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10 Winter Activities To Entertain Your Kids (and Yourself) During The Winter Months

Jan 05, 2021 02:01PM ● By Virginia Dean
Despite the angst that comes with our continual quarantining during the pandemic, it’s possible to satisfy your winter wonderland wanderlust this year with many fun activities throughout the Upper Valley. From snow sports to crafting to animal husbandry, there is plenty of seasonal fun to make your spirits bright and cheery.


Skiing + Snowboarding

Storrs Hill Ski Area offers alpine racing, ski trails, a surface lift, and ski jumping along with lessons for kids and adults. For just $25, you can become a member and get added benefits including special night ski days, discounts off ski gear, and a free tune-up. You can even get a season’s pass.  Owned by the city of Lebanon and operated by the Lebanon Outing Club, Storrs Hill is a 20-acre ski area that hosts three ski trails with a 300-foot drop, two ski jumps, a surface lift, and ski lodge. It is the only year-round Nordic ski jumping training facility in New England.


Suicide Six ski area is open Wednesday-Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is running in strict compliance with federal and state COVID-19 guidelines. This famous resort offers 23 trails off a 650-foot vertical. The terrain is diverse with excellent snowmaking and grooming. Vermont’s leading family ski resort is home to 100 acres of skiing and snowboarding on 24 trails suitable for all skill levels. Compared to larger Northeast ski areas, Suicide Six offers shorter than average lift times and fewer crowds. Full details of the modified operations at Suicide Six Ski area can be found here Vermont’s leading family ski resort is home to 100 acres of skiing and snowboarding on 24 trails suitable for all skill levels. Compared to larger Northeast ski areas, Suicide Six offers shorter than average lift times and less crowds. For full details of the modified operations at Suicide Six Ski area click here.


Public Trails: Cross Country Skiing, Snowshoeing + More

The Upper Valley Trails Alliance organization strives to form and support partnerships with any town, organization, or person in the Upper Valley willing to work on the improvement and sustainable development of public trails. Its goal is to foster and nurture partnerships of all kinds to support trail projects, events, training, and alliance meetings. Whether skating, skiing, snowboarding, sledding, riding a horse-drawn wagon or trail racing, adults and children may enjoy a variety of events and programs that are based on 20 years of feedback and support from alliance members.


Ice Climbing

For those who want more intense winter fun, some of the best ice climbing guides and opportunities in the country can be found in the Upper Valley and the surrounding area. Whether participating in the Mt. Washington Valley Ice Fest, Smuggs Ice Bash, or Rock Spot Ice Fest climbers can learn or continue their sport in a variety of ways. Smugglers Notch and Lake Willoughby are the places to go in Vermont and the White Mountains – where the oldest climbing school in the northeast can be found - in New Hampshire offer guided climbs for the beginner or the expert looking for a challenge. Interested sports enthusiasts should look for EMS Outdoors, International Mountain Climbing School, Synnott Mountain Guides, Northeast Mountaineering, or Bretton Woods.


Snow Tubing

Snow tubing has become a popular winter sport not only for children. Adults can remember what it feels like to fly down a hill as the adrenaline pulses through them and the snow dust billows around. Arrowhead Recreation Area in Claremont, NH offers just such an opportunity. Individuals, friends, families are welcome to be a kid again for under $10 for a full (1 hour 50 minutes) or half session (50 minutes). Tubing at Arrowhead can be seen on YouTube or go to www.arrowheadnh.com or 603.542.7016 to make a reservation.


Ski Lessons, Snowshoeing + Nature Hikes

Hartford Town Parks & Rec offers a variety of activities this winter including village walks, hikes, snowshoeing, card-making workshops, Nihon Aikijujutsu, basketball, and ski lessons. Camp Ventures February vacation camp will be offered this year from February 15-19 and offers such programs as music, sports, arts and crafts, and field trips. Public skating is also offered at the Wendel A. Barwood Arena until March 5, 2021.


Bird/Nature Walks, Snowshoeing Paths, Cross-Country Ski Paths

The Vermont Institute of Natural Science is a popular and well-loved destination year-round that offers visitors a view of an assortment of birds and walks, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing on its nature trails. A fun-filled day of family activities will be offered on January 13 from 10 am to 4 pm and will include crafts, storytelling, meeting cold-blooded critters, games, science experiments, and a guided snowshoe tour of its nature trails. 


Winter On The Farm

At Billings Farm & Museum visitors can see the animals, take a sleigh ride or take a tour of the well-known Rockefeller mansion. Its beautiful grounds hold a farming museum, wagon rides, and guided tours of a period farmhouse from the 19th century. January is a Winter Wonderland at the farm with engaging activities indoors and outside for visitors of all ages.


Indoor Fun

The  Upper Valley Aquatic Center is a kid’s splash paradise where visitors can exercise, unwind or have fun in its multiple pools, community programs, or two floors of equipment and multiple exercise spaces. UVAC is currently open to members only except programs like group training, swim lessons, and Red Cross.


If you’re more of a quiet, laid-back person and don't' feel like getting outside here are some other options to check out. Keep in mind some of these places are offering virtual classes as well.


King Arthur Baking Company

 

Please note: all organizations are actively monitoring the incidence of COVID-19 in the Upper Valley region and are following state and federal guidelines regarding visitations including CDC recommendations on preventing the spread of COVID-19. Interested groups or individuals should check each business to find out what these recommendations are prior to a visit.

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