When we experience a heavy snowfall, one of the things that warms my heart is seeing kindness in action. You know what I mean: neighbours shovelling the driveway, walkway and sidewalk for others. Checking in on those who are ill, incapacitated, or vulnerable to see if they need anything. The smiles, banter and jokes shared with others walking by.
And while I can't say that winter is my favourite season, the advantage of snow is that it brings with it the possibility of additional outdoor activities. Like sledding. Who doesn't love a great toboggan ride? Especially if you're lucky enough to have access to a nice, big hill. Like Stamford Collegiate High School in Niagara Falls. Some other fun spots are Burgoyne Woods in St. Catharines, Marlene Stewart Streit Park in Fonthill, and Chippawa Park in Welland. In Thorold there's the Battle of Beaverdams Park and Mel Stewart Lake Gibson Conservation Area.
Snowfall also lends itself to snowboarding and skiing: both downhill and cross-country. Although there are a few ski resorts in southern Ontario, cross-country skiing is more widely accessible here. There are some beautiful trails along the Niagara escarpment. And where there are trails, there's also snowshoeing. Both of these are easy to learn, great exercise, and a romantic way to connect with nature in the wintertime.
An activity that doesn't require snow, but does require cold is skating. Outdoor skating can feel like a real treat if you're lucky enough to have access to a safe spot. Indoor skating is also a lot of fun and can include a few added conveniences such as heated areas, washrooms and consistent availability.
Perhaps not as physically intensive, but as expressive and creative is outdoor photography. Taking photos may lead you to any number of places, as you explore wooded areas, trails, waterfronts or whatever is nearby. Wintertime activities may draw your attention, the way sunlight sparkles through an icicle, or the fresh, pink cheeks of a little one.
Of course, after some outdoor skating, skiing or sledding, you'll no doubt want to head indoors for some sipping... a cup of coffee, tea, hot chocolate or apple cider. It's so rewarding to have a shower and snuggle up with something warm.
What're your favourite cold weather activities? We hope you have a chance to enjoy several in the next few weeks.