Slippery conditions and a spiked heating bill are enough to give Michigan students Florida dreams, but there is light at the end of these short, dark days.
With the aspiration of being an Olympic bobsledder and disdain for trudging through snow just to reach the peak of a sledding hill, winter revelers should head to Waterford Oaks, which delivers with its unique icy toboggan run, The Fridge. Up to four riders zoom down a 55-foot drop and zip along 1,000 feet, all at speeds of over 30 miles per hour. The toboggans are transported and provided by The Fridge, so don’t worry about bringing your own. The park is open Wednesday through Friday from 4 to 9:30 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Though The Fridge operates through mid-March, it is best to call ahead when temperatures fluctuate.
If Picabo Street is more up your alley than Cool Runnings, you need look no further than Mount Brighton. With 26 trails, one of them 1350 feet long, and a 300 foot vertical drop, Brighton is sure to please the downhill crowd. If snowboarding is the sport of choice, Brighton also offers a halfpipe and a terrain park. Day passes vary between $17 to $27, depending on the time of day and day of the week; Night skiing is also available. Mount Holly is also nearby, offering similar facilities as Brighton, though their longest run is 1750 feet. Ski and snowboard rentals and lessons are featured at both. Check out www.goskimichigan.com for a complete list of slopes, lodges and pass information.
Winter fun is also right around the corner at Yost Ice Arena. For just $3 (with an MCard), Yost offers public ice skating Thursday from 8 p.m. to 9:50 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 3:50 p.m. Are your axels and triple lutzes not quite up to par? Yost also hosts skating lessons on Sundays from 1 to 1:50 p.m., open to all ages for $60. Yost is a great place to learn to skate, go on a more creative date than dinner and a movie or be mistaken for a pro. Similarly, the Ann Arbor Ice Cube offers a wide range of skating, fitness and dining facilities.
Don’t let the dropping temperatures and heaps of snow get you down. Bundle up, and remember that spring is only a snowball toss away.