With more fresh snow, day 2 brings a gift idea for the whole family.
While down hill and cross country skiing are popular, they can be expensive sports for a family - not to mention that it often involves travel to participate. A more affordable way to play on the snow is snowshoes. They can be used anywhere from the backyard to the woods. These are "out of the package" gifts - no complex instruction manual or batteries needed - just strap onto your boots and go. Today's modern metals and plastics mean that there are price entry points for all budgets. Plus snowshoeing is a great low impact aerobic excercise that burns more calories than running or walking at the same speed. Many park districts and nature centers have rental snowshoes and you can purchase children and adult sizes at local retailers including REI
and Sports Authority
Day 3 brings gifts that keep on giving.
For teens and adults that cross country ski - a MN Ski Pass
gives them acess to miles of groomed trails in state parks and forests. At just $15 for the season a MN Ski Pass is a great stocking stuffer! Passes can be purchased anywhere that offers electronic license purchase, online at the DNR website or at State Parks. A three year pass is also available.
For kids a membership to the local nature center gives them opportunities to explore nature all year. A membership paired with a field guide or flashlight is a great stocking stuffer. Staffed by naturalists and volunteers who love the outdoors these local treasures are the the forefront of the no child left inside movement. They offer trails for walking and hiking, educational classes and more. Many are preserving nature and wetlands with in an urban setting. Just a sampling in the metro include Woodlake Nature Center
in Richfield, Dodge Nature Center
in South St. Paul, Carpenter Nature Center
in Hastings and Westwood Hills
in St. Louis Park
Tomorrow - Shopping the bookshelf.