Winter wonderland

January 7, 2017

By Jill Rothenbueler Maher

Imagine an entire hillside peppered with kids and parents enjoying sled rides on new fallen snow at South Shore Park. Last month, someone posted a picture of this wonderful scene to a popular Facebook page about Bay View and lots of you saw it and liked it. My family didn’t hit the hill that day, but had our fun in a friendly snowball fight.

Low-stress outings like sledding with friends are one of my favorite things about winter. All that’s needed are a few texts between the parents and then, simply, we’re  on the hill together. Nothing to stress over (until the kids get cold and hungry). It’s a different kind of fun than the December whirlwind of making dishes for the extended family potluck and then dressing up for the school performance.

I’m resolving this winter to relish the fun aspects of the season rather than just waiting for spring to roll around. We enjoy ice skating and can do that without spending much money since I own skates and only have to rent one pair for our daughter. I’ve been to the famed Rockefeller Center ice rink in Manhattan (which includes a VIP igloo) and to one near Washington, D.C.’s Smithsonian museums. Those locations are cool but I’m happy to be in downtown Milwaukee where we can skate for as long as we like at low cost and without big crowds.

Winter is also great for baking and I’ll get that going again once I work off last month’s indulgences. My daughter and I enjoy baking together and sometimes even use it for practice with fractions or to test a lighthearted hypothesis, for example, which type of chocolate melts faster atop peanut butter cookies — low-cost family fun that’s better in cold temperatures.

Our family loves to read and we can enjoy that, or a Packers game on a Sunday, without feeling like we should be outside enjoying the sunshine.

Summer, with its abundance of daylight and invigorating bike rides, won’t lose its number one status for me, but winter has a lot going for it. I hope our daughter grows up knowing that there’s tons of fun to be had all year.

The author is a freelance writer and mother of one. Reach her with comments or suggestions at 

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