COVID Safe Winter Activities

Marie Diffley, Staff Reporter

As the holiday season approaches, many families look for creative activities and traditions they can enjoy during COVID-19. With the halt on family gatherings and limited holiday experiences many people question how to make this season fun during such a difficult time. Thanks to creative event coordinators, this season can still hold the same levels of excitement. Opportunities such as the online Minneapolis Holidazzle, drive-thru Christmas Light shows, or outdoor snowboarding and skiing can allow for families to safely celebrate this holiday season.

Known as a large and exciting event, the Minneapolis Holidazzle is an activity present in many families’ agendas during the holiday season. Typically, Holidazzle holds fun activities such as ice skating, drinking hot chocolate and sampling Minnesota food and beverages. This year, it has been moved online in order to follow regulations on gatherings. According to the event website, the online show will feature “Santa, entertainment, local foods and retail, favorite sports figures and more.”

Additionally, Minnesota holds many interesting light shows that people can enjoy this year as they are a safe way to share the holidays. The Valleyfair Christmas in Color show and the Minnesota State Fair GLOW show are two places holding light exhibits this year. These shows have driving paths winding around the light sculptures and synchronized music attendees can listen to from their car radios. Many believe that the light shows are a very fun and enjoyable way to social distance and explore artistic displays of holiday amusement.

While many season favorites have been cancelled this year, skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing are not on that list. Wild Mountain includes all of these activities at their location in Taylors Falls. This year, ski hills present many opportunities to spend time outside with family and friends. In addition to Wild Mountain, Afton Alps, Buck Hill and other ski hills are open for the winter season.

While outdoors activities continue to be on the safe list, new rules limit some of the fun. A limited number of hills are open due to lack of snow and the 50 percent maximum occupancy guideline has impacted the number of skiers who can be on the slopes. To deal with the lack of snow,, ski hill operators are making snow so skiers can still enjoy the slopes. All chalets are closed, so skiers need to bring their own food and warm up in cars. Even with these drawbacks, one can get outdoors, exercise and enjoy the winter season.

With these options open for families and friends to celebrate together, the holiday spirit can continue through this month even with our current quarantine orders. These activities are sure to brighten many Mounds View families holiday seasons.