Winter days can be dark and dreary in the Northwest, but that doesn’t mean that we love this season any less. The winter season offers a chance to spend more time with family, enjoy great holiday meals and experience the outdoors in a variety of different ways. If you keep an open mind, the opportunities are endless! Here are five of our favorite things about winter in the Northwest.
1. Snow Sports
One of the perks of living in the Northwest is that snow-covered mountains are never very far. Winter sports like snowshoeing, skiing and snowboarding are right in your proverbial backyard (and for some of you, it may be your actual backyard). Try Crystal Mountain, Mt. Spokane and Mission Ridge in Washington and Mt. Bachelor and Mt. Hood in Oregon for awesome places to ski and snowboard.
2. Family Adventures
The holiday season is for quality family time. Instead of just watching movies and drinking hot chocolate, take your family outside for winter adventures that will get them moving and make memories that can last a lifetime. Snow tubing is just one great way to enjoy the outdoors during winter. Just make sure that the kids are bundled up and protected from the cold winter wind. Or you might lace up your skates and hit the ice at the coolest ice skating rinks in Seattle and Portland. Looking a fun family activity after the sun sets? The holidays just wouldn’t be complete without Christmas lights. Visit Zoo Lights in Seattle, Tacoma and Portland, Seattle’s “Candy Cane Lane,” or Portland’s Festival of Lights for spectacular light displays the whole family can enjoy.
3. Hearty Home Cooked Meals
Piping-hot comfort food can warm up anybody on cold Northwest winter days. It’s the time of year to experiment with crock pot recipes, soups and stews. But beware – eating comfort foods that are high in fat can pack on the pounds in a hurry. Stick to recipes that use fresh ingredients and are high in protein so you won’t be hungry later.
4. Winter Hikes
Hiking season doesn’t end when winter comes in the Northwest – it becomes a completely different experience. Snow-capped peaks and ice formations replace the green valleys and wild flowers. We have an abundance of riches when it comes to winter hiking trails. If you do decide to venture out during the winter months, just be sure to bring the appropriate gear.
5. Holiday Treats
Sweets and treats are abundant during the holiday season. It’s okay to have a treat (or two) and denying yourself a few treats will most likely lead to binging later on. Living in the Northwest means getting to indulge in huckleberries! Try this recipe for Huckleberry Cobbler, or add huckleberries to your holiday desserts for a Northwest twist on holiday classics.
Why do you love winter in the Northwest? Share in the comments below!