By: Sara Walters
‘Tis the season for tasty treats—and less activity.
The holiday rush and the way-too-early setting sun can be a deadly combination for athletic-minded families who may find that they spend more time snacking than sweating. Luckily, the La Crosse area has an assortment of activities that can inspire interest in winter sports and life-long hobbies. Here’s an itinerary you can try with your kids before the cabin fever starts to set in. Keep in mind that many of these activities are weather-permitting.
There’s a Chill in the Air
If you’ve got hockey fans in your family, the Coulee Region Chill provide easy weekend entertainment. Members of the NAHL, a junior hockey league, the Chill have top talent hitting the ice for the viewing pleasure of both you and the kiddos. Got a winter birthday in your household? The team offers birthday party packages, as well.
Snow Place Like Perrot
Perrot State Park in Trempealeau is just as enjoyable in the winter time as it is in warmer weather. Bundle the family up for beautiful Mississippi views and an abundance of trails to snowshoe—you can bring your own or rent them at the park headquarters. Snowshoeing is a great way to get the kids out of the house and into nature. Trails vary in difficulty, so check park signs before you choose a path.
Hitting the Slopes
The local ski hill, Mt. La Crosse is a fun place to blow off some steam in the winter months. Saturdays are Family Night, which includes dinner and discounted pricing for you and all your little skiers. Pro tip for parents, Mt. La Crosse is open on snow days so send them there when they start to get stir crazy.
The Big Show
The ABA is back in town with a brand new team, the La Crosse Showtime. With home games played at the La Crosse Center, the lights, music and fast-paced basketball are exciting for all ages. The team features lots of local talent and plenty of dunks to get the crowd pumped.
Skating Through the Weekend
Kids need to burn some energy? Many local facilities offer open skate and skate rental. Green Island Ice Arena in La Crosse has fluctuating open skate times, so be sure to check their website when you’re ready to hit the ice. The Onalaska Omni Center has a standing Sunday time slot for family skating, as well. And for those on the other side of the river, La Crescent Community Ice Arena has occasional open skate sessions, too.
Groomed for Fun
Teach your kids about the sport of cross-country skiing at various locations in the Coulee Region. Perrot State Park and Hixon Forest offer groomed trails to try with your youngsters. Be sure to check trail conditions before you go. There are nearby Minnesota options as well, including Great Bluffs State Park and Saint Mary’s University. These locations each boast over nine miles of groomed trails to trek. Keep in mind that kids over 16 years old need state passes in both Wisconsin and Minnesota parks.
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