Monday, January 31, 2011

50 things to do on a snow day

So there's another winter storm on the horizon. Is anyone surprised? Not if you read the Farmer's Alamanac, which predicted that this year we would experience shivery conditions, where temperatures will average below normal for about three-quarters of the nation and snowfall will be significant, as in 10 to 15 inches.

Metro Newspaper Services

If you must drive, check out the winter safety tips online in The Macomb Daily Lifestyles If you're stuck at home, check out this list of 50 ways to spend a snow day. Some were suggested by Leanne Italie of the Associated Press, others by experts living in Canada's prairie provinces, where residents refer to April and May as the months of spring thaw. 

* Instead of a Frosty the Snowman, make something more interesting like an abominable snowman or a ferocious snow-a-sor-us!
* Pull out the multiplication cards and practice with your kids. That'll really make them happy about being home. For older kids, go online and find a practice test.
* Sneak on the computer and delete all of the "expletive-laden music" from your teenager's Napster playlist.
* Make ice cream and slushies out of snow.
* Build a tent in the living room out of blankets. Tell campfire stories.
* Plan a formal dinner for the family and tell them there's no dessert unless they dress up for the occasion. Or put on your little black dress and make it a dinner for two, instead.
* Find a squirt bottle and fill it with water and food coloring. Then head outside and make art on the snow. "Let your dog help you out, too," Italie said.
* Be brave. Venture into town and see if you can find a store that still has a sled for sale. Then go sledding.
* Fill a bucket with warm sudsy water and wash the floors like they did in the old days -- by hand.
* Pull out that basket of mending and ironing-to-do items and do them.

AP Photo/Jessica Hill
Portuguese Waterdog named Zephyr 
tries to navigate the deep snow 
during a winter storm in Hartford, Conn.
* Groom the dog. Then suck all the fur off your couch and toss it outside for the birds.
* Speaking of birds, this would be a good time to fill the feeder or gather up the kids and makes some suet balls.
* Make a batch of lasagna, enchiladas and other freeze-ahead dinners, which you might be hankering for by Friday.
* Try rooftop luging.
* Get your blood flowing, visit a local tanning salon.
* Pull out the polar bear play set.
* Draw something on the blank canvas you bought on sale at Michael's.
* Pull out the chiminea fire pit and burn your pile of old documents. Sip on hot chocolate while you're watching your previous gas and electric bills fade away.
* Install the smoke detector you purchased during Fall Back.
* Organize your pots and pans.
AP Photo/Hasbro
* Play Monopoly or Twister only change the rules to make it a different game.
* Muster up the courage to go through your junk drawer.
* Polish your silverware and jewelry. Alternatively, search for antiques that you might be able to sell on consignment.
* Sort mementos into keep and toss piles. Spend time poring over the keepers -- after all, that's why you're keeping them.
* Pull out the calendar you got for Christmas and make a master list for gift-giving dates. Shop ahead online -- or for yourself. Call it a white out sale.
* Make a pot of stew and invite over neighbors you rarely see.
* Jot down all the things you love about your valentine for a card or scrapbook. Make stuff up if necessary.
* Talk yourself into using those cross-country skis, or skates or showshoes that are hanging in the garage. C'mon, you can do it!
* Sort through your old photos. While they're out, scan some to create a photo book for you and your hubby. Force the kids to look at pictures of their parents when they were little.
* Do your taxes! April 15 only feels far off.
* Break open your financial portfolio and a bottle of merlot.
* Dig out those seed catalogs and make a shopping list. Yes, spring will come eventually.
* Update your resume. Hey, it's better than doing it at work and leaving it in the copying machine.
* Clean out your closet. If you haven't worn it in a year, toss it in a bag for charity.
* Rent a projector and host a walk-in movie day.
* No projectors available? Toss some more paper in the chiminea, take out all the beach chairs, umbrellas and boogie boards and make it a beach day in the snow, instead.
* Google yourself.
* Collect all the loose change in the corners of the house, coat pockets, sofa cushions and jeans in the laundry. Maybe you'll have enough for a 7-Eleven Slurpee.
* Practice the art of letter writing. You know the kind, with pen and paper?
* Show the kids how to make snowflakes out of paper and hang them indoors, or over the windows to block out the scene of real stuff outside.
* Dig out the yoga DVD, and push play.
* Compose a bucket list and include dream destinations.
* Talk your kids into playing a game you made up known as "Let's Clean Your Room!"
* Not moving? Play family-friendly spin the bottle with a chore list and rig it so it never points at you.
* Bake a batch of cookies and visit the elderly neighbor on your street.
AP Photo/Meg Volk
Baking cookies is a good activity for a snow day at home.
* Google a recipe for making your own mud mask and pretend you're at the spa. Don't forget the manicure and pedicure.
* Treat yourself further with a bubble bath. Turn down the lights, light a candle and soak until you look like a prune. Doesn't do it for you? It's not completely impossible that a real one is open.
* Invent your own chocolate cookie recipe. Tasting mandatory.
* Write the first chapter of your book.
* Learn the game of cribbage. Now you can holler 15-2, 15-4!
* Call your best friend and ask her if she has Prince Albert in a can.
* Take a well-earned nap.
* Get on Facebook and send cold jokes to your friends and relatives in warm-weather places.
* Check out real estate in a sunny state, so you won't need a list like this again.

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