Guest Author - Pam Cartwright
Are you bored? Have you become a couch potato during the winter? Do you need some inspiration? Have you ever wondered what there is to do in the Great Lake states during the winter? Well, of course, the list is endless. You can find lots of sites that will give you the details of winter sports. They’ll tell you what you need, where to buy it and may even provide you with reviews of the various products. All you need do is type the name of the activity that interests you into any search engine. For this article, let’s talk about outdoor recreation. I’ll give you a list of activities, a brief description of the activity and some ideas for researching it.
Remember that safety and warmth are the major factors in winter activities. Check the weather, dress appropriately and consider any special conditions that could negatively impact your enjoyment. Not only should apparel be warm, but it should have moisture and wind barriers. Those warm gloves grandma knit for you won’t be so warm when they’re wet. Likewise, that great-looking hand knit sweater from Norway might keep you looking good in photos, but it won’t protect you from howling northwest winds.
Do you want to stay close to home and spend little or no money? You might try ice fishing. It takes little to no special equipment. You just need to make a hole in the ice, lower a baited line into the hole and sit back. It’s not like fishing in the summer. So, make sure you have plenty of warm gear and some type of protection from the wind. Ice fishermen are some of the friendliest people in the world. Since the sport itself is solitary, many will talk for hours about the one that got away or how to do something. They might even share their ice shanty with you. For a funny view of ice fishing, watch the movie “Grumpy Old Men”. You can just type “ice fishing” into any search engine for equipment needs and safety suggestions. For good info about where to fish, add the area you want to fish, for example Door County, Wisconsin.
Sledding is another winter activity that can be a family affair, can be done on any hill near home and can be done with something as simple as a garbage can lid. Of course, you can purchase inexpensive sleds or coasters at most local toy stores. Many local parks have some type of hill or other area where your family can safely sled. A lot of these are well-known to the local people, so you can ask around. Or you can get the information you want by typing “parks and recreation” or “department of natural resources” into the search engine. Make sure you add the state or region to the search for instance “DNR Illinois Northeast Region”.
Are you the joiner type? Would you like to have something that requires you to be an active member to get you off the couch? Ice hockey is a sport that requires a team effort, skating ability and a “gung ho” spirit. Although it’s not for the timid, this sport is fun for participants and spectators alike. There are even places where you can take hockey lessons. If you type “ice hockey lessons” and the name of the city into the search engine, you’ll get some good information. For instance, you might try “hockey lessons Minneapolis”.
Although most of us think of the Great Lakes for summertime fun, the Great Lakes states provide wonderful opportunities in the winter. There are activities for every level of fitness, every age and pocketbook. So, get off the couch, come to the Great Lakes states and get active.