Friday, January 27, 2012

No Snow? No Worries

Winter, oh winter, where are you? Snow has been scarce this season, umbrellas and rain boots commonplace. Still, our "Explore Winter" package from December 2010 is full of ideas for winter activities that won’t be hindered by the lack of powder.

The Cleveland Metroparks Chalet toboggan chutes give daredevils a wild ride, with maximum speeds reaching 45 miles per hour. You don’t have to be at Cedar Point to feel the rush of a 66-foot vertical drop.

If speeding face-first down a steep slope isn’t your style, you can fill your travel mug with hot chocolate, perhaps bundle up in your favorite blanket and enjoy the countryside from the comfort of a horse-drawn carriage. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, this makes for a great date.

Ever thought about channeling your inner Michelle Kwan (or Wayne Gretzky, your choice)? If the feeling strikes, you can visit one of Cleveland’s outdoor skating rinks. What you may remember as a childhood hobby takes on an exciting twist once you hit adulthood — and no, it’s not like riding a bike.

Even Mother Nature needs a little assistance sometimes, and if snow isn’t falling from the sky, local ski resorts will create their own. The only catch? A minimum temperature of around 28 degrees is required at the time of production. The Boston Mills/Brandywine snow report shows both resorts are fully functioning tonight, so don’t hesitate if you get the urge to grab your skis or snowboard and hit the slopes.

OK, this last one is slightly contingent on snow, but the second snow does fall, you may want to grab a sled that best suites your style (classic wood, modern, tube, saucer, or something completely MacGyvered) and hit one of the many sledding hills that dot Cleveland.

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