Enjoying the winter with family and friends at a distance


Ashley Riggs, Group leader

Having fun during this winter and taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19  may seem difficult; winter can be many people’s favorite season, and living in Michigan it gives people the full winter-weather experience of a cold, frosty, winter wonderland. Since the summertime brought blazing sun and warmth, it made it easier for people to enjoy fun activities while social distancing outdoors; although it might seem harder with the rise in COVID-19 cases and cold weather, there are still many activities people can do to enjoy this winter!
Ice skating: Ice skating is always a very fun, active activity to do during the winter. Living in Michigan, we have the opportunity to even go out and ice skate on lakes on ponds; because of the cold weather, we are not limited to only man-made ice rinks. A very well-known activity that some go out and do during the winter is ice skating at the Campus Martius Park Ice Rink in Detroit. Due to the new order by the State of Michigan, all ice rinks are closed from November 18- December  8, but are looking to open Wednesday, November 9th. Ice skating is a perfect outdoor activity to do so one can enjoy the fresh air, and stay active in the winter. The Campus Martius Ice Rink is a large, public ice rink. Once it reopens, it will be open every day of the week, including holidays. The new COVID-19 precautions consist of wearing a mask, social distancing, and frequent applications of hand sanitizer. The price for adult skaters is $11, and for children 12 and younger and seniors 59 and older, it costs $9. More details of times and prices can be found on their website: downtowndetroitparks.com. The Campus Martius ice rink is located in a beautiful, festive location and can create wonderful memories for people this winter. Some other more local places to go ice skating are at Kensington Metropark, Greenfield village in Dearborn, and Buhr Park outdoor ice arena in Ann Arbor. Or there is always the option to just go out on a frozen lake or pond!

Skiing and Snowboarding: Many  are worried about how COVID-19 may affect skiing and snowboarding this year. If it’s done safely, skiing and snowboarding can be a fun activity to keep people busy. In an article from the Washington Post, the safeness of this activity was explained. “Skiing is such a low-risk activity, and it’s a low transmission activity,” said Darcy Selenke, the medical director of Grand County Public Health and staff physician for Denver Health at the base of Winter Park Resort. “People naturally socially distance when they ski. It’s pretty hard to ski consistently within six feet of anybody.” Michigan has many ski resorts and hills, more locally being Alpine, Mt Brighton, and Mt Holly. Those places, as well as many others, show their new COVID-19 precautions and rules on their websites. Some of Alpine Valley’s precautions include masks being required when indoors and on lifts, and when social distancing is not possible, the company suggests that people get ready and warm up inside their vehicles, as well as bring their own beverages or snacks.

All other personal belongings must stay in the car, due to lockers not being available. More of Alpine’s COVID rules can be fond on skialpinevalley.com. All in all, going out and skiing, or snowboarding, is a great way to stay active and enjoy the outdoors this winter.

DTE Magic of Lights: At the DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, Michigan, people can experience a drive-through holiday light show. On the website Magic of Lights, this attraction is explained to be a “ holiday lights experience featuring favorite holiday scenes and characters of the season using the latest LED technology and digital animations.”

Tickets are available at the gate or online, although if people buy online, they can possibly save some money —tickets are sold by carload.

The prices differ when one is trying to buy a ticket for a standard vehicle versus a party bus or limo with the cheapest being $25 online for a standard vehicle ticket when purchased for the days Monday-Thursday. This beautiful, fun drive through is perfect for people to go out and have some fun during the winter, be toasty warm inside a car, and since everyone is in a vehicle, people are  distanced and safe from the other cars in the drive-thru.

Overall, there are still challenges and differences for this winter, but it is best to stay positive and happy. Some of the best ways to do that is to stay active, try new things, and do the things that are possible. If everyone focuses on all of the major changes this winter, it will be miserable and boring. So make the most out of this situation and make some amazing memories!