We know winter can sometimes feel never-ending. In the midst of frigid and cloudy months, you might find yourself counting down the days until spring. That doesn’t mean you should miss out on some of the amazing activities you can only do during the chilly season. From harvesting maple syrup in Vermont to ice fishing in Alaska, there are plenty of *cool* activities to keep busy this season, who knows, you may discover a new found love for the frigid cold! Read on for ten experiences from across the country to embrace the winter months and live like a local.
Photo by Yelper Rose D
1: Explore the icefalls at Starved Rock State Park in Utica, Illinois
“The waterfall was just beginning to thaw, so we had the luxury of seeing the waterfall on top of the icefalls. We had a fantastic lunch behind the fall. It felt like an ice cave.” – Beth C.
Photo by Yelper George C.
2: Visit a Sugar Shack in Vermont
“The Morse family has been making maple syrup in this area for generations. At the farm you can visit the Sugar House, sample different varieties of maple syrups, and taste countless other food made with maple syrup.” – Joan L.
Photo by Yelper Daniel Y.
3: Go on a Hot Cocoa Crawl
Search for the best cup of hot cocoa via Yelp – a few national favorites include: Mindy’s Hot Chocolate in Chicago and and Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery in Seattle.
Photo by Yelper Scott F.
4: Go Whale Watching in California
“We weren’t that far off shore when we spied our first blue whale. What a thrill to see an endangered species in its natural environment! Then came the dolphins, dozens of them! I’d definitely return to SD Whale Watch in the winter season to see the grey whales.” – Kelley C.
Photo from Chateau Grand Traverse Winery
5: Try Ice Wine at a Michigan Winery
“Michigan has a budding wine region in the Traverse City region of the state. They do a good number of whites, sweet wines, other fruit wines, and “ice” wine where they leave the grapes out to freeze before harvesting them.” – Rob M.
Photo by Kathryn T.
6: Warm up at Iron Mountain Hot Springs in Glenwood Springs, Colorado
“Who knew sitting outside in almost freezing temperatures overlooking snow capped mountains could be so much fun! It was 37 degrees outside but the temperature of the hot spring pools ranged between 98-109 degrees.” – Aisha R.
Photo by Yelper Lauren E.
7: Go on a guided snowshoe tour at Galena Lodge in Ketchum, ID
“A fantastic retreat in the winter with a host of x-country and snowshoe trails. The scenery is hard to beat. A winter wonderland.” – Mark F.
Photo by Yelper Troy O.
8: Check out a Hockey game at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida
“Awesome venue to watch an NHL hockey game. One of the best interactive score boards I’ve seen in the National Hockey League. Very accessible and welcoming arena.” – Michael W.
Photo by Yelper Jason P.
9: Ice Fish in North Pole, Alaska
“We booked the dog sledding, ice fishing, wildlife tour, Aurora Viewings with Alaska Aurora Adventures and had the best time. The ice fishing was surprisingly fun (they provided snacks, hot dogs, hot ramen, and prepared our freshly-caught fish for us). I highly recommend this experience.” – Amanda R.
Photo by Yelper Candace A.
10: Go Skijoring at Triple Creek Ranch in Darby, Montana
“Aside from the meals and beverages, TCR offers a ton of activities. From tubing (behind a snowmobile), horseback riding, snowshoeing, skijoring (if your not familiar, google it – I recommend everyone try it once), ice fishing, panning for sapphires, nature tours – the list goes on.” – Candace A.