Sunday, January 23, 2022

Lots of Fun in the Snow!

Where we live it doesn't usually snow. Therefore, when we traveled to Bulgaria at the end of 2019, one of the highlights of the trip was the snow. Even with just a little bit of snow on the ground in our first day in Sofia the kids took advantage of it and had snowball fights, etc. Then we traveled to Bansko on our third day there and had a lot more fun playing in the snow. The highlight of our trip, though, was the sixth day of our trip, a full day skiing in the mountains in Bansko. My kids and I all really love snow; it is my happy place, and my kids are thrilled with it too.

So imagine our delight when we were told that it would snow locally. And not just a sprinkling that didn't stick, but actual, real snow. (Ok, still very much unlike the snow we had in Cleveland growing up, but still, actual snow.) There were mixed reports about what time the snow would start, but it started already in the evening even though many forecasts said it would only start in the middle of the night. We actually had snow in 2021 but it didn't last through the night, so we knew that when it snows, you take advantage of it immediately and not wait until the morning.

We went outside first as soon as we saw snow sticking to some things, like our trampoline and cars and ledges. We had our first snowball fight and had a great time, but quickly got cold (with the weather the way it is here, rarely snowing, we didn't have proper waterproof gloves, which makes playing in the snow harder), so came in and had hot cocoa.

Hot cocoa is something we do have frequently enough in the winter, even when it isn't snowing, and I know many people use hot cocoa mix, or have some complicated way that they make it, but I make "cheater hot cocoa" which my kids like just enough, but doesn't involve any mixes or boiling anything on the stovetop, etc. I make hot cocoa like I would coffee- a teaspoon of cocoa powder, a teaspoon or more of sugar, boiling water most of the way through the cup, mix it well, and then add milk. Voila, super easy, and when kids are cold, it is quick to make as well and I can make unlimited amounts.

Then it snowed more and stuck to the ground, the sidewalks, the road, everything! With this, we went on a whole family walk including the dog, even though it was really late at night. Who cares if it is midnight when you have a once every few years only snow? The last time it actually snowed and stuck to the ground here was over 8 years ago. So this was an event that was not to be missed by sleeping!

Even though it was late at night, apparently everyone had the same thought as us- the place was hopping with revelers in the snow, huge snowball fights, and just general good times. 

As I mentioned, we aren't totally prepared for snow here, so one son decided to put a plastic bag over his non waterproof gloves so he could make snowballs without getting all wet. And as for stuff to keep your face warm? One kid decided to use a balaclava I got for him when he go-karted in Bulgaria and the other kid used a plastic mask he had, which he said worked well because it kept the wind off his face. And as for me? No hat, no nothing. Because I am always hot, and, to be honest, I couldn't find my hat at first and I didn't want to keep the kids waiting.

Eventually, though, it got too cold, so we came in and had, you guessed it, hot cocoa to warm up. And then bed.

The next day, fortunately, the snow stuck around. So my kids spent the entire day outside playing in the snow. While it was still chilly, it wasn't nearly as cold or windy as it was the night before, so it was possible to stay outside longer without getting too cold.

My boys decided to build a snow fort. They were out there for hours with a friend building (six hours of building, total, they told me), and my daughters came out to try to help as well.

I am super proud of how hard they worked, and I have to say, the result is astounding. 

And then, of course, more hot cocoa.

The kids, at some point, also collected clean snow and made it into "snow cones", where they drizzled flavored syrup onto it, and then ate it with a spoon. Apparently this is also called snow cream in foraging circles. 

All in all, it was a great day, and I'm glad that my kids were able to have this once in a long while fun in the snow without my needing to take them on a trip. Just good, frugal fun, right in our own backyard!

Are you a fan of snow? Does it snow where you live? What is your favorite thing to do in the snow, or do you try to avoid it entirely? What is the largest thing you or your kids ever made from snow?

1 comment:

  1. Oh, fun! I love snow, but my husband, who is from western NY, is not. It snows here (although this year has been a dud snow-wise), and one winter there was so much snow our daughter and a friend could dig tunnels through the piled-up snow. Then the tunnels froze hard and stayed that way till spring.
    By the way, we have snow cream too, only we call it snow ice cream and there are raw eggs involved. Are they still raw once they've been frozen? I guess so.


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