Fall in Love with Wisconsin WintersPosted: February 13, 2015
I guess you have all figured out that this weekend is Valentine’s Day. Whether you love it, ignore it, or protest its existence by watching Netflix all night, there is at least one relationship you should be working on this month – loving the good ol’ Wisconsin winter. You might not fall in love right away, and that’s okay. It’s probably not going anywhere for awhile.
I wish someone would’ve told me as a young freshman Badger that there are a lot of things to do in the winter! You don’t have to hibernate inside and wait for finals week to disturb your slumber. Don’t let winter bully you around, fall in love with it or, you know, make it fall in love with you.
First off, don’t jump right into it, make sure you have the essentials. Get a good winter jacket and ACTUAL winter boots. None of this, “Oh, I’ll just wear rain boots. They’re warm enough.” Sorry, but this is Wisconsin. Invest in some boots and really commit to this relationship. You’ll also need a hat, some gloves, and a cozy scarf ’cause they’re the best.
How do you fall in love with Wisconsin winters? Let me count the ways…
1. Take a horse drawn carriage ride.
What’s more romantic? Hoofers with the Wisconsin Union holds a free horse drawn carriage ride every year during Winter Carnival that tours you through the central part of the UW Madison campus. The week of Winter Carnival also hosts a ton of other fun winter events like bonfires on Lake Mendota, broomball, and a snowboarding competition.
Unfortunately, the 2015 Winter Carnival has already passed us by, but be on the look out for 2016!
2. Ice skate under the stars at The Edgewater.
Every Tuesday night is Badger Night which means you skate free with your WisCard, and since the rink is typically open until 10pm you can skate after dark under the stars. Wisconsin winter might be being too good to you now.
Plus, The Edgewater is close to campus off of Wisconsin Avenue.
3. Battle for Bascom Hill.
In a less romantic, more adrenaline inducing event, join the annual campus wide snowball fight where the Lakeshore and Southeast side of campus pummel each other with snow for the glory of being the last standing on Bascom Hill. Pack snow balls, build forts, or generally roll around in the snowy goodness. Lakeshore has remained undefeated since 2011.
Take a look pictures and video from the 2015 Battle for Bascom on Twitter and begin to plan your snow ball strategy for 2016.
4. Go Sledding!
Grab a sled or the nearest dining tray and head for Observatory Hill. It’s practically tradition. Nothing will make you fall in love with Wisconsin’s winter faster than a face full of snow and smiles.
5. Learn how to snow kite.
It’s okay if you don’t know what snow kiting is, I didn’t really know what is was until earlier this week while I was studying at College library. Well, I wasn’t really studying, I was staring out the window at this guy on a snowboard attached to a colorful parachute thing. He was more entertaining than any philosophy homework could ever hope to be.
So that’s what it is. You snowboard or ski on a frozen lake attached to a large kite, and guess what? You can learn how. Apparently, Hoofer’s sailing instructors need something to do in the winter too.
Check it out on Hoofer’s website.
Now that your disinterest in Wisconsin winter is a budding crush…
I will leave it up to you to further develop the relationship. Falling in love is inevitable as long as you remember to get some real winter boots and get out there.