Baby, it's not that cold outside
Downhill skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing at Cascade Mountain
Why go all the way out West to get your gnar on? With 36 trails and four terrain parks for skiing and snowing, Cascade Mountain is the perfect place to shred the snow. If you’re not in the mood for either sport, give the 800-foot-long snow-tubing chute a try.
Hours: Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, Saturday and holidays 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. for skiing and snowboarding; Monday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. for snow tubing.
Price: $49 for lift ticket that lasts 8 consecutive hours per adult, $55 for all-day/night lift ticket per adult, children 12 and under ski free with an adult; $22 for unlimited tubing for each adult 7 and up, $10 for unlimited tubing for kids 6 and under; add $10 to lift ticket if you’d like to snow tube, too.
Location: W10441 Cascade Mountain Road, Portage
Ice skating at The Edgewater
Now that renovations to The Edgewater are finally complete, head over to the east side hotel to go for a spin on the outdoor ice skating rink overlooking Lake Mendota.
Hours: Weekdays 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sundays noon to 8 p.m. and school holidays 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Price: $6 per adult, $5 per student and $4 for children and seniors (skate rentals are available for $3)
Location: 1001 Wisconsin Place
Sledding and cross-country skiing at Elver Park
Put your sled—or tray from a dining hall—to good use on the massive hill at Elver Park. If an adrenaline rush isn’t what you’re looking for, soak in scenic views of the area on the park’s cross-country ski trails.
Hours: Dawn until dusk
Price: Sledding is free; cross-country skiing requires permit ($7 per day for adults) and trail pass ($4 per day)
Location: 1250 McKenna Blvd.
Freezin' for a good reason
Madison Polar Plunge
That Polar Vortex not cold enough for you? Jump into the icy waters around Willow Island at the Alliant Energy Center by yourself or with a group of friends—you’ll be chilled to the bone, but your heart will be toasty warm knowing your registration fees support Special Olympics Wisconsin.
Date: Feb. 21, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (check-in begins at 9:30 a.m.)
Registration fees: $75 per person
Location: 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way
Freeze for Food at Vilas Park
’Tis the season for giving—and why not get a little exercise while doing so? The Freeze for Food 5K/10K Run/Walk raises funds for programs at the Peace Community of San Jose de Apartado, Colombia, the sister community of Dane County.
Dates: Jan. 17, 2015; the 5K begins at noon (registration lasts from 11:15 a.m. until 11:45 a.m.) and the 10K begins at 1 p.m. (registration lasts from noon until 12:45 p.m.)
Price: $20 per person until January 15 at 4 p.m. ($25 per person the day of the race)
Location:1602 Vilas Park Drive
'Tis the season
Holiday Fantasy in Lights
All the beauty of the season, minus the hassle of untangling dozens of strands of lights by yourself. And it’s $free.00!
Dates: Now through Jan. 4, 2015 from dawn until dusk
Location: 1156 Olin-Turville Court
Madison Winter Festival
Nearly 100 truckloads of that fluffy, white stuff will be brought to the Capitol Square for ice sculpting, snow carving, sledding, showshoeing, a 5K, a 1-mile dog jog and more.
Dates: Feb. 14, 2015 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Feb. 15, 2015 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Price: Varies per activity; see www.winter-fest.com for details.
Location: Capitol Square
Just hear those sleigh bells jingling
Rocking L Acres
Oh what fun it is to ride in a horse-drawn open bob sleigh through the Town of Dunn countryside. Be sure to dress for the weather during your half-hour ride. Afterward, you can warm up inside, noshing on hot beverages and cookies fireside. You can’t get much more “country Christmas”—or “wintertime romance,” if you’re feelin’ it—than this.
Dates: Sufficient snowfall required; call (608) 838-8178 for reservations.
Price: $50 to hitch the horses, plus $10 per adult and $5 per child
Location: 2964 County Road AB, McFarland
The weather outside is frightful
...but these seasonal beers are so delightful.
1) Winter Brew (Sprecher)
2) Snowdrift Vanilla Porter (Leinenkugel's)
3) Mercy (Ale Asylum)
4) Snowshoe Ale (New Glarus)
5) Lupulin Maximus (O'so)
6) St. Benedict's Winter Ale (Stevens Point)
7) Black Top (New Glarus)
8) Sláinte Scottish Style Ale (Central Waters)
9) Winter Skål (Capital)
10) Holiday Spice Lager (Lakefront)