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Winter is the time for sipping hot chocolate by the fireplace, holiday feasts, caroling around the neighborhood, and strolling around a winter market with family or friends. The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT) offer a variety of exciting winter activities to partake in this season. Whether you like to hit the slopes or twirl across the ice, there’s something for everyone to welcome winter.

Ice Skating

Ice skating is a terrific pastime for family and friends of all ages and abilities.  There are many rinks available throughout Massachusetts to practice your Lutzes and Axels on the ice or race your friends around the rink. As part of DCR’s Universal Access Program, certain rinks offer accessible ice skating sleds for individuals with physical limitations or disabilities to help them hit the ice. Contact your local ice skating rink about availability and hours of operation to get started.

Skiing

Skiing is a good way to exercise and an even better way to enjoy the snow-covered outdoors. Skiers of all abilities can get going at one of the many cross-country skiing and local ski areas Massachusetts has to offer. The ski slopes vary from small, snowy hills to large vertical drops, catering to all levels of skiers. Accessible cross-country skiing equipment is available by completing the participant register and release form. Once you get comfortable, you race through beautiful mountains and fly down the slopes.

Snowmobiling

Explore the beauty of the outdoors by going snowmobiling through Massachusetts’ forests and parks. Before going for a ride through the snow, there are some important tips that all snowmobilers need to know:

Once you’ve completed the requirements, strap on your helmet, start up your engine, and set off into the winter wonderland.

 Other Winter Activities

If winter sports aren’t for you, there is still plenty of fun to be had.  Enjoy the warmth of the indoors by staying in and decorating your home, watching movies, or roasting s’mores by your fireplace. Looking for delicious, healthy treats? Take a trip to one of more than 40 winter farmers markets across the state. If you are seeking out sweets, there are nearly 80 maple sugar houses and other maple syrup producers in the Commonwealth.

MOTT also offers a variety of events this season from family caroling to romantic dinners to community festivals. In addition, DCR is hosting their Winter Solstice Celebration to celebrate the arrival of the frosty winter season.

Winter can be a wonderful time for outdoor activities and enjoying the wintry weather, or even finding enjoyable options indoors. With so many events and other happenings in Massachusetts, you can have fun all season long. Try something new this year to make the most of winter, like building your first gingerbread house, and create lasting memories.

What is your favorite winter activity? Let us know by commenting below or tweet us @MassGov.

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