Your Winter Activities Don’t have to Break the Bank

Cabin Fever?  Weekend Getaway?  Winter Blues?  Tired of roller skating or going to Ivanhoe’s?

I would consider myself to be an avid, yet average, winter sports enthusiasts.  I grew up in the “armpit” of Lake Michigan about an hour from the shoreline.  This meant that anytime a snow system came through, a day or two later we could almost always count on another snowfall. Only this time, the second snowfall would bring heavy, wet snow that was perfect for building snowmen and having epic snow ball fights. These snowfalls accounted for many snow days and even more memories from growing up with Northern Indiana Winters. Now it’s time that I share that knowledge. Below I have ranked my favorite winter activities from the least expensive to most expensive – and have provided tips on how to have fun and save money. ENJOY!

  • Hot Cocoa and A Warm Fire: Get a group together, find a cause, and request Facilities Services build a fire so that you and your friends can enjoy fellowship and drink favorite classic holiday beverages.

  • The Terrific Trio: Snowball Fight – Snowman Making – Snow Angel Contest. The ultimate prize – your choice (maybe your favorite candy bar or even your dishes washed).

  • Sledding: The cost of sledding is rather inexpensive.  The game room/Adventure Learning has sleds available at no cost to students, or you could search around and see what you can find that may resemble a sled – an option that always makes things more interesting depending on your level of commitment.

  • Yellow Snow: Alright, let me explain. This one involves going to the store and buying liquid flavoring (water or other syrup-based flavoring), then spreading it on the snow and enjoying a tasty treat (if you’re brave enough).  My personal preference is to get the lemonade flavoring.

  • Ice Skating: Now you’re probably looking at having some travel time. Popular destinations for Wildcats seeking to go ice skating include traveling to Ft. Wayne or Indianapolis. The north side of Indy offers three indoor locations: Fuel Tank at Fishers, Carmel Ice Skadium, and Arcticzone Iceplex Westfield.  All options run $12-15 with rentals during open skates. For a few dollars more you can try your hand at a game of hockey.  Ft. Wayne offers indoor SportONE Parkview Icehouse and outdoor (covered) Headwaters Park.

  • Skiing/Snowboarding: This option would likely be the most expensive and require the most planning.  Options available to students that are “doable” for a weekend getaway include: Indiana – Perfect North // Michigan – Swiss Valley, Bitter Sweet, TimberRidge, Caberfae, Crystal Mountain, Boyne Mountain // Ohio – Mad River.  Ski/snowboard rental and lift ticket will typically run $30-40 a piece for a total of around $80.  Deals can be found when purchasing in advance, going during less popular times, or in groups.  Be sure to check online for deals before purchasing tickets on sight.

Of course, it is to be said that these opportunities are contingent upon the weather. One minute we are hoping for snow, and the next we can’t feel our toes. But, when the snow does come, make sure you get outside to enjoy at least one, if not several of these activities.