Now that the excitement of Christmas has passed and we are experiencing random snowfalls in the Fraser Valley, it seems like the perfect time to focus on enjoying all that the winter season has to offer. We have put together a list of 5 great winter activities in the Fraser Valley, which will give you enough ideas to keep you busy for a while!
1.Go Ice Skating
With the number of ice skating rinks located throughout the Fraser Valley, you’re bound to be close to one, no matter where you are! Grab your skates, or a few dollars to rent a pair (don’t forget a clean pair of socks), pair of mittens and a hat, and you’re set for a wonderful winter-themed outing. A few local indoor skating rinks worth visiting before the end of winter: Twin Rinks & Prospera Center in Chilliwack, Matsqui Recreation Center & Centre Ice in Abbotsford, Twin Rinks & Sportsplex In Langley, or any of 5 public arenas throughout Surrey.
by Alex Ristea
2. Go Skiing or Snowboarding
Truly a winter activity, the Fraser Valley is lucky to have not only one, but two great ski and snowboard resorts nearby. With 3 lifts and 36 runs, Hemlock Valley Resort has started off fabulously this season, with a base of over 200cm at alpine level. A mere 45 minute drive from Chilliwack, or 60 from Langley, makes this mountain accessible even during the work week (3 of their runs are open, and well lit, until 8pm). To sweeten the deal even more, starting January 1st ladies ski and snowboard free all day every Thursday for Ladies Nights!
Looking for more of an overnight ski/snowboard get-away? Head up to Manning Park Resort for a mini winter vacation! With great chalets and accommodations available, it makes the 1.5 hour drive seem like worlds away from your everyday life in the valley.
3. Go on a Snowshoeing Trek
When was the last time you strapped on a pair of snowshoes for a hike on fresh white powder? For most of us, it’s never! Why not try something new this year, and head up to Hemlock Valley Resort for one of their guided Fraser Valley snowshoeing treks? Perfect for the snowshoeing novice, treks are offered in 2 and 3 hour journeys on two different terrains (one at the lodge level of the mountain and one at alpine level). If you are feeling a little more confident, visitors are also able to embark on their own unguided tour on one of the many trails around the nordic activity section of the mountain. Not only is it a neat experience, snowshoeing is a great way to burn off those extra Christmas calories!
4. Set Out on a Winter Walk
Team FVP realizes not everyone would enjoy strapping on strange apparatuses to their feet and attempting to walk in fresh snow. If this sounds like you, why not set out a winter walk in your own neighborhood instead? With significantly less insects out there than any other season, winter is a great time to bundle up and take an early evening stroll under the (usually) clear skies. If you’re lucky, you might be pleasantly surprised with a light snowfall, or even still see a few fabulous Christmas light displays. If anything, the cool crisp air will leave you craving a hot chocolate, a blanket and perhaps a great book when you arrive back indoors! It’s surprising how a winter walk can leave you feeling so energenized, relaxed and focused.
5. Tubing, Sledding & Crazy Carpeting!
Although we haven’t received that big snowfall we’ve been promised…yet, you can bet that when we do, the local hills and tiny slopes will be filled with tubes and sliding devices. Most neighborhoods have plenty of little hills that are popular with local kids. Try taking a family drive around your own neighborhood in search one close by – then you’ll be all set when the snow arrives!
In the meantime, be sure to try Hemlock’s tubing park (they even pull you back up the hill!) or take a Sunday mountain drive to search out your own snow if you are the adventurous type.
We LOVE hearing what our readers are up to in the Fraser Valley. What are your favorite things to do or places to visit during the winter months? Please leave your ideas below, thanks