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When It Snows, Make Ice Cream!

Take Advantage of the Snow to Make It a Memorable Day

When life gives you snow, you make… snow ice cream?

That’s what Sarah Walker Caron and her kids did during a recent snowfall that dropped almost two feet on her Maine community. While the office was closed, Caron, a newspaper editor, still had to work from home. To keep her kids occupied, she tried a snow ice cream recipe to sweeten up their free time.

“I made a base using milk, sugar and vanilla, then called the kids into the kitchen and told them to get me eight cups of clean snow from our back porch. They had no idea what I was doing,” Caron said.

She dumped it in the bowl and stirred vigorously, tossing in some peppermint chocolates. “The kids thought it was the most awesome thing ever. They loved it! We'll definitely be trying this again.”

To beat blizzard boredom, consider these other “cool” tips from recent snow days:

Activate Your Sweet Tooth

The Caron family wasn’t the only one making food from snow. Kara Wahlgren and her two sons, who, she says, are “obsessed with eating snow but not so crazy about the cold weather,” decided to scoop some into a bowl so they could eat it indoors. “That quickly evolved into adding juice to make snow slushies,” she says.

Wahlgren drizzled a little maple syrup over the snow as a treat for herself. Her tip: “Gather the snow as soon as it falls (while it’s not icy), and add the juice or syrup very slowly so it soaks through but doesn’t melt it all.”

No Snow Excuse

Although there aren’t many calories in snow slushies, typical snow day diets can include snack food, and lots of it. To offset bad-weather binges, online personal training sites like Wello offer instant access to a regular gym routine. No longer is there an excuse not to work out as the service and others like it enable you to pick and choose a trainer and work out where you are.

“I had several clients who were snowed in during our online class workouts,” says Wello trainer Marissa Guiffre. “I would remind them they were working out in a nice, toasty environment even though some of our exercises mimicked shoveling or tromping through the snow.” What also worked as motivation, she adds, was reminding them that “May abs are made in January and February workouts.”

Find Your Zen

Yoga instructor Stephanie Giannetti wasn’t going to let cabin fever mess with her year-round Zen when a recent snow day kept her Brooklyn studio closed. After seeing some of her friends on Facebook doing “Snowga” – yoga in the snow – she decided to use the peace and tranquility of the winter wonderland as her energy release.

“It was so fun and freeing. Then again, yoga anywhere is amazing," she says. "I use the world as my yoga mat.”

Bye, Bye, Frosty…

In order to keep her world interesting after a recent snowstorm, New York City artist Kathrina Miccio says she ventured outside with her two French Bulldogs, Ziggy and Lulu. Their canine-inspired snow play inspired Miccio to make a snow doggie in Lulu’s likeness. “It took a little over an hour,” says Miccio, whose frozen masterpiece got plenty of “How did you do that?” comments on her Facebook page.

In Jenny Wilen’s South Amboy, N.J. backyard, her 7-year-old set out to make a snowman of a movie character. “It took us about two hours, and Aiden did go in and warm up a few times," says Wilen. They're planning more characters for the next storm.

Snow Picassos

Kids’ play became colorful in Jennifer Garcia’s West Babylon, N.Y., neighborhood, thanks to some warm water and food coloring in squirt bottles. The result? Instant snow paint that kept Garcia’s daughters, who range in age from 2 to 7, engaged. They were soon joined by the kids next door, totaling six little ones who reveled in creating colorful snow masterpieces. “They spent hours doing it, and kept saying, ‘This is awesome!'”

Dig Up Some Goodwill

For a growing number of high school student volunteers in Staten Island, N.Y., snow days mean fun and functionality. Many are digging the snow – literally – as a chance to earn community service credit. Where to Turn, a local nonprofit, matches students with senior citizens within walking distance of their homes. These “adoptions” include shoveling for the elderly all winter long.

Executive Director Dennis McKeon says he began the program in 2003 when a 9/11 widow shared that her husband’s elderly parents had received a $200 fine for not clearing their walkway after a storm. “If we could do it for one person, we could do it for others,” says McKeon, who estimates that close to 5,000 seniors have been helped through the program since its inception.

There are similar shoveling projects in Evanston, Ill. and Chittenden County, Vt., among others.

Start planning now to be ready for great experiences on the next snow day.

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