Do you remember the excitement that accompanied each snowfall when you were a kid? The feeling of magic in the air as you watched fat flakes slowly falling, and the hope that built in your chest for a day off school? A winter morning could quickly be skyrocketed from average to incredible with the announcement of two simple words: SNOW DAY.
Somehow as we grew up, it seems we lost that excitement. Now, instead of anticipation of greatness, snowfalls bring on thoughts of bad driving conditions, slushy sidewalks, and cold winds. Isn’t that a much sadder picture?
We want to go back to those simpler days, when snowfalls served as a reminder to take a break from the everyday –when we saw these as gifts, as passes for a free day, with nowhere to be, and no expectations. We put together our suggestions for eight fun things to try during the next snowfall that will have you falling back in love with snow days and encouraging Mother Nature to bring on the blizzard.
1) Catch Snowflakes
When you really stop to look, falling snow has a way of entrancing us –of sparking a feeling of excitement mixed with a little bit of awe at its beauty. Spend a day catching falling snowflakes on your eyelashes as you skate on the lake rink at Hush Lodge and Cottages and wind down by soaking in the warmth of the sauna before wrapping up in a blanket to gaze out the window at the fresh blanket of snow covering everything in sight.
2) Start a Fire
Feel sparks fly over a dinner for two at Spectacle Lake Lodge before cozying up around your own winter campfire outside your cabin. Share gooey s’mores, hot cocoa, and a warm blanket as you gaze up at the night sky and try your luck at spotting a shooting star. Cozy accommodations with a homey fire abound in Ontario’s Highlands.
3) Make a Snow Angel
We know, snow is cold and not everyone wants to be covered in it. Our suggestion: use it as a way to cool down and indulge in a little thermo-therapy after spending time in the hot tubs or saunas at Circa 1894 B&B and Day Spa. If you’re worried the frozen snow might be just a little too much for you, you could always take a dip in the cold tub, or take a quick cool shower for the same effect before pulling up a seat next to the beautiful oak mantel fireplace in the Quiet Room to relax.
4) Hold Hands
You can’t deny that a fresh blanket of snow, either sparkling in the sunlight or throwing off a magical glow in the moonlight, makes for a pretty romantic backdrop. Grab the hand of your partner as you glide along the Laurentian Valley Skate Trail, snowshoe in Shaw Woods, or cross-country ski the groomed trails of the Opeongo Hills Nordic Ski Club amidst the beautiful winter forests. Sit down to a romantic dinner watching the sunset over the frozen lake at Sands on Golden Lake before settling in for the night, or maybe head out to Killaloe or Round Lake for a midnight skate date under the stars at an outdoor rink.
5) Make a Furry Friend
Have you ever seen a Siberian Husky in the winter? Their frenzied excitement as the air starts cooling down is a clear indicator this is their favourite time of year. Try your hand at mushing during a dogsled trip with Winterdance Dogsled Tours and let these friendly animals show you the stunning winter beauty of the Haliburton wilderness.
6) Sip Some Soup
A nice snowy day is truly the ideal soup weather. A bowl of steaming flavourful soup may not be the most appealing in the middle of summer (unless maybe you have one of those dreaded summer colds), but on a chilly winter’s day, there is almost nothing better. We recommend maximizing the soup’s warming powers by taking time to embrace the outdoors beforehand. Drop in for a snowshoe hike on the 140-acres of woodland at Abbey Gardens (or call ahead to book a group snowshoe tour and lunch), before popping into the Food Hub for a mug of steamy soup. Looking for a bit more speed? Spend a morning carving and swooshing down the trails of Calabogie Peaks before warming up over a hot bowl of homemade soup at the Mountain Cat Café.
7) Tuck in with a Moo-tini
Ok, we know that not everyone wants to get out and play in the snow, and that’s ok too. You can still enjoy the beauty of a snow-covered Almonte tucked comfortably inside Almonte Riverside Inn. Pull up a chair at The Lobby Bar onsite and indulge with a Vodkow cocktail made using a vodka-like liquor created locally by distilling milk sugars at the Dairy Distillery. With your cozy warm room just upstairs, you can enjoy a moo-tini or two into the evening and watch the twinkling lights outside reflect off the snowy buildings and icy river.
8) Avoid Traffic
We understand that a massive snowfall is not the ideal time to be out driving, so we suggest you get off the roads and into the woods with a vehicle that sees snow not as a slippery challenge, but as an inviting opportunity to explore the unknown. Rent a snowmobile, or bring your own, to feel the rumble of the machine beneath you as you zip along over 300-kilometres of trails at Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve Ltd.
Here’s hoping you’ll have the chance to test out a few of these activities this winter to rediscover the beauty and freedom brought on by a good snow day.