TOP 10: Activities for winter break

(D.R. Williams/Aztec Press)

 

By D.R. WILLIAMS

It’s colder outside, the days are getting longer and winter break is fast approaching.

Some of us are finishing large semester projects and others are cramming for finals but many students are already planning their vacation.

With a full month off before a new term starts, it would be a waste not to fill it with fun. I already know I won’t pick up as many shifts at work as my dad would like or save as much money as my mom would like, but at least I’ll be happy.

You can spend your free time like a good little worker bee, but you’ll find me flying down ski slopes. Here are some great winter activities to keep you occupied:

10. Catch some rays

Sunbathing by the pool sounds like a summer activity but Tucson has sunshine 85 percent of the year. A 70-degree January afternoon isn’t unheard of, so take advantage during the break from school.

  1. Visit Winterhaven

Cool night air and houses decorated in vibrant LED colors represent the perfect combination this time of year, and a thermos of hot chocolate makes it even better. A canned food drive at the neighborhood entrance makes it all for good purpose. The show runs daily from 6-10 p.m. through Dec. 26. For details, visit WinterhavenFestival.org.

  1. Light a fire

Spark the fireplace to warm up after cold winter storms. It encourages cuddling and can set the mood for a wild night. Roast some marshmallows and relax without the stress of homework.

  1. Watch football

College bowl games start Dec. 17 and continue through Jan. 9. The onslaught provides a perfect opportunity to test the hypothesis that you can never watch too much football. If you reach your limit, try the Winter X-Games.

  1. Play in the snow

When Mount Lemmon finally gets snow, there’s always a rush to make snowmen or sled down hills. Take the vehicle with four-wheel drive or a set of chains and pile the family in for a quick getaway.

  1. Glide on ice

Holiday movies always include ice skating. Unfortunately, Tucson hasn’t had a rink since 2007 so you must go to Phoenix to scratch that itch. If you prefer hockey players battling on ice, the Tucson Roadrunners have home games through January. See tucsonroadrunners.com.

  1. Hit the road

Road tripping never gets old. The Grand Canyon looks amazing when it’s covered in snow. Chances are pretty good you’ve never seen the entire state, so break out the roadmap or just try to get lost.

  1. Chow down

Tacos, tamales, ham, fried okra, roasted potatoes — it doesn’t matter what cultural background you come from. We all have our favorite holiday foods this time of year.

  1. Take a stroll

Enjoy long walks through the desert at sunset with your dog. When the school days were long and you felt like you were losing, your dog still greeted you like royalty. Catch up on quality time because, no matter what grades you received, you’re still a winner in her eyes.

  1. Shred some powder

Dust off the skis or snowboard and head up the mountains. Snowbowl in Flagstaff has great snow and is close to the Grand Canyon. Sunrise in the White Mountains offers the best value for students, with season passes starting at $99 with proof of 12 credit hours. Mount Lemmon doesn’t have ideal slopes, but being an hour away is hard to beat when conditions are right.

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