Mamatoga's Guide to Snow

Growing up I remember not being able to wait till I could pull on my snow pants and run outside on snowy days. We would build snow forts and have epic snowball fights, make snow angels and of course, build snowmen. It was all my mother could do to drag us back in as it got dark and give us mugs of hot chocolate and little bowls of soup to defrost our little hands. Mittens would be laid by the fire to de-ice for the next day and the hours spent soaking up the much needed Vitamin D and exercising were well spent. Nowadays there are endless toys and gear for playing outside in the snow and there really is no limit to the entertainment kids can have while outdoors.

First, check out this Snow Castle Kit from Amazon for $18.99. Building a fort? Don't sweat it! This kit will help you pack the perfect snow bricks to fashion an amazing castle in no time flat. It even has a little mold to create turrets! Plenty of fun for little mittened hands.

 

 

 

 

I love this Snofling! It does exactly what the name suggests, you simply push it into the snow and the shape creates snowballs which are then flung using the long handle! So you can enjoy a classic snowball fight without getting your hands cold and wet! It's sturdy high-impact plastic withstands heavy use and the unique design allows snowballs to be thrown farther than with your arm alone, plus the end of handle features a fun noise-maker! Buy it at REI for $7

 

Your little snow monsters are going to LOVE these snowshoes! Also available in pink and purple, these Shoe Paw snowshoes from Redfeather are made with durable plastic straps that snug easily over snow boots so the snow-loving set can stomp a trail of monster footprints! And did you know that right here in Saratoga we have some great snowshoeing trails at Saratoga Spa State Park! Snowshoeing is fun and easy for people of all ages, not to mention great exercise, and the state park has 12 miles of trails. Pick up a free Park trail map at the Saratoga Springs Visitor Center. They also have snowshoe rentals in a variety of styles and in ALL sizes available at the Park Office. $5 per half day. $10 per day per person. Contact Saratoga Spa State Park at 518-584-2200 for more information. Another place to stomp around in the snow is Saratoga Battlefield. The Battlefield Tour Road and grounds are open to pedestrian use every day during daylight hours. Enjoy over 7 miles of hiking trails open to hiking, and when the snow flies, to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Trail map available at the Visitor Center. 9 am – 5 pm. Call 518-664-9821 for more information. Snowshoes, $14.95 at Sierra Trading Post

Another amazing winter outdoor activity is cross country skiing, and it isn't just for adults! Madshus Snow Pup cross country skis are wide and stable with a NoWax base to make snowy exploration easy, and it comes in a pint-sized 85cm length. They come with a universal binding that accommodate most winter boots so you won't need to buy special boots to fit the skis. As far as where to cross country ski, at Saratoga Spa State Park skiing along the golf courses offers practice for beginners and good downhill terrain is found by skiing into the valley carved by the sparkling Geyser Brook. Pick up a free Park trail map for cross country skiing as well at the Saratoga Springs Visitor Center. Buy Madshus at REI, $59.95

You won't be able to stop snapping pictures of your little one in this absolutely adorable toddler sled. Handcrafted of ash and maple, the back support and seat pad add extra comfort and a sled handle is also available. From Land of Nod, $59-$149

 

 

 

 

LL Bean has a great selection of kids ice skates, some that are even expandable to accommodate growing feet. One of my family's favorite winter activities is ice skating in Saratoga Spa State Park. Outdoor Recreational Skating takes place on the Victoria Mall, near the Victoria Pool Complex, and ice hockey may be played on a rink near the warming hut, which is available for your comfort.

 

 

Believe it or not, they even have a snowman maker out there! Using this giant snowball mold you can create snowmen, forts, snow sculptures and more by simply filling each half of the mold with snow, then pressing them together. Once opened you have a perfectly round, 12 inch snowball which you can then make larger or smaller by rolling or sculpting to create the perfect snowman or snowwoman! Buy it at Campmor for $8.96

 

Finally, let's get down to the brass tacks of snow days, SLEDDING! We all love it, and there are plenty of awesome sledding hills right here to choose from. Our friends at Saratoga.com have a little directory of spots to check out and this blog post from Saratoga Seen from a few years back also has a couple suggestions. But we want to know from you too readers! Where is the best place to go sledding? Take our poll to vote or leave your own suggestion in the comments section!

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