For us Rochestarians, January can be a long, grueling month that is filled to the brim with 10 foot high snow banks and temperatures so low, they can cause your nose hairs to fuse together in less than one second. Most of us spend this time of the year hibernating in our homes like bears, while frantically searching Expedia for cheap flights to Miami. We completely understand the urge to escape the weather and the need to soak up some vitamin D in our very deficient bodies...but there are some pretty fun things that us western New Yorkers can do that the bronze beauties in the Keys can't. So rather than sitting on your couch bitching about the cold and the snow for the next 3 months...put on your 7th layer, open your door, and embrace all the fun that winter has to offer. Here are some classic winter fun ideas to help you get rolling...

  1. Have a Snowball Fight. These cold white battles can range from innocent after school-type fun to full on blood baths, depending on how icy the snow is. And just in case a few of you pansies out there can't handle the frostbitten fingers that are associated with the weapon crafting portion, they now make powerful snowball guns that will fire off 3 balls in 3 seconds. These weapons of mass snow destruction will transform your front yard from a winter wonderland into a scene straight out of Apocalypse Now...but with snow.

  2. Go Sledding. Ahhhhhh sledding. Does any thing on the planet invoke such blissful childhood memories like sledding does? Not really. The awesome news? Sledding is still so much freaking fun as an adult...it's only slightly scarier and it comes with more pain the next morning...but other than that, one hell of a great time! Whether on a tube, a toboggan, or on a trash can lid...nothing beats the cold wind in your face, snot running down your nose, and the threat of completely wiping out the group of six year old's at the bottom of the hill.

  3. Build A Snowman. Thanks to Disney's Frozen movie, asking someone if they want to build a snowman seems very cliche now. However, if you can get the visions of Elsa & Anna running around with Olaf out of your head...rolling up three giant balls of snow is actually quite fun. However, if the snow is light and fluffy - this adventure is a complete bust. You'll be out-of-your-mind annoyed and will just end up throwing a tantrum like a three year old and jamming the corn-cob pipe up someones ass. Builder beware.

  4. Make an Igloo. What could be more fascinating than building an entire house out of snow? We realize, a lot of things. However, it is pretty amazing to be able to dig, pack, and pile yourself a private cave right in your very own backyard. Contrary to what our third grade science teachers always told us...it's actually quite freezing in there, so don't be prepared to move your bed in just yet. On a related note: there is almost the same amount of fun to be had in the destruction of your ice castle as well.

  5. Play Hockey. We're not talking about the paid ice time at an arena kind of hockey here. We're talking about a classic pick up game of pond hockey. You know the kind where you have to shovel the snow off the ice yourself, while praying to the Gods above that you won't break through and quite possibly die? Skating over uneven bumps of ice that will inevitably have someone leaving with a bloody lip...stopping every twelve seconds because someone thought they heard cracking...or watching your flamboyant cousin work on his double axle and triple lutz during water breaks. These are all memories to be made people.

  6. Hot Tub in a Blizzard. Sure, a lot of folks have hot tubs. But not a lot of them are able to sit by the jets with a Jack & Coke during a complete white-out! This will be the closest you will ever feel to being on the inside of a snow globe, while being totally warm. Just the sheer fact that you can sit outside butt-ass naked in 10° weather during the middle of a winter storm and actually get "too hot", defies human survival as we know it. Soakers Tip: Bring all the alcohol & mixers out with you. Running back inside for anything sucks...and will have even the toughest of men running on their tippy toes like a bowling Fred Flinstone.

  7. Go Skiing / Snowboarding. A winter lovers favorite past-time! From the second the first snow falls in upstate New York, skiers and snowboarders alike start drooling over the chance to shred some serious flake on the slopes. Nearly wetting their tighty whitey's at the thought of fresh powder, snow enthusiasts carve out entire weekends to spend on the trails. And even if you don't ride...all ski resorts have bars and fireplaces for you to stay warm and drunk in. Think of Dumb and Dumber (the first one)...hairy boots and all.

  8. Make A Snow Angel. Okay...so this one may not provide you hours of memorable enjoyment, but it is something that you can do just about anywhere at anytime. You can do it whether or not you have kids, have been drinking, have money, have shame, have clothes on...what have you. The best part? When you stumble out of a bar and slip and fall on your ass...you can turn it into an instant "I totally meant to do that" moment by busting out an angel. Nobody's going to believe it...but you'll be too drunk to care.

  9. Go Ice Fishing. If you haven't seen the movie "Grumpy Old Men"...go out and rent it. This film will give you the gist on what ice fishing is really all about. It's about drinking with your friends in a different location other than a bar, while pretending to fish. Besides the fact that it's wicked cool to be able to drive your truck out on a frozen lake, ice shanties are also yet another man cave to claim as your own. You can put anything in there, from heaters, to microwaves, to flat screens and more, by simply tapping into some poor schmucks electric. Catching a fish is a bonus...but you'll probably be too full from the homemade spinach dip you just whipped up in your hot pot to eat it.

  10. Take Up Snowshoeing. Believe it or not, snowshoeing is considered to be the fastest growing winter sport in the world. And no, we're not talking about just putting a pair of sneakers on and walking through a snow bank like an idiot...we're talking, buy a professional pair of weird wicker-canoe looking shoes and go hiking through the woods. Burning up more than 600 calories an hour, this popular past-time is apparently healthier for you than sitting on your couch watching the entire last season of Breaking Bad with a large pepperoni pizza resting on your "abs". Besides...you never can have too many shoes in your closet.
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