Many people have taken to the great outdoors during the pandemic to relieve boredom: walking, ice skating, snow-shoeing, sledding, building a snowman or just getting a dose of fresh air during these trying times. And while winter is not my favorite season, I like to bundle up and take a walk on a sunny but cold winter day.
Where I grew up in Maryland, there was a pond on my family’s property that was fed by a mountain stream and stocked with a variety of fish. In the summer, it was a popular swimming and fishing hole for our friends and neighbors. But during the winter, it became a skating rink. My parents would string up some lights, build a fire and bring us thermoses of hot chocolate to warm us. I spent a lot of time skating on that pond with my friends.
When my sons were little, they also enjoyed ice skating and spent many winter afternoons playing pond hockey. They also became avid league hockey players when they were younger and also for their high school hockey team. I, of course, enjoyed being a hockey mom – and a hockey “grandmom” when my grandson, Mack, took up the sport.
When my sons were growing up, kids didn’t spend much time in the house playing video games. They layered on their winter gear and would be gone for hours making snow forts, building snowmen or playing pond hockey, skiing or snowmobiling with their buddies.
Luckily, there are a lot of things to do in Michigan during the winter, despite the pandemic. Genesee County Parks offer many outdoor activities such as outdoor winter survival, a full moon hike and hundreds of miles of trails for walking. Check out their online calendar for a list of February activities.
For the avid skier (which I am not), Mt. Holly Ski & Snowboard Resort is open for the season with, of course, some COVID restrictions. Want to go sledding? Creasey Bicentennial Park in Grand Blanc is open every day from 8am-dusk. With some beautiful trails, it is also a lovely place for a wintry walk.
For those who like ice skating, something new is happening in Fenton. The Barn Ice Skating Rink is available to everyone for open skates every week through March 28. They also host a variety of hockey tournaments.
So, get out your skates, skis, snowshoes and boots. Bundle up, get outside and have yourself some winter fun!