Winter has arrived: How to enjoy the snow.

Hi badgers!

Are you knee- deep in snow yet? We just can’t help it; it’s that time of the year again – where temperatures drop, there is slush everywhere and the sun is blinding but you don’t seem to feel any of its warmth. The good thing is that there are so many fun things to do in the winter! There are several outdoor activities that Canadians long for throughout the year that they can only enjoy in the snow.

Here is a list of some of the fun things you can do this winter (in the Niagara Region or any place with lots of snow really 🙂

Go ice-skating
When I first decided to come to Canada, one of the first few things I considered doing was learning how to skate. For an international student that grew up in a desert, I had only gone ice skating once in an indoor ice rink when I was 16. So unfortunately, I still don’t know how to skate but I hope to learn soon. I’ve been skating twice in Canada, but I still have the fear of falling over and cracking a tooth or two. There are several spots around the Niagara Region like Wayne Gretzky’s Estate Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines and Thorold Community Centre to go skating. Nathan Philip Square in Toronto is also a popular destination for skaters. If you’re ever in the city, be sure to check it out.

This one is a lot of fun! I’ve only got to do a modified version of this once, but seeing videos of people tobogganing makes me want to go again. I was able to go tobogganing at a friend’s farm in first year. We attached the toboggan to a snowmobile which made lots of fun even on a flat terrain. As the snowmobile turned, it was a challenge to stay on the toboggan. But in all honesty, falling over into the snow was the best part! I would definitely recommend this to everyone, since this doesn’t really require any skill and is safe even for kids!

This is something that I haven’t tried yet, but this winter sport gets a lot of attention! Locals that I have met love going skiing and most of my friends go skiing with their families at least once every year. A popular destination for skiing is Blue Mountain, about 3 hours away from the Falls. I actually visited Blue Mountain in the summer last year for Canada day – an odd time to visit that area but it was very beautiful and picturesque during Canada’s 150th celebration.

Have a snowball fight
I’m sure almost everyone has thrown a snowball at someone in their life! There is just so much joy that comes from hurling a snowball at someone and waiting to see their shocked reaction.  My dad actually threw a snowball at me the first time he came to visit Canada in the winter (I was definitely not expecting that). I also remember seeing international students during the first snow last semester as they played in the snow and took several pictures. It reminded me of the first time I saw snow – three years ago when I first came to Canada! Snowball fights are lots of fun and once you and your friends are tired, you can even build a snowman together!

Go on a winter hike:
I love the outdoors and thoroughly enjoy hiking in the summer. But I know many people like going on hikes during the winter as well! This is not something that I have personally tried, but would like to this winter. The woods near Brock are beautiful when they are covered with snow (and sometimes ice). I find it hard to convince myself to leave the comfort and warmth of my house or the university and go adventuring out in the snow. But nonetheless I would like to that this winter. Decew Falls near Brock surprisingly gets quite a few hikers during this time of year!

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