin Cities Sledding Hills.
- Go Ice Skating. Anne recently published an article directing us Where To Find Free Outdoor Ice Rinks. Most of the Minneapolis Park rinks also offer free loaner skates – an incredible value when kids feet grow faster than you can get to a rink.
- Go Snowshoeing. Gianna filled us in on all the Snowshoe Fun to be found in Minnesota and where the best snowshoeing parks can be found.
- Go Cross Country Skiing. Como Park is my top pick for cross country skiing because, 1) if you have your own skis, it’s free; 2) if you don’t have your own skis, they rent them out; and, 3) you don’t need a Minnesota Ski Pass. Plus, if down hill skiing is more your thing, they have that at reasonable prices, too.
- Attend Winter Carnival. I’ve lived here 20 years and have yet to attend any Winter Carnival event. This is the year! Luckily, Anne, being FFTC’s official ambassador to St. Paul, has already offered her Top Free Family Activities for the 2018 Saint Paul Winter Carnival.
Winter Checklist of Art I Can’t See In Summer
Check out the New Brighton snow lobster. Remember Austin, Trevor, and Connor Bartz and their amazing aquatic snow sculptures? They are back at it again this year – check out their Facebook page to see how it’s going.
- Visit the Arty Shanty Project. This year, On-Ice Program will be held weekend days Jan 20 – Feb 11 giving us 8 chances to get out and see this unique exhibit.
- Attend the Art Sled Rally. This year the Art Sled Rally is on January 28th at 2:00 p.m., but if you want to be more than a spectator, you can attend free workshops – info coming soon on the website.
- Attend a Valentine Hot Metal Pour. Yes, you can do a Franconia hot metal pour in summer, but that sounds sticky and uncomfortable. Valentine weather seems like a perfect day to stand around flames so hot, they melt metal. February 17th, 12-5pm. Free admission.
- Visit Ice Castles. Gianna reviewed Ice Castles in 2015 when it was located in Eden Prairie. We have updated her review with this year’s information. The castles will be rising in Stillwater’s Lowell Park, and they are a sight to behold.
Winter Checklist for Family Fun at Home
Build something from snow or ice. Snowmen and snow angels never get old, but maybe this year will be the year we make an awesome snow fort or igloo. Maybe we can jump on the frozen pants bandwagon or make ice-cube art. Stef at Non-Toy Gifts has 20 Ideas for Snow and Ice Activities.
- Snuggle up together with a good book and some hot chocolate or cider. I don’t really need an excuse for hot chocolate and a good book, but winter sure does offer them. This year, I’d also like to try this Crock Pot Pumpkin Cider found on Dining with Alice.
- Peruse cookbooks and make all those wonderfully comforting cold weather foods. I don’t really do the cooking in my house, but I do love to curl up with a cookbook and pick out recipes for my husband and kids to make together. It gets too warm in the summer to cook some of my favorites – roasts, roast chicken, soups, stews and chili. So this is the time of year to get my fill. If that isn’t enough, before spring hits, Lent will start, and we can’t have Friday nights in Lent without fish fries.