Last week’s surprising burst of winter may have taken people by surprise and may have even annoyed those who were ill-prepared to move to the season a full six weeks ahead of the calendar.
But there are also many who welcome the upcoming colder temps and some of the activities associated with them.
Headwaters Ice Skating
For example, last Saturday’s opening of the Headwaters Park Ice Skating Rink was perfectly timed. Located at Superior and Clinton streets, the rink is open Monday-Thursday 1-8 p.m., Friday noon-10 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., and Sunday noon-8 p.m. Those hours are extended from Dec. 13-Jan. 5 and the rink is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. There is plenty of opportunity to grab the skates and enjoy some fun.
The cost is $3 for those 13 and under and $5 for those 14 and over. Don’t have skates? Rentals for those are only $3 as well. And for those who have dedicated skaters in their lives, gift certificates and skating passes are available for holiday giving.
For those who want another fun wintery activity, look no further than Pokagon State Park in Steuben County where the Toboggan Run opens for the season at 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 29, perfect counterprogramming to the insanity of Black Friday.
The run is refrigerated and therefore is open through March 1 with or without snow. Open for New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and President’s Day, it’s the perfect place to visit on days that schools are closed. It welcomes 90,000 visitors per season and boasts a 30-foot tower and dips and valleys. The total vertical drop is 90 feet over the course of a quarter mile.
The top recorded speed is 42 mph which should satisfy any area thrillseeker. Toboggan rentals are $13 per hour, and park entrance fees are $7 per in-state car.
Walking in the winter
Others who enjoy the great outdoors in winter time, particularly hiking through the snow, are invited to visit Salomon Farm Park for its Winter Walk on the Farm on January 26 at 3 p.m.
A four-mile trek through trails in the back fields, the walk is hosted by staff who will end the hike with a visit to the Livestock Barn. If there is snow that day, the hike could be challenging, and of course proper clothing and boots are vital.
There’s no cost for the walk, but registration is required. For more information, visit the Salomon Farm Park Facebook page or call (260) 427-6000. Hikers must be 13 years or older to participate.
Those who want to deep dive into the frigid temps can do so once again for a worthy cause. On Saturday, Feb. 8, Special Olympics Indiana will host Fort Wayne Plunge at Camp Red Cedar in Northern Fort Wayne, a plunge into ridiculously frigid waters to raise pledges and donations for Special Olympics.
Last year’s plunge saw record participation, raising $27,000 for the cause. This year’s goal is to increase that tally by reaching $32,000.
If jumping into ice cold water is for you, visit soindiana.org/polar-plunge and raise a minimum of $75 in pledges.
Camp Red Cedar is a new site for the event and provides ample space for some refreshments, entertainment, and celebration after the plunge has been completed.
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