Night Time Is the Right Time

chilly fun comes to Pinehurst Park on Thursdays this January and February

V1 Staff, photos by Andrea Paulseth

Now that winter is officially upon us, it might be tempting to lock your doors and burrito-roll inside your favorite blanket. 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, Volume One and Chippewa Valley Family magazines, and the Eau Claire Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department.

Beginning Jan. 3, this snow-centered social will be held 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 snow rather than grimace at it. Pinehurst offers 60 acres of winter fun where you can sled, ice skate, cross-country ski and snowshoe on groomed and lit trails, and more. No snowshoes or skates? No problem! 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. Relax and enjoy the giant fire pit, music, warming house, and free hot cocoa (with the possibility of other edible surprises). This year’s special activities include Pinehurst Winter Safety Day on Jan. 17, presented by the Parks Department and Eau Claire Fire and Rescue. At Winter Safety Day you’ll learn about winter sports safety, including proper headgear and equipment. There will also be a helmet giveaway, and you’ll be able to mingle with police officers and firefighters and check out a firetruck! Unlike Winter After Hours’ previous home, Boyd Park, visitors will find plenty of parking at Pinehurst Park at 3523 Delbert Road, just a few blocks east of Business Highway 53.

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 volumeone.org/winter to find more information and updates about Winter After Hours.

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