Night time is the right time for Winter After Hours

photos by Andrea Paulseth

Now that winter is officially upon us, it might be tempting to lock your doors, burrito-roll inside your favorite blanket, and binge watch Netflix for the rest of the season. But here in Wisconsin, cold weather doesn’t have to negate outdoor fun. The Chippewa Valley’s annual hangout celebrating outdoor winter activities is here!

Escape your winter bunker and bring the family to Winter After Hours, sponsored by Mayo Clinic Health System in partnership with OutdoorMore, Chippewa Valley Family and Volume One magazines, and the Eau Claire Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department.

Beginning Jan. 3, this snow-based social will be held from 6-8pm every Thursday during January and February (weather permitting, of course). Held at Pinehurst Park on Eau Claire’s north side, Winter After Hours challenges residents to embrace the scenic snow rather than grimace at it.

Pinehurst offers 60 acres of cheap, chilly winter fun where you can sled, ice skate, cross-country ski and snowshoe on groomed and lit trails, and much more. No snowshoes or skates? No problem! Ice skate and snowshoe rentals will be available, and safety equipment will be free to use.

Still not willing to leave the comfort of your couch? Impromptu hockey games are encouraged, fat tire bike trails are available, and if you can find an unspoiled spot feel free to make a snowman or snow angel. And if none of these things are your thing, then check out the giant fire pit, music, warming house, and free hot cocoa (with the possibility of other edible surprises).

Whether you’re 5 or 85, all are welcome to enjoy the crisp air and the warm fun. Pile on the layers, strap on those boots, and come to Pinehurst Park for weekly alfresco activities. Visit the Winter After Hours website to find more information and updates.

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