The clouds are hanging low as I gaze toward the “T” on the mountainside above Tooele City. Hopefully, this means snow is on the way and it’s time to pull out the winter gear for some fall and winter fun.
Utah State University Tooele County Extension 4-H will be offering opportunities for county youth to explore some winter activities like ice fishing and snowshoeing. 4-H is America’s largest youth development organization that empowers young people with the skills to lead for a lifetime.
Based on their interests and guided by adult mentors and volunteers, youth develop their own pathways and interests through hands-on, learn-by-doing projects and activities impacting hearts, heads, hands and health. The USU Extension offers broad learning opportunities throughout the year but a neighborhood or family club can gear activities to the specific interests of their members.
Fall and winter months can seem endless and they seem longer if you stay cooped up inside. Consider it a time for unique outdoor activities and family fun. There are all kinds of things to do and many can be spontaneous. Take a walk around the block in the cool, crisp air. Hand rake and play in the leaves or hike amongst the beautiful fall colors.
When the snow starts to fall, have a snowball fight after building protective forts, have a creative snowman building contest, a good game of fox and geese, or ride a tube down a hillside for a thrill and build some small jumps to fly over.
Snowshoeing is one of the best winter activities for the family. It’s easy and quite inexpensive. The canyon landscape looks completely different on a snowy day. Be sure to fill a backpack with snacks and enjoy a great winter picnic.
Some winter activity ideas that cost but are well worth the price include the ice ribbon that winds through the J. Lynn Crane Park in Herriman. For $5-$6 (including skates) family and friends can enjoy a unique skating activity. Skiing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing on the “Greatest Snow on Earth” makes for a great day enjoying the mountains, fresh air and sunshine. Look for the best season pass deals in early fall but it’s not too late to still purchase one, check the various resort websites to find something that works for you.
There’s a Norwegian saying: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.” Dressing for outdoor winter activities is an important component for the fun. Clothing and equipment is sophisticated, durable, reliable, flexible and comfortable. Wear a base layer and dress appropriately for the activity. Spend some money on a pair of good wool socks, insulated boots, gloves, hat and coat. Good clothing will last forever and can be passed along before it is worn out.
Beat the winter blahs by staying active and taking advantage of sunny days.
For more information about 4-H activities offered throughout the year, call Linden Greenhalgh at the USU Extension – Tooele County office at 435-277-2407 or Tamra Cox at 435-277-2405. The office is located inside the Tooele County Health Department Building, 151 N. Main, Tooele.