Yes, the Lees family is a little bit odd. We actually like snow. We even enjoyed snow in July in the Colorado Rockies! Our enjoyment of snow is probably because we live in New Jersey and don’t get a lot of it. Therefore, we seek out places where snow can be found. Like the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. It’s just a few hours’ drive from our home to find a great sledding hill and a house to rent for a weekend visit.
|The Lees crew is ready to go sledding!
Snow is actually one of the beauties of winter. It’s one of the things that make winter so much fun. With five children, it’s tough to afford skiing for the entire family. Besides, not all of us want to go skiing. We’re at different ability levels for sure. It is intimidating barreling down the mountainside by yourself on skis. Instead we grab a sled and head for the hills.
While there are many places to pay for sledding in the Pocono Mountains, Camelback and Split Rock are just two, the Lees crew tries to seek out the less expensive, less crowded, and quieter type of sledding hills. We rent a home in the Arrowhead Lakes area of the Pocono Mountains and tote our own sleds and tubes to the bottom of an old ski slope with other residents of the area to enjoy an afternoon of sledding. True, we need to lug our own sleds back up the hill, but everyone is respectful of others and cautious of the children.
|An old ski run makes a great place for sledding.
We all take turns barreling down the steep hill so as not to crash into each other. The hill is wide and has a flat lip at the top where we can set up our sleds. The children like to sled down the hill trying to hold hands, five abreast. Their sled train usually falls apart about halfway down the slope. They either pull each other off the sled or lose mittens to their siblings as their grips slip apart. It’s hilarious.
Everyone using the sledding hill knows to get off the hill as soon as possible, especially if they wipe out mid slope. They simply grab their sleds and trudge to the side of the slope where people climb up. My family has a contest to see who goes the farthest at the bottom of the hill, where it levels off. We all try to make it to the baseball field. It’s not really fair, of course, because my husband and I are the heaviest, so we go the furthest.
You don’t need to own ice skates to be able to enjoy a frozen pond. My family enjoys slipping on the ice. We can spend hours trying, once again, to see who can slide the farthest on the ice. Our son and the twins discovered that if they use their backsides to slide on instead of their feet, they usually go farther.
|Slipping on the ice at Lake
Arrowhead in the Poconos.
It’s very important that you make sure the ice is frozen. You can do this by asking the residents how long the temperature has been below freezing, or simply check the weather reports. You also want to look at the ice and take a few tentative steps on the ice along the edge of the pond. It’s always best to have the heaviest member of the family do this. For safety’s sake, we usually stay close to shore and not venture out to the middle of the pond or lake. Never allow children to walk or play on ice when no one is with them. Just like hiking, winter fun is always best to enjoy with others.
Spring will be here before you know it. So be safe and have some fun with your family in the snow and cold temperatures, if you’re lucky enough to have any. Please feel free to share any wintertime adventures you’ve enjoyed in a comment here at Camping with Five Kids. It would truly be appreciated. Enjoy the approach of spring!