Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Winter Weekend Ideas!

The cold temperatures are BACK in St. Louis!  When the mercury drops, most of us want to bundle up and plop ourselves in front of the fireplace with a good book and a steaming mug of hot chocolate. That being said, after months of single digit temperatures, most locals are experiencing a serious case of cabin fever (the Nenonen Family included). Lucky for all of us, St. Louis boasts a plethora of reasons to get outside and enjoy the cold!

If looking for winter fun this weekend, here are a few of our family favorites:

1) Ice Skating-  IceZone:
Ice skating is a tad like riding a bike. Even if you haven't been on skates in awhile... it comes back to you quickly.

When the temperature is too low to brave an OUTDOOR rink, St. Louis has a number of indoor rinks!  Our family did a spontaneous skate during an impromptu shopping trip at the St. Louis Mills Ice Zone last weekend and had a great time! They crank the music and people come and go as they wander the mall. Plus, if you are lucky... you may catch a glimpse of the St. Louis Blues, as the IceZone is their official practice facility! We really enjoyed skating there as you can make a day of it: skate, lunch, and shopping.  Simply, we forgot how fun it is for all ages!

HERE is a list of all of the skating rinks in St. Louis.  NOTE: Steinberg Skating Rink in Forest Park is already closed for the season.

2) Eagle Watching

Every year, thousands of bald eagles migrate to the Mississippi river regions surrounding the St. Louis area to build nests and feed between late December and Mid-March . When the temperatures drop and the river forms ice, the eagles congregate on the spots of the river where the water is churned and the eagles have easy access to the fish. The most notable and ACTIVE eagle watching sites are the number of ferry sites in the Alton/Grafton, Illinois area and the Lock and Dam #24 in Clarksville, Missouri (both approx an hour outside of St. Louis). For other view sites and eagle events, click HERE.

This is such a unique opportunity to see Mother Nature is action! We do it every year and are never disappointed, as they are PLENTIFUL this time of year. You can't miss them. Seriously, watching the eagles soar will take your breathe away. NOTE: We attempted to spot them in the Alton area a few weekends ago, but it just wasn't cold enough. Word on the net is that with this cold snap, the eagles are back in action... so we plan to go this weekend, as well!

3) Hidden Valley Ski Resort in Wildwood

Ok, I will admit that Hidden Valley isn't MY favorite place as I am not a huge skier but the kids LOVE it.  Boasting 30 acres of skiable terrain, more than a dozen trails from beginner to expert, a Kids Zone with kiddie hill and lessons, night skiing, and a cozy lodge... Hidden Valley is always a Winter Wonderland!

Here's a video of one of their events...

4) Sledding at Art Hill
If we get lucky enough to get some snow- Duh! This activity is as St. Louis as the Arch, Toasted Ravioli, and Ted Drewes. I am in love with this video, as it perfectly sums up the experience ...