Want your kids to have a blast in the snow? Throw away your destination-based, epic plans and let them drive. (Well, not literally. Most kids aren’t really qualified to drive in the snow.)
This is especially important early in the season when the snow isn’t exactly the perfect powder you’ve been dreaming of all summer. Especially if it’s about 34 degrees and lightly raining.
I gave up on a trip to a small lake and opted to go to the parking lot of a local ski area that hadn’t yet opened. It was partially plowed and that made it a perfect place for the kids to climb, run, and fall down in the wet snow. More importantly, they had a chance to reacquaint themselves with the new Tubbs snowshoes they’d only really used last July. (Sounds crazy, I know, but volcanos are handy for summer snowshoe trips.)
I have three junior ambassadors: Henry’s five, Lilly’s seven, and Clara is 16. (No, wait. Clara’s only nine. It just *seems* like she’s 16.)
Henry was first out of the truck and pronounced himself king of the hill while standing on the pile created by the plow. Lilly wasn’t about to let that stand so she climbed the hill, too, but then became far more interested in making snow angels.
Clara took a while to get into it, but a few snowballs later and the chase was on. The good thing about being a foot taller than her brother, but about the same weight, is that Clara can actually run in snowshoes while Henry has a tendency to get a few steps before catching a tip and wiping out. (He does the same thing on bare trails, but in the snow he rolls over laughing.)
We could have stayed in the parking lot the entire morning, but opted to explore a bit and wandered to the base of the lifts for hot chocolate and candy. They don’t get treats like this too often so it made our snack in the snow that much better.
We could have climbed the slopes under the motionless chairlift, and that is what I would have done if I’d been in charge, but instead we threw more snowballs, climbed more six foot hills, and rode the bear statues on the patio. (You’d be surprised how exciting that can be for a five year old.)
We were wearing gear better suited to snow than rain so I was the one who called it quits and directed everyone to the truck. On the way home, warm and dry in their “comfy cozies” (extra clothes, just in case), they implored me to stay home from work another day so we could go back.
Sadly, that wasn’t to be, but there’s a long winter ahead.