Canadian Winter Playground
Despite everything that meteorologists tell us about weather and seasons and such, Canada doesn’t really have four seasons. Why anyone would believe this, I don’t know. In fact, Canada only has three seasons; Winter, Hockey, and Bug Seasons. The Bug Season is typically hot, humid, and thankfully only lasts during the month of Summer. Winter, on the other hand, is the Canadian season filled with frozen engine blocks and long, long lineups at the drive-through. Of course the hockey season, which overlaps both winter and bug seasons, is beloved by all.
Without hockey season, I doubt very much that Canadians would have much to talk about or hope for and I feel especially bad for cities like Toronto and Edmonton that used to have NHL teams (technically they do, but the point of the game is to win a few). That said, there are alternatives to Hockey Night in Canada. Here are a few suggestions:
Snowboarding or Skiing<
As a snowboarder I hesitate to recommend you try skiing except that if I didn’t the editor of this fine publication would get angry letters from disgruntled skiers and she is too nice to let that happen. So, this winter instead of trying out a snowboard, head to your local ski area and test your two-planking skills. The basic rule of thumb is that if you can ice-skate you can ski, and I know that you can skate; after all, you’re Canadian.
Cheap and tons of fun, if you can’t find a GT Snowracer or a crazy-carpet, a cafeteria tray will do. Note: in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, you’ll need a skidoo to make this possible.
Still hockey, yes, but too good not to mention. Grab a thermos, a stick, a few extra pucks, and make sure the ice is thick enough or the water shallow enough to play safe. Game on!
In its purest form, a winter bonfire is accompanied by a sleigh ride with Clydesdale horses and a CBC backdrop of Christmas carols. But really, all you need are stolen pallets, diesel, and a match. Works best in a field.
Gone are the days of giant wooden snowshoes that made users bowlegged and grizzled. Light-weight, inexpensive, and with no skills required, almost anyone can snowshoe nowadays. It’s a great work out while easy and fun to do with groups. Bring a camera, water, and your lunch.
As much as a shuffle-board as it looks, curling is actually a lot of fun. It is a sport that requires almost nothing of you physically but has many code-words that will confuse a beginner. For example, “bonspiel” is curling-speak for polyester and whiskey. In spite of the bonspiel, curling still should be on your tick list of things to do this winter.
If all else fails, pull on a toque, lace up your Sorrels and head to your local church; the sidewalk needs shovelling and you have nothing better to do. Happy hockey season!