Bah humbug! It’s the winter doldrums and you’re feeling Scroogey about the indoors, the outdoors and everywhere in between. You’ve canceled all cold-weather appearances, have the kids counting coal pellets in the kitchen, and you’re even considering firing that nice, poor man who works for you.
But hark, and harumph no more! The ghost of winter present is here to point its fashionably gloved finger out of the drear and into the cheer, with five family-friendly, cold-weather activities that will leave you feeling warm where it counts -- in the once-miserly cockles of your heart.
f you want to look smart, stand close to a smart person and nod vigorously. If you want your kids to think you’re smart, let them loose in the Leonardo and nod in a corner. They won’t care; they’ll have forgotten all about you. With their new chosen family of biology PhDs and Wizards of Why, they’ll be so happy making a perpetual motion machine out of found objects that you’ll eventually have nothing to do but roam the exhibits raising some IQ of your own. Remember: the family that splits up stays together, and if that fails, there’s always work to do on the new Tesla coil.
If the world plummets into perpetual arctic winter, your kids will need to know how to get around. So slap some skis or snowshoes on the brats and show them how to survive like a real mountaineer: traversing miles of groomed, gently sloping tracks of Utah's nordic ski centers, or by walking straight up the side of a mountain. You’ll look stronger than you are and they’ll thank you for it later. And who knows? Once they get out of therapy and get a gun, they might even become a world-class biathlete.
Too icy to drag State Street? You’ve got options. Ditch your roadster for a snow-hog, cruise into Utah’s backcountry, flip a U-ey, turn up the bass, and do it again. Getting air off a sick jump beats hydraulics any day, and you’ll probably meet Mrs. Right on the third or fourth pass. Nervous to go from the streets to the peaks? Just hire a guide and hang out the passenger side.
You’re more of a “house” person yourself. An explorer of the Great Indoors. You rough it all the time -- in your daily exfoliation practice. But sometimes you wonder: Is there a Utah for you? You betcha! With its astonishing array of unrivaled resorts and spas, the Beehive State will dip you in wax, wrap you in seaweed, knead out your knots and settle you supine in a steam room, where you can raise a cucumber-infused glass and confirm that this is, indeed, the place.
"Hey, everybody, let’s hurtle down a steep, icy slope with nothing between us and calamity but a slick rubber balloon!” But seriously, folks, if you didn’t have a high-elevation death wish, you would have moved by now -- probably to some East Coast village where molehills are called mountains and everyone is bored in sweaters with weird collars. But you’re intermountain, and also fun, and also the cool mom, and that’s why we’ll see you on the slopes -- like, yesterday -- oiling up an old tire, reassuring the rugrats.
TRAVEL TIP: HOW TO KEEP WARM
Buy an economy pack of hand warmers. Kids may hate bundling up, but they love pouches and chemistry.
Whip up a giant batch of hot chocolate and stash it in a thermos in your trunk. Remember: cold + kids + tired + sugar = happy parents.
Bring extra gloves, hats and socks for when Jimmy loses his beanie to a ravening wolf or Susan drops hers into a ravine on a north-facing cliff. You’ll look like Parent of the Year and you’ll come home with as many hands and feet as when you left.
Maybe this is “3.b.,” but always remember: HEAD-NECK-HANDS-FEET. Keep these warm and you’ll prevent 50% of your kids’ heat-loss and 78% of their whining.