If you're like me, winter can be rough. Winter got a little extra rough for me two and a half years ago when we moved to Bayfield, Wisconsin, to take over Seagull Bay - A Lakeside Motel (It's really that much more winter 4 hours north). I grew up in northern Minnesota and enjoyed all things winters skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and hockey. But as I am getting older, the beach seems to be calling my name more and more each day. So, I am on a journey to learning how to live winter to its fullest here in Bayfield, because it turns out that Bayfield is FULL of life in the winter. You simply need to know where to look. We have been exploring as much as possible so we can share with you some of our favorite things.
1. Ice Skating or as our kids say HOCKEY! Even though they reminded me of Bambi on the ice and were far from a stick and puck. We found the greatest and most friendly little skating rink in Washburn, which is just a quick drive from Bayfield. From the minute you park, smiling faces meet you. The warming house was cozy and had a wall full of skates for even the littlest of skaters, and the best part is they're only 25 cents to rent a pair. Yup, you read that correctly, 25 cents to borrow a pair of skates. Can't get any better than that. There are two rinks, and everyone is very aware when there are new skaters and give you plenty of space. Our son, Ridge, thought it was "too icy," and our other son, Axel, tried to beat his brother across the rink with his walker in tow. After we'd had our fill of skating, we helped some hockey players shovel the more competitive rink and enjoyed our snacks while watching the pickup game.
2. Ice Fishing can be found in so many lakes in our area. Small inland lakes, as well as the big Lake Superior. Once ice conditions are stable, you see a village of little houses on the ice go on for miles. You can make it as straightforward or as complicated as you would like, but seeing a kid reel in a first fish is priceless. (See below).
3. Skiing or Snowboarding. Mount Ashwabay is always a hit with fun for anyone. With their motto " Our little hill, overlooking the big lake," You can't go wrong; it's worth it just for the views themself. They have both Alpine and Nordic skiing plus snowboarding with a little terrain park. Mount Ashwabay is very family-friendly. For us, it cost nothing besides some chicken strips and fries at the end of the day. They have FREE TotSki. Little ones five and under can hit the slopes, learn, and mostly have fun!
4. Snowmobiling. This winter activity may take the cake for the boys in our family, but I mean, how cute are the little bobblehead kids? Bayfield County is full of miles and miles of snowmobile trails. Beautiful views, and most of all, a TON of fresh snow.
5. Snowshoeing can be a great way to explore Bayfield and our surrounding areas. We have tons of trails, and rental is a breeze with Howl Adventure Center. Even if we're casually enjoying the quietness of the outdoors, we always wear protection for our ears and eyes.
These activities can definitely help fill a day and the giggles that I hear from our boys help fight those winter blues. Take our advice on just a few things: go potty before the snowsuit go on and always have snacks, and this advice is for all ages, not just kids. Mama needs snack breaks too.