While HBO has just revealed the Game of Thrones Season 8 premiere for April 2019, I am in fact referencing the upcoming season change from fall to winter. December 21st will officially signal the start of winter and for many people, this means short days, cold temperatures and shoveling. But who says winter has to be dreary? Let’s find a new winter hobby!
Rhode Island is often overshadowed by its New England neighbors in regards to winter sports, however there is plenty to do right here in The Ocean State.
There are plenty of rinks located in the state with free skate opportunities but use this winter to try skating outside! The Alex and Ani Center located in Providence has opened for skating to the public. River Island Park in Woonsocket offers outdoor skating with music and even has a cooling system in case the weather gets too warm. Check with your town as some of the local parks with ponds are options too. Shippee Hollow Pond at Goddard State Park is monitored by the Department of Environmental Management and is deemed safe to skate once the ice is six inches in depth.
This is the sport that catches popularity every four years with the Olympics. Curling is popular in Canada and consists of two teams sliding heavy stones down an alley with the goal of scoring in the middle circle. Did you know there are local Curling clubs in New England? The Ocean State Curling Club is located in Cranston. January features a “Learn to Curl” event for beginners looking to get hooked onto a new sport.
CROSS COUNTRY SKI /// SNOWSHOEING
Cross country skiing and snowshoeing is easy enough for almost anyone to try! Unfortunately, the options to rent cross country ski or snowshoe equipment are limited in Rhode Island. The Ski House in Somerset, Massachusetts has daily options for winter equipment. Parks like Lincoln Woods, Colt State Park, and Goddard Park are often great spaces to explore. The bike paths are wide enough for cross country skis, however the snow often melts quickly due to the dark asphalt.
Learn to ski at the state’s only ski resort, Yawgoo Valley in Exeter, Rhode Island. The resort is projected to open in early December based on weather conditions and the resort’s ability to produce snow. The resort has 14 trails as well as lighting to allow skiing well after sunset. If you crave bigger hills to ski, there are many local ski shops that organize bus trips to New England mountains.
If playing sports is not for you, you could always watch! The Providence Bruins are a minor league affiliation of the Boston Bruins and play games at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center from November - April. Ticket prices are more affordable than other professional games and make for a great family outing.
There is also the Providence College Friar basketball and hockey teams, the URI basketball team and Bryant University tennis team - all division I programs. Plus you could always catch a wonderful show at PPAC or Trinity Rep right in Providence!
If all else fails, you can always cuddle up by the fireplace with a good book to read!