As we are all very aware of at this point in the upper Midwest, Winter is coming in strong. Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like the freeze before the freeze. While most of us are grumbling about the fact that it’s time to break out those thick coats, hats and scarves, I think it’s important to remind ourselves just why we love Wisconsin so much in the Winter and the activities that can only happen with snow and ice.
- Sledding. Let’s start with the most obvious activity. Sledding can be enjoyed by every age. Be honest with yourself, you know you still laugh when you watch your friend sled down the hill and fall off before they make it all the way down. Even if you get covered in snow and your cheeks and nose turns red, it doesn’t hinder you from conquering hills like Elver park.
- Ice Skating. Often one of the first things I think of during the holiday season is ice skating. It’s a fun way to spend your free time. Looking for the perfect date idea on a Winter evening and tired of the movies and dinner, try out ice skating while sipping a hot cup of cocoa or apple cider. Madison has several public ice skating rinks to enjoy, including the recently opened Edgewater Hotel Ice Rink.
- Christmas lights. I can’t be the only adult that gets slightly excited as Christmas lights and displays start to be put up. Finding those homes and neighborhoods that go all out with their holiday decorations is fun, whether young or old! Madison’s Olin Park puts on an amazing light display each year, Holiday Fantasy in Lights, and runs from November to early January with free admission (although donations are always appreciated).
- Dane County Farmer’s Market. Cold weather doesn’t stop our love for organic and fresh foods! While the market is no longer along the streets of our gorgeous Capitol during the colder months, you can still find it in full swing indoors at the Monona Terrace from November 15th to December 20th and the Madison Senior Center from January 4th to April 12th.
- The Polar Plunge. Across the state a few select crazies dive into frigid water every year. Why? Of course only for the Polar Plunge. Those taking the plunge are actually doing it for good causes, so in reality it’s not THAT crazy and completely makes it worth it! This year, Madison’s Polar Plunge for Special Olympics will take place on Saturday, February 25th at Alliant Energy Center’s Willow Island. You can find more information here.
This list is just the tip of the ice berg, so to speak, when it comes to the adventures and events Wisconsin Winters have to offer those of us who don’t get the opportunity to head South during the colder months. As Wisconsin residents, most of us don’t want to anyways because as much as we love our Summer weather, Winter is where our hearts lie. We don’t have to dream of a white Christmas, because more often than not it’s our reality, and we are okay with that.