Submitted by guest blogger Sue Repko
Summertime with children in Schroon Lake is easy-going. As a grandma, I enjoy lounging in an Adirondack chair on that beautiful beach and watching the little ones play in the warm sand and gentle water. The same location also offers an exhilarating experience during the winter.
In the Adirondacks, we believe that outside is better, no matter the season of the year. Winter lasts longer here and there’s nothing like fresh, frosty air and friends to cure cabin fever. I believe that it’s time for the kids to go out and play when the thermometer hits 20 degrees. If the sun is shining, then even colder is fine; it’s all about dressing right. I help the little ones zip up their jackets and put on snow pants, boots, mittens, and hats. They become brightly colored bundles of warmth.
There are at least ten winter activities that you can do with children in Schroon Lake that create wonderful memories:
1. Go sledding
It's time to go sledding on the hill by the beach! Cuddle up with a child in a tube and you’ll go down to the beach at top speed, screaming happily all the way. Once you hit the ice you’ll fly and be amazed at how far you can go. Instead of trekking up the hill, it’s easier to take the stairs. You can stay at the top of the hill and give a good push when they yell, “Ready!” and watch them slide down. Enjoy the beautiful vista before you. The iced lake is surrounded by mountains that are covered by pines and birch trees. Everything is sprinkled with snow and the view seems to go on forever.
2. Get your skate on
Try ice skating in the covered pavilion that overlooks the lake. If you don’t have skates, you can borrow a pair in the hut next to the rink.
3. Explore the ice
Once the ice is safe, take your little ones for a walk on the lake and let them see how things look from that vantage point. Schroon Lake is popular for ice fishing since the lake freezes earlier than those south of here. Here, you can walk around a village of ice fishing tents where fishermen are patiently waiting for their tip-ups to move. Ask about their luck and get ready to listen to the stories. You may see groups of snowmobiles or a skier traveling with the wind by a colorful parachute. Say hello to cross-country skiers and ice skaters.
4. Make tracks
Take a quiet walk or snowshoe through Scaroon Manor and enjoy beautiful views of the lake. Bring a chart of animal tracks and see if you can identify what wildlife walked across the snow before you.
5. Do you want to build a snowman?
The answer is almost certainly, yes! If the snow is good for packing, build away! You can purchase kits that include wooden pieces but you can be creative with sticks, scarves, carrots, and hats. Snowmen make people smile as they drive by. You can also build a snow fort. Watch out for snowballs coming your way!
6. Enjoy the scenery
7. Go for an adventure
Hire a real Adirondack guide for a family adventure such as ice-fishing, snowshoeing, or hiking.
8. Have a snack
For a simpler time, take your child’s hand and walk down Main Street for some tasty treats, like cookies and scones at Pinecone Mercantile, homemade pie at Pitkin’s, ice cream or hot chocolate at Stewarts. It seems that I have quite a sweet tooth.
Maybe the best part about going outside in freezing weather is going back to a warm house. You feel tired but refreshed. The kids are red-cheeked and chatter about their adventures as they remove their snow-crusted outer layers. That’s when you heat up some hot chocolate and top it with whipped cream. I admit that sometimes it’s too cold or blustery to spend time outside. But there are inside things to do as well in wintertime here. You can always take out a board game, teach your kids how to play rummy, or cuddle up in front of the woodstove and watch a family movie. They may forget about video games. But its also a chance to get to know more about the Schroon Lake community.
9. Cozy up with a good book
Take off your coat at the Schroon Lake Public Library. It’s the hub of our town with welcoming staff and offers much more than books for adults and children. Watch a movie on Saturdays with free popcorn or borrow an Adventure Backpack that’s designed to help parents and children learn together. (Pro tip: The Stargazing one includes a telescope.) There’s always story time or perhaps your child would prefer to find a book or puzzle to put together by the window that overlooks the lake. You can enjoy browsing the stacks, using a computer, or sitting on a comfortable couch with a magazine or newspaper.
10. Catch a game
Join the locals and go to the Schroon Lake Central School for a basketball game to cheer on the Wildcats or enjoy a delightful concert. In our town, activities at the school are community events and everyone is welcome. Did you know that our school is housed in one building, and has an enrollment of about 260 from pre-school through 12th grade?
Plan to visit Schroon Lake in the winter months and create family memories.