Now that you’ve successfully gotten through your Christmas and New Year celebrations, you can breathe easy knowing the holiday season (and your holiday stress) has passed. After you celebrate an end to gift buying and constant holiday plans, maybe you’re thinking 'What’s next?'.
It’s a new year and winter is in full swing, which around here means snow and cold, but most importantly, it’s time to enjoy all the traditional winter pastimes. So aside from cozying up with blankets on the couch and watching snow fall, try out these more creative ideas and consider adding them to your winter bucket list every year.
Among snow ball fights and snowman building lie the true hallmarks of the season. Prominent winter pastimes include skiing, ice skating, snowboarding, and sledding.
If one of these items isn’t on your list of winter activities, you’re not living to the full extent of the season. I’m personally a fan of skiing, but if speeding down hills on a board (or two) isn’t in the cards for you, consider trying at least one of these staples this winter:
Sledding down a hill in your backyard or trekking to your town’s favorite snow hill is a great way to spend a snow day or get in some fresh air on a weekend. But have you ever been on a toboggan run? As opposed to a regular sled, toboggans have a curved front, forming a ‘J’ shape.
So, how is this different than regular sledding? You can always sled down hills with a personal toboggan, but traveling to a designated toboggan run is way more fun. I used to go as a kid with my dad and it beat out sledding every time.
- Ice Skating
Though a bit cliché, ice skating is an essential winter activity. Almost anyone can do it, so it’s definitely a whole-family gig, and you don’t have to be good at skating by any means.
I’ve went ice skating several times and have never managed to wean myself completely off the side of the rink. For me it’s not quite like riding a bike, but, even if you spend the whole time trying not to fall over, you’ll still have a good time.
I’ve never personally snow tubed, but Todd* and Emma* say it’s amazing. There are different winter resorts or snow tubing hills you can check out, but, like sledding, this cold weather amusement can be enjoyed on any decently sized snow-covered hill. Just don’t forget the snow pants.
Signature Homemade Drinks
(Healthy) Hot Chocolate
A steaming cup of hot chocolate is the best addition to those cold winter nights. Of course we included this seasonal go-to on the list. But we also like to be healthy as often as possible, so I’ve concocted a hot chocolate recipe that you don’t have to feel as guilty indulging in.
1 mug of skim milk
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon stevia
½ teaspoon vanilla
- Pour milk into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Turn to medium heat and add the additional ingredients.
- Stir until ingredients dissolve and mixture is smooth. Enjoy!
When considering more than just caloric content, such as calcium and protein amount, skim milk is one of the healthiest options. But if you’re dairy-free or counting calories, substitute almond or cashew milk. I’ve included cocoa in this recipe due to its heart health benefits, but raw cacao can also be used.
You may be thinking eggnog is more traditionally a yuletide drink, but you can indulge in this treat the whole season. These days I usually enjoy the store-bought eggnog, but my family has an eggnog recipe that will convert you into a fan of this seasonal drink.
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
1 cup milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla
Dash of Nutmeg
- Mix all the ingredients in a blender until thoroughly combined.
- Pour into a glass and add the nutmeg. Enjoy!
This is clearly not a healthy recipe, but it is delicious. If you’re dedicated to your diet you can substitute stevia for sugar and go with some of the milk alternative/substitutes mentioned above.
Attend a Winter Festival
All those holiday markets are over, so you can get more out of the season than just Christmas decorations when you attend a winter festival held in January or February. These festivals often include an abundance of winter entertainment and activities, such as:
- Ice Sculpture Contests
- Horse-drawn Carriage Rides
- DIY Winter Crafts
- Outdoor Activities (Skating, Sledding, etc.)
A few choice festivals in Michigan include the Petoskey Winter Carnival, Fire & Ice Festival, and Zehnder’s Snowfest. You can check out a list of top winter festivals in the United States or search for local festivals near you.
Fulfill Your Winter Bucket List
Toboggans, eggnog, and weekend fun—you’ll have a blast this winter with our recommendations for fulfilling a winter bucket list post-new year. Have any creative ideas of your own? We may be busy visiting a toboggan run or making some eggnog, but you can let us know in the comments below!
*Professionals at HMS Mfg. Co. for the Stola brand
Written and Published by Jessica – Writer at HMS Mfg. Co. for the Stola™ brand
Copyright © 2019 by HMS Mfg. Co. All Rights Reserved