5 Ways to Enjoy Winter Without Snow

Posted by Bill & Paul's | 01.06.2020

5 Ways to Enjoy Winter Without Snow

The winter of 19/20 is shaping up to be another roller coaster ride in West Michigan.  Skiers and snowboarders are having an incredible season, with resorts in the area opening in Mid-November.  With their modern snowmaking, they’ve also been able to maintain ideal conditions for their customers. Locally we’ve received a decent amount of snow (29.5” so far in Grand Rapids), but unlike on the slopes, it hasn’t stayed around very long.  This leaves those who enjoy cross-country skiing, ice fishing, snowshoeing, and sledding looking for other ways to be active outdoors. We have a few suggestions for getting some use out of your winter clothing and footwear when the weather doesn't cooperate.


1. Walk or Run your favorite cross-country ski trail

You may not be able to work on that perfect kick-and-glide technique on your nordic skis without the white stuff, but you can enjoy the peace and quiet of a local park trail. Click here for a list of our favorites! Dress like you’re going skiing or snowshoeing (Be bold-start cold), and pack in some layers and a thermos of warm fluid. Stop at your favorite spot, bundle up, enjoy a warm drink, then layer down for the rest of the hike. Consider traction aids and waterproof trail shoes if the remains of the last snow make conditions icy. Just leave the heavy boots at home!


2. Fat Tire biking on your local community trail

Visit Grand Rapids Bicycle company and rent a fat tire bike!  These comfy winter cruisers are sure to put a smile on your face.  Then layer up, put a balaclava on under your ski helmet (they’re warmer!) and head to the White Pine, Hart-Montague, or the newly surfaced Flat River Valley trail in Lowell. No bugs and far fewer trail users are just two advantages of winter riding.  For those inclined to ride singletrack please follow trail guidelines to maintain the integrity of these trails.


3. Go to a Grand Rapids Griffins game

Watching hometown hockey is the perfect chilly environment where your puffy jacket or sweater will be put to good use. The action is great, the atmosphere is exciting, and our boys on ice will appreciate your local support!


4. Find a brewery or coffeehouse with outside seating

Caffeinate outdoors! (kind of). Outside Coffee Company has no indoor seating. However in the colder months you can enjoy your joe inside a toasty igloo. As for the beer lovers who enjoy cold weather, local breweries like Gravel Bottom may not have service on the patio this time of year, but you can bundle up and enjoy a seasonal brew outside, away from the noise and heat of the indoor crowd.


5. Go Iceskating

Like their distant cousins the ski resorts, our local ice rinks are able to provide a frozen surface even when mother nature refuses to cooperate. Bundle up and skate outdoors at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown GR or lose a layer or two and enjoy the open skate times at Griffs Ice House or Walker Ice and Fitness.



Michiganders were not meant to hibernate. Stay active and stay outdoors no matter what mood Mother Nature is in. Those who love being outside tend to say there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear. If you’re headed out and need assistance with your clothing choices, please visit the store and let one of our staff advise you. Finally, THINK SNOW! Because winter is always more fun with it around.