Now that it’s the start of the year, we’re turning our minds to all of the adventures we want to experience together. Our family has found the only way to embrace a Maine winter is to have something new and exciting to look forward to each month. Here are the top 5 on our wish list:
1. Take a downhill skiing lesson.
Ours is family of nordic skiers, but after researching ski mountains for a writing assignment, MP is curious to try downhill skiing again. In fact, she hasn’t been on skis since her late teens, due to an unfortunate accident that sent her sliding into a rope at the bottom of the hill. She’s decided it’s time to forget that memory and exchange it for a positive experience! Beginner-friendly (and budget-friendly) mountains like Lost Valley (Auburn), Shawnee Peak (Bridgton) and Black Mountain (Rumford) are all on our list of possible places to take a lesson. And did you know? If you sign your kids up for a WinterKids passport, you’ll find even more special discounts on skiing, skating and sledding throughout the state. The Maine-based organization, which encourages families to get outside, also hosts special community events throughout the season, where passport holders get even more great deals!
2. Go for a wintry horseback ride.
MP drives by a sprawling horse farm on her way to the supermarket each week. She hasn’t been on a horse since childhood, and in the spirit of trying new adventures, winter seems like the best time to take the leap. There are several farms throughout the state that offer indoor lessons and winter rides, including Hideaway Acres (Cumberland), Carousel Horse Farm (Casco), Pepper Hill Farm (South Thomaston), who also offers trail rides with Icelandic Horses, and Sable Oaks (Bangor).
If you follow us on Instagram, you’ll notice we’re big fans of our town forest. MP has long been eyeing the snowmobile trails that lead towards farm fields. Following these trails seems like a fun new way to see our town. While we don’t (yet) own a snowmobile of our own, we’re hoping we can rent two sleds this winter. The blog, the Untamed Mainer, which details outdoor adventures throughout the state, has a full listing of places where to stay and snowmobile this season. Just keep in mind insurance at most establishments requires riders to be ages 12-up.
4. A Visit to Jay Peak Pump House Water Park
An old grade school friend called attention to this incredible water park in Jay, Vermont. We can’t think of a better place to road trip to when we start to grow weary of winter in early March. The park features slides, a water chute, a Big River for tubing, a Flow Rider to test your surfing skills, and a play area for little ones.
5. Sleigh ride.
We love the idea of sleigh riding through the woods on a winter’s day. Several farms throughout the state offer rides for families, including Chase Farms (Wells), Goranson Farm (South Dresden), Winterberry Farm (Belgrade) and Drafty Acres Farm (Palmyra).
How about you? What’s your family looking forward to trying this winter? We’d love to hear.