Last Saturday morning our son ran around the house collecting his boots, face mask, and snowpants so we could get out and go sledding. It was the day after a snowstorm and he woke up bright and early, popped his head in the bedroom to say enthusiastically, “I’m putting on pants so I can go outside and see how much snow we got!” And he was gone. Minutes later he was back, “It’s like a dream out there! A winter wonderland!” There’s nothing like the first big snowstorm…or the first time down the sledding hill.
We love winter so much we look forward to it. Sadly, this year the winter weather didn’t land in Wisconsin as early as usual. While P and I were anxiously awaiting the snow and ice we needed so we could get out and play, everyone else seemed to be reveling in the loooong autumn. For some reason they didn’t seem to be as enthusiastic about the winter wonderland that was sure to come. And so it finally occurred to me, before you can learn to love winter, you need to learn to survive winter, maybe even tolerate it.
Many of you
hate despise, winter. I’ll let you in on a secret. I don’t always love it either.
Things I hate about winter:
- My fingertips get so dry they crack, painfully
- Being a walking ball of static electricity with hair that gravitates to the nearest charged object
- Slushy and dirty parking lots that ruin my shoes and the bottoms of my pants
- Waking up in the dark and coming home in the dark
It’s not all fun for me, but I just can’t to waste an entire season complaining and wishing there was something to do.
This year I’m trying a new approach on the website. We’ll start with baby steps before making the BIG step to embracing winter like I do. Even if you hate winter, there’s so much to do to make the time enjoyable that doesn’t involve being outside for long. I encourage you to slow down; look for a few small things to appreciate about the season. It’s so much better than being miserable for five months.
Indoor Field Trips
It makes sense to start indoors. My son and I do a lot outside during the winter (my husband, not so much), but you don’t even have to leave your nice warm home to have fun. And if you get cabin fever and the walls are starting to close in, any number of indoor field trips aren’t far away.
Break out the sheets and blankets, tip over the chairs, and build some epic forts with your kids.
2. Play Games
Luckily our community libraries are full of programs, events, and materials to keep us busy all season long.
The Neville Public Museum, Appleton History Museum, National Railroad Museum, Oneida Nation Museum, Hazelwood Historic House, and Packers Hall of Fame are all options in Northeast Wisconsin.
The Packers organization is definitely a class act. The Cub Scout sleepover in the Packers Hall of Fame was pretty amazing. Listening to a pack of scouts shouting “Go Pack go!” into the bowl of the stadium on a snowy night was unforgettable. #packers #GreenBay #scouts #webelos #ReggieWhite #sofortunate #gopackgo🏈 #memories
Food & Drink
5. Try a new cuisine or go out for some old fashioned comfort food.
6. Bake something together
7. Hot Cocoa at Coffee Shops
Kavarna, Liberty Café, and Luna Café are our favorite local places to warm up with a mug of hot cocoa.
8. Hit the Bowling Alley
9. Or the Roller Rink
10. Visit the Children’s Museum in Green Bay or the Building for Kids in Appleton
11. Explore (inside) the Wildlife Sanctuary
The Otter Slide, giant turtle shell, and animal burrow are all ways to keep the littles active inside. If you’re up for it, you can feed the ducks and geese outside.
A photo posted by Terra (@lifeasafieldtrip) on
12. Get Your Swim On
We spend quite a few Friday and Saturday nights at the Kroc during the winter months.
Learn Something New Together
13. Home Deport Workshops
14. Learn to Code
15. Learn to sew or embroider or knit or…
16. See a Show
Check out coffee shops, The Resch, Meyer Theater, and Weidner Center.
17. Look for the Beauty
It really is all around us, if you look for it. It can be as simple to find as watching the snow fall from the comfort of your couch.
More Ways to Make Winter Easier
18. Wear Good Gear/Dress for the Weather
This is a relatively easy thing to fix and I’m always surprised by how many people don’t dress for snow or winter weather. It makes all the difference!
I guarantee you won’t be as miserable, you might even be comfortable, when you’re out in winter weather if you dress for conditions. Check out these tips from Finland.
Yes, it gets cold in Finland in the winter. But that’s no reason to stay indoors – just gear up right and make the most of the fresh white season. www.visitfinland.com
19. Learn to Drive in Snow
This makes all the difference in our snowy world! My parents taught me how to drive in winter weather. It was one of the best gifts they gave me. I don’t take chances, drive slower, leave a lot more room between my car and other cars, accelerate slowly, and I brake early, often, and gradually.
If you don’t feel comfortable driving in snow, it’s time to learn! For some tips on driving in snowy and icy conditions check out these Winter Driving Tips, then take a test drive– practice in an empty parking lot.
Try It, You Might Like It
There are things I hate about summer, too like sweating in places one should never sweat, painfully peeling my legs off chairs, mosquitos, sunburns, tornados, heat stroke, dehydration, and humidity…but when summer comes around those aren’t the things I think of, they aren’t the things I focus on, because well, it would ruin summer. I hope some winter day, you’ll decide to do the same for winter. There are
annoying awful things about winter, but there are far more good things to appreciate about the winter months if you make the effort to find them.
Follow our adventures on Instagram for more winter field trip ideas.