With a fresh blanket of snow on the ground we are reminded that winter is not quite over yet. Instead of bemoaning the cold, let’s celebrate that we don’t have to look at the ugly, gray snow anymore and enjoy the last (hopefully) significant snowfall.
The worst part of this winter so far has been that has been too bitterly cold to actually enjoy any of the snow. Take advantage of above zero temperatures and some sun, and hit the hills this weekend.
For something different, head to Lake Villa Township Park (known as Caboose Park). It’s located on the corner of Fairfield and Grand Ave. This lighted hill also boasts one of the few toboggan chutes in the area. Contact the Township at 847-356-2116 for hill conditions.
If you want to stay warm while the kids slide down the hills, head to Adler Park in Libertyville. The warming lodge is open on weekends and has concessions, as well as bathrooms. Adler Park is located off Milwaukee Ave. Call 847-247-5433 for conditions.
Sure, you can technically ice skate year round at places like Rink Side Sports in Gurnee, but the timeline for outdoor skating is short! Head to Waukegan’s Belvidere Park to skate their brand new outdoor ice rink. They will have their last Family Skate Night on March 27 from 5-7:30 p.m. (weather permitting). These nights include free skating and limited free rentals, as well as music and hot chocolate.
You can skate on the actual Lake Zurich in Paulus Park (200 S. Rand Rd., Lake Zurich). Skating is free if the flag is green (You must bring your own skates). Call 847-438-5146 x9 for current conditions.
Experience the beauty of winter on a snow covered hike. The trails are quiet and you can make it an adventure by looking for animal tracks. Head to Lakewood in Wauconda and you can warm up in the Discovery Museum afterwards.
If you would prefer someone else do the leading, sign up for Hikin’ Tykes at Greenbelt Cultural Center on March 10. Preschoolers age 2-4 will do a story, craft and short nature hike all about finding tracks.
Cross country skiing
No skis? No problem! Heller Nature Center in Highland Park has three miles of trails and they rent skis in sizes for 6-year-olds through adults. Packages include no wax skis, boots and poles. The daily fee is $13 for adults and $8 for children and a drivers license or $20 deposit is needed per set of skis. Reservations aren’t accepted. Warm up in the Nature Center after your run! Call 847-433-6901 to check snow conditions.
Snowshoeing is a great way to get that winter hike in and get some exercise at the same time. Northerly Outfitters (1166 E. Washington St., Grayslake) rents snowshoes to adults and children. Rentals start at $15 per day and the fee can be applied to a snowshoe purchases if the purchase is made within five days. Rentals are provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Discounts are available for multiple rentals. Call the store at 847-548-0800 for more information.
See winter is not that bad, and the best part is, it’s almost over! So get out there and enjoy the fresh snow while you can.