Top 10 things to do during winter

1. Shovel driveways We all know that Iowa never fails to deliver great amounts of snow every winter, and shoveling driveways becomes a part of life for the winter months. For some volunteer ideas, you could get up a little earlier and shovel your neighbor’s driveway, or maybe your grandparents. There are plenty of people who could use some help removing the snow, so get out there and lend a hand. 2. Go skiing/snowboarding We all know that Iowa doesn’t have mountains anywhere near us, but we do have some ski resorts that are just a drive away. Whether you know how to ski/snowboard or not, you can always take a lesson or learn from friends. Don’t be afraid to get out there and try new things if you haven’t done this before. Places to go: -Ski Snowstar: 9500 126th St W, Andalusia, IL 61232 -Chestnut Mountain: 3577 South Blanding, Hanover, IL 61041 -Sundown Mountain Resort: 16991 Asbury Rd, Dubuque, IA 52002 By Karly Lent Staff Reporter 3. Decorate a gingerbread house Nowadays, you don’t even have to start baking your gingerbread house from scratch because plenty of stores have gingerbread house kits that you can buy. Most of them come with frosting and candy to decorate the house with, but you can also buy your own to add creative touches. 4. Go ice-skating Don’t have a pair of skates? Don’t worry about it. We have two local ice rinks in our area where you can rent skates and glide the night away. Places to go: -The River’s Edge: 700 W River Dr, Davenport, IA 52802 ($5 to skate + $3 skate rental) -Center Ice at Bass Street Landing: 17th St, Moline, IL 61265 ($5 to skate + $3 skate rental) 5. Go sledding Although there are no mountains in sight, we have plenty of hills. Sledding is the perfect activity for a snow day. You can take sleds, tubes, or even your old snowboard sitting in the garage. You can also make ramps out of snow to add a little thrill. 6. Write a letter to a soldier Sometimes we forget that there are soldiers who can’t make it home for the holidays. You can take some time out of your day to hand write a letter of thanks to men and women in the military who are serving our country. Places to mail your letter: -Operation Gratitude Attn: Angel Cuevas 17330 Victory Blvd Van Nuys, CA 91406 -A Million Thanks 17853 Santiago Blvd. #107-355 Villa Park, CA 92861 7. Look at Christmas lights Remember the scene in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” when he totally over does his Christmas lights on the house? Well, there are some houses in the area that may come close to the extreme decorating. You can take a walk around your neighborhood to admire the lights and hard work that people put in to make their holidays extra cheery. 8. Go caroling I’m sure most of us have had that moment when our doorbell rings and a group of people fill our doorway with holiday musical tunes. You too can grab your friends and go around door to door, caroling for your neighbors. Nothing beats making other people smile, and it could very well make somebody’s day. 9. Cozy up in front of a fire Don’t feel like going outside in the cold? If you have a fireplace, you can start a fire and get cozied up while drinking hot cocoa or cider. You can even have your pets snuggle with you too. 10. Build a snowman Put on your snowpants and boots, grab your friends and family, and build a snowman. Add a carrot for a nose, rocks for the eyes and mouth, and sticks for the arms. Once you’re finished, you can make some hot chocolate inside and admire your beautiful snowman from the window.

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