It seems the snow has finally started to stick around, so with that, I’d say it’s unofficially-officially winter in the Upper Peninsula. Though the approaching holiday season and months of cold weather will be different than ones we’ve experienced in the past due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are still many ways to approach this wondrous, snowy season. Whether you’re a fan of it or not, winter is a crucial part of Keweenawan culture. If you’re looking for safe ways to enjoy the season, check out my list of COVID-friendly winter activities below.
While the thought of skiing or snowboarding terrifies me personally, many people find it to be a great way to embrace the chilly weather! Mont Ripley, Michigan Tech’s very own ski hill, will be open with some changes this year. Michigan Tech students can get a free season pass to the hill and won’t have to enter the ski chalet, limiting contact with other skiers. If skiing or snowboarding isn’t your thing, Mont Ripley also has a tubing hill that is tons of fun for people of all ages.
The Keweenaw is gorgeous in each of its four seasons, and winter is nothing different! While the snowy weather and cold temperatures sometimes provide for some safety issues, when enjoyed safely, winter in the Keweenaw is beautiful. Grab a warm, comfortable pair of boots, your coat and a hat (preferably one that covers your ears) and head out to see some of the amazing sights. Snowshoeing is also a fun option, and at the Outdoor Adventure Program, you can rent snowshoes or cross country skis to use on the Tech Trails.
As the holiday season approaches, many familiar Christmas movies are filling streaming services and cable networks alike. My personal favorites are Elf and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, but there are hundreds of options available. If you like cheesy Hallmark movies, the Hallmark channel has a practically unlimited amount of content for the holiday season, too. Grab a warm blanket, your pet, some hot cocoa and settle in at home safely to enjoy the holidays. Better yet, you could order out some delicious local food from one of the Copper Country’s many amazing restaurants to enjoy while you watch the movie.
Though the pandemic is keeping many people apart, we do live in the age of technology! Use your resources and stay connected safely as winter approaches. FaceTime, Zoom and Skype are all great video chatting options. If you’re looking to do something fun with your friends or family virtually, there are tons of online games available, too. Jackbox Games offers tons of quirky and fun challenges you can play virtually, while hit games like Among Us (think a virtual murder-mystery party) and Skribblio (digital Pictionary) are also great ways to keep in touch.
Start a New Hobby
There are so many beautiful sights to see in the Keweenaw, and they serve as inspiration for many local artists. Take up photography and capture a gorgeous image of the sun setting over Lake Superior. Grab some paints and canvas, or paper and pencil, and let your imagination flow as the natural beauty of the area inspires your creativity. If you’re not interested in capturing the physical beauty of the Keweenaw, grab a pen and paper, a laptop, or a good old-fashioned typewriter and let nature inspire the written word through short stories or poetry.