Excitingly snowy activities for the holiday season

Photo courtesy of Paul VanDerWerf // Embrace the cold and try these unique winter time activities.
When winter is trying to bring you down the most, with temperatures below 32 degrees, get up and send the blows back by blowing some bubbles! While bubbles are usually associated with summer, they can be made fun even in the coldest days. It’s actually better, considering they freeze.
First, you’ll need some bubble solution. You can get this either at the store, or take it one step further and make your own. To do this you would mix 4 cups of distilled water, 1 cup of regular dish soap, and 1/4 cup of glycerin. Next, you simply take a wand, blow, and voila! Your bubbles will frost and float in the air before shattering. While it may not last long, it’s a beautiful phenomenon. Even so, the shattered pieces of bubbles you get afterwards also look amazing. The bubble can also fall upon a surface and sit there for a while, giving you time to look at the cool, little ice ball in front of you.

Winter tends to get a big gloomy with the cold and the slush. However, when there is a snow day you can do more than just lay around and watch Netflix. It’s a good chance to decorate your house. If you don’t yet have a wreath, or you’re particularly festive, you can make one out of ice! All you have to do is get a round cake pan with a hole in it and pour in some water. Throw in any decorations you want (mistletoe, rose hips, acorns, figurines, berries, etc.) and let it all freeze. You then simply take it out of the pan by letting it float in hot water momentarily and there you have it, a beautiful ice wreath. Simply tie a ribbon to it and hang it up for everyone to see. Not only will it be great to look at, but also fun foraging for your objects and watching it slowly freeze. This adds a modern touch to an old tradition. There is also no need to take it down, nor is there any messy clean up, since it just melts away!

When a person thinks of popsicles, summer comes to mind. That can all be changed, however! The fact that it is winter time can even help create the popsicles. Instead of simply buying them, they can be made right at home and in the backyard. Snuggling up on your couch with a blanket, a great christmas movie, and a popsicle on a freezing night can be a great new tradition. It is also great how flexible you can be with them.

Homemade popsicles can be any flavor you want, ranging from fruit flavored to yogurt flavored and even tea flavored! All you have to do is pick your flavor and pour it into a container of your choice (it can be a special mold or just a cup). Then, stick a popsicle stick in and place it outside. In a few hours you’ll have any popsicle you want. Some ideas for making it are juices of any flavor, teas to be healthier (you can even add some honey for a sweet touch), or fresh fruit mixed in with some yogurt. This is a lot of fun to make, along with great to eat and there is a great variety as to what you can do. It gives room for you to be as simple or creative as you please.

 

Sometimes, weather turns to an extreme. As in, below minus 21 degrees kind of extreme. In that case, if the snow outside is not enough for you, make some more! While such cold weather in this area is a rarity, when it does happen it can be very bitter. All you have to do is boil some water and pour it in a cup. Then, you go outside and throw it into the air. The water should then turn to steam and make snow flurries. It is important to keep in mind that you have to be very careful in doing this. Some water may not turn into steam and it will burn if it falls on you. So, consider the direction of the wind, making sure it is blowing away from you.

This is known as the Mpemba Effect, and it was discovered when a man named Ernesto Mpemba found out he could make ice cream faster when the milk was heated up. This works with just about everything (hot t-shirts turning into ice, a steaming river, etc.) Even scientists do not yet know why boiling water freezes faster than cold water. However, it is definitely a fun experiment on a boring snow day.

There are many types of art you can create in the snow on a cold day. This ranges from snow angels to snowmen to ice forts. What if you found out there’s even more you can do? Instead of drawing on white paper, or sticking white snow together, mix the two together. With some food coloring, you can create artwork with snow as a the huge canvas. Simply get food coloring of any color you want, put a few drops into cold water (warm water will melt the snow), and put this into a spray bottle. Then, go outside and spray as much as you’d like across your backyard.

 

You can get as creative as you please with this. Also, you can take a large paintbrush and a bowl, instead of a spray bottle, and paint like such. Imagine your neighbors reaction when all throughout the neighborhood there are standing snowmen, while yours is intricately drawn on. It is a fun activity, and it is certain to turn heads. White snow can be transformed into a tie-dyed front yard, or your snow-covered bushes can once again have christmas lights on them! The possibilities are endless with a creative mind!

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