Winter Bucket List: Ideas for keeping your winter busy and fun!

I’m not a winter person. Like, at all. But since I live here and am not retiring to the sunny shores of Florida anytime soon, I’ve decided that I need to start finding a way to enjoy winter.

By creating a winter bucket list, it allows me to plan activities that we can look forward to doing together as a family. It also makes the time go by faster until I’m back on Jenness Beach with my feet in the sand and the sun on my face. Aaaah. But, back to winter.

Here are a few activities on my personal winter bucket list that I’d love to do this year. Some are more expensive than others, but what’s life without experiences? Splurge if you’re able, but it’s certainly not necessary to spend a billion dollars to have fun—the seacoast is thick with opportunity!

Ice Castles
Opening in later January at the Hobo Railroad in Lincoln, NH, the Ice Castles are giant ice structures started by man and finished by nature. Covering a full acre of land, they are stunningly beautiful and everyone I know who’s been says it’s simply breathtaking. Embedded in the ice are multi-colored lights, so I hear it’s even better to visit in the evening. Check out icecastles.com/lincoln for pricing and details.

Bretton Woods
There are many fantastic ski resort areas in NH but I love Bretton Woods because it offers so many different activities for kids of all ages including snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ice skating, tubing, cross-country and Nordic skiing, climbing wall, canopy tours and much more. Check out http://brettonwoods.com for details on pricing and be sure to peruse their calendar for weekend events geared towards families.

Sledding
I know, this one’s a layup, but there are a couple of hills that I definitely want to hit up this winter and they’re both free! The first spot is Garrison Hill in Dover. It’s serious. My son once lost a boot simply by sledding down the hill. It’s steep, fast and wicked fun. See seacoastkidscalendar.com for more info on how to get there, it’s a bit tricky.

The other place I want to check out is Powderhouse Hill in South Berwick, ME. Powderhouse has a small skiing and snowboarding area, but adjacent to that is a sledding hill that’s also free and open to the public. There is a small lodge at the base with a snack bar and wood stove, sweet! Check out powderhousehill.com for current conditions and hours of operation.

Snow Sculpting Competition
Update as of 2/21/16: Cancelled due to lack of snow!
In Jackson, NH on Sunday, January 31, the 16th New Hampshire Sanctioned & Jackson Invitational Snow Sculpting competition will announce the winners from over 15+ amazing creations. There will also be a fire pit for roasting marshmallows, a torch light parade, scavenger hunt and more. Admission is free! Visit jacksonnh.com for more details.

Sleigh Ride at Coppal House Farm
This 78-acre farm in Lee, NH offers horse-drawn sleigh rides for 2 to 17 people. If you get a big group together of kids and adults, it’s pretty economical. Throw on a bonfire for an extra $25, bring your own snacks and drinks and now you’ve got a party. Fun! See their website at nhcornmaze.com for reservations and pricing.

There are a few other activities I’m eyeballing like the Sugar Tours in February and some outdoor pond skating which I’ll talk more about in the next few weeks. It’s going to be a fun winter.

This article was originally published by Suzanna Vicinus on SeacoastOnline.com on January 8, 2016.

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