We have lots to do in the winter

We’re in the depths of winter. The temperatures have been about -15 C below normal as of late. And we’re still in the midst of a pandemic, with so many programs suspended and events cancelled.

So what’s there to do in southeast Saskatchewan this winter?

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Turns out, there’s a lot we can do. And now that winter break is here and the kids are out of school for the week, there might not be a better time to explore our options.

This week’s edition of the Mercury features our 101 Things to do in Estevan This Winter special, when we pay tribute to things you can do in Estevan during those delightful winter months. It’s the follow-up to our 101 Things to Do in Estevan summer special, which was a big hit and a celebration of the region.

Granted, even during a normal year, the nature of the winter events are different than the summer months. Most of the summer events involve the outdoors to go with heat, the sunshine, long days and beautiful nights.

Our winter activities involve being inside and finding a place to be warm. We still get lots of sunshine, but as we saw last week, the sunshine can often be accompanies by frigid temperatures.

Many of us would normally spend lots of time at the arena during the winter, but that’s been out of the question for most of this year. We might meet up for drinks or a meal at a friend’s place or in a restaurant, but that ranges from difficult to impossible this winter.

If you want to do something outdoors during the winter – go ice fishing, play shinny, skate on an outdoor rink, or go for a snowmobile ride – then you need to dress warm most years, but the fun you can have is well worth the extra layer of clothes.

It really is too bad that we didn’t get a couple of good dumps of snow this winter. It would have been a perfect winter to go for some nice, long snowmobile rides. It’s an activity that is perfect for social distancing. There are some good trails up around the Moose Mountain Provincial Park.

Despite all of the challenges we’re facing, you can still have fun this winter. We have 101 ways listed.

People think of the Woodlawn Regional Park as a summer destination, but it’s become popular in the winter with its trails that are perfect for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Just be sure you dress accordingly.

(Woodlawn isn’t the only area in the southeast that is ideal for activities on the trails).

Ice fishing is always a popular activity, and with several large bodies of water in the southeast, it’s a great way to spend the day sitting out on the frozen lake. If it’s too cold, then ice fishing shacks provide protection from the temperatures.

You can go for a nice country drive and look at the fields in the winter. You can take the Back Roads of Estevan Tour offered by Tourism Estevan.

Estevan has three great outdoor rinks for you to enjoy. A lot of towns and villages have a good outdoor rink, too. Many people have decided to construct backyard rinks as a way to give their kids something to do during the pandemic. Some of them are pretty elaborate.

Crokicurl rinks have been built in some communities as well.

You can enjoy some of the more conventional outdoor winter activities, such as tobogganing, building a snowman, making snow angels or getting in a snowball fight. Just make sure you have a willing opponent for the latter option.

Or, you can stay inside, stay warm and enjoy your time away from the world. We recommend something good to read. Find a good book once you’re finished with this week’s edition of the Mercury. (And be sure to visit www.estevanmercury.ca a few times each day as well).

So yes, you have lots to do in the final weeks of winter, regardless of whether you’re outside enjoying a nice late February or early March day, or if you’re trying to avoid being outdoors on a frigid day.

© Copyright Estevan Mercury

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