Snow one day. Ice the next. A balmy 65 degrees the day after that. Meteorological variety is part of Colorado’s charm and one of the main reasons my family and I decided to make it our permanent home.
I lived for years in Minnesota and Iowa. Delightful places where some of my favorite people in the world still live. But winters there are COLD and that snow will be sticking around until April.
When our boys were younger, we lived in Hawaii and California. I adapted quickly to the warm weather, but decorating a Christmas tree with palm trees behind it seemed, well, bizarre to me. During a Disneyland trip one year, we gathered with thousands of others on Main Street for a surprise. Suddenly, music filled the air and snow tumbled from the sky. It was at that moment that I realized I MISSED SNOW. I missed seasons.
Colorado is perfect, at least for our family. It snows, giving us just enough time to play, then it melts. So… next time the flakes fall, shimmy into those snow pants and choose to have fun!
Here are some ideas:
–Ski. I’m surprised how many folks in Colorado don’t. Many of you know that Colorado fifth graders can ski up to 60 days for free at participating resorts and that up to 80 days are available to sixth graders for $115. What some of you might NOT know is that Vail Resorts offered up to 16 free days of skiing for K-4th graders at its four resorts for the 2015-16 season and a free lesson in January, if you signed up for an Epic SchoolKids pass before ski season. Here’s hoping they offer a similar pass for 2016-17!
–Try cross country skiing, ice skating or snowshoeing. They’re fun, cheap and great exercise.
–Build a snowman. Let each person in the family “dress” the frosty friend, then make snow angels or bury each other in snow, leaving only your heads showing. Snap photos for next year’s holiday card.
–Hollow out a snow “cave.” During the few days each year when snow falls deep in Colorado Springs, pile it high, pack it down, then grab a shovel or two and dig out a cave for the kids.
–Construct a snow igloo or fort. To do this, buy a few snow block makers. I bought ours at Target last spring for 38 cents each. If the snow is wet enough, you can build in a circular pattern at an angle and actually create a makeshift igloo. If it’s drier snow, you may have to settle for a fort with no roof. Or create two walls about 20 feet apart and see which one holds up during a snowball fight.
–Drag out the dump trucks, sand pails, shovels and other “summer” toys. They work just as well in snow.
–Go sledding. We live in Colorado and that means suitable hills in or near most neighborhoods. Buy lightweight sleds, so the kids can pull their own back up the hill.
–Make snow ice cream. When it starts to snow, place a large clean bowl outside to collect about a gallon of flakes (or simply gather from the top of new-fallen snow into a cold bowl). Stir in about a cup of white sugar, about a tablespoon of vanilla extract and enough milk for the desired consistency (up to two cups). Serve immediately.
Snow can be fun. Don’t huddle inside waiting for the warm up. Get outside and enjoy it!