This is hard to believe, but not everyone who lives in the White Mountains loves to ski or snowboard. Some of us, in fact, don’t like it at all. When winter sets in, we hibernate for months, reading books and binge-watching our shows.
What else can we do? Lots, actually! You just have to know where to go.
- When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. When winter brings freezing temperatures, you make ice—or in this case, an ice castle. A visit to Ice Castles NH, in Lincoln, will have you meeting a Snow Princess, navigating through snow tunnels, wandering through icy canyons, watching fire performances, strolling through grand arches, and flying down an ice slide. The castle is closed Sunday and Monday, open Tuesday through Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m., open from 4 to 10:30 p.m. on Friday, and noon to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday. Chill out!
- Does winter make you feel like your life has gone to the dogs? Try turning things around with some actual dogs. At Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel in Jefferson, New Hampshire, you can get behind a team of rescued and “second chance” pups and speed across the snow covered ground like a musher. Muddy Paw offers four different tours, lasting from one-and-a-half to three hours, with options suitable for children as young as two. If you’re truly adventurous, sign up for the “Musher for a Minute” tour. You’ll learn the number one rule of dog sledding—NEVER LET GO!
- Whining about winter does no good, but a glass of wine (or two) definitely helps. Seven Birches Winery, in Lincoln, New Hampshire, is open year-round and has two different tasting rooms for your imbibing pleasure. One is located in the grand RiverWalk Resort at Loon Mountain. The other is just around the corner at Lincoln Village Shops. The tasting room at the resort is open seven days a week; the one in the village is open Friday through Sunday. The deal is the same at both—sample five wines from the tasting menu for $10, or purchase wine by the glass, with prices ranging from $7 to $10. Tours of the winery and a chance to meet the winemakers are available on Saturdays and Wednesdays. Cheers!
- When cabin fever has you craving an escape, why not make a game out of it? Time Quest NH, in Littleton, has two live-action escape rooms just waiting for you and six to eight of your friends (or complete strangers) to find your way out of in 60 minutes or less. You can help John Murphy, P.I., solve the dog-napping case of a prize-winning pooch, or unravel the mystery of a strange series of special orders at Uncle Harry’s General Store. You’ll never actually be locked inside a room with no way out. Nothing and no one is going to jump out and scare the wits out of you. It’s all in good fun and suitable for all ages and abilities. Get out!
- Climbing the walls this winter? Well, yes—at the North Country Climbing Center, in Lisbon, New Hampshire, where you can climb to your heart’s content regardless of the weather. With walls four stories high and 6,000 square feet of space, North Country’s claim that “you have to see it to grasp the scale” is not an exaggeration. Have you never literally climbed a wall before? Not to worry. The knowledgeable staff at North Country will get you started on the right foot. Up you go!