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MidwestMan
senior member (88)senior membersenior member
 
06/25/2022 10:43AM  
My wife & I just moved to northern Wisconsin and I’m trying to plan entertainment/games/activities for the long winter months. I’ll be working full time and my wife will be working part-time so I’m mainly looking for things to do at night. Card games, board games, any unique ideas that you BWCA members might have. I am sober (AKA not fun in many peoples’ eyes lol) so try to keep the suggestions away from anything bar-related.

Thanks and have a wonderful summer!
 
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missmolly
distinguished member(7326)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/25/2022 11:53AM  
Three things:

1. Plant bushes and trees with bright bark outside your windows. Color outside helps a lot. Mass plantings give even more color. I suggest red twig dogwoods, yellow twig dogwoods, and paperbark maples.

2. Jigsaw puzzles. They're the perfect hunkered-in-the-cave activity.

3. Books. Nothing better than a book and a blanket.
 
Bingo
member (5)member
 
06/25/2022 12:03PM  
Frozen waterfalls and Lake Superior in winter are impressive, learn to downhill or cross country ski if you dont already.
If you are open to saying the general area of N. WI (Iron County, Bayfield, Eagle River, Florence, etc.) you could probably get more area specific feedback.
 
Hockhocking
member (47)member
 
06/25/2022 12:36PM  
Decades ago, I moved from southeastern USA up to Minnesota. The winters were a challenge at first. Summers were full of softball, camping/canoeing/backpacking/bicycling. But winters? One thing I had not realized is that bowling is a big winter social activity. Understanding your comment about non-bar-related, a bowling alley might work, or not - I have bowled at alleys that have "family rules" a couple nights a week. Another thing, as mentioned above, is outdoor activity like cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking. "Sledding" (snowmobiles) is popular too, and there may be clubs that you can join. Can you build, or do you have, an outdoor firepit for socializing? I found my winter social outlet singing in a community chorus, and I was pleasantly surprised at how ingrained choral singing is in the culture. Church activities are big in the winter and less so in the summer, if being part of a congregation is something your family will be doing. And, I did a ton of craft/sewing/quilting/outdoor-gear-making in the winters, I always had projects lined up that I never got to in the summer. Just substitute your favorite - woodworking, painting, whatever. Oh, one more piece of advice I could've used - Around October 1, make sure your pantry is well-stocked with nonperishable goods, batteries, candle lanterns, etc. My first experience of a Minnesota snowstorm was the legendary Halloween Blizzard in 1991, which hit just as I got my first paycheck so I was not stocked up or prepared in any way for being snowed in (in an urban apartment no less) for four days!
 
06/25/2022 01:43PM  
Welcome to Wisconsin!

A few options:
1) Build naturalistic bird feeders now - enjoy flying friends in the winter
2) Photography - weekends are great for photoshoots and you can do just about any time. The evenings in the winter are perfect for editing and compiling. Online communities of all varieties offer social connections. Showcasing your work and/or teaching youth involve people in person. (Same goes for videography)
3) Serve on a board for a local service organization.
4) Take a cooking class, and become a hobbyist chef. Something to do as a couple and/or involve others.
5) You mentioned games, the online world is full of them...or start a smaller, local scrabble night...or volunteer at a senior center or with a church group and do game nights for youth, the elderly, or others
6) Write a book. Seriously. Everyone has a story to tell. If not a book, go back and write past trip reports.
7) Foster an animal, perhaps be a guardian home for service animal breeding dogs - we do it year-round and you'll always have something to do in the evenings.
8) Volunteer to help local teachers. There are always projects you can do for them during off-hours so lessons are more individualized with extra care and attention - assemble kits, personalize notes back, pre-write congratulatory messages, etc.
9) snow sculpting is a real thing in northern Wisconsin
10) Visit local businesses and then write online reviews - the exposure is appreciated and you'll get to know people and places quickly.

Again, welcome to Wisconsin...hope you have an AWESOME winter here!
 
missmolly
distinguished member(7326)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/25/2022 02:28PM  
Yetijedi's bird feeder suggestion is a great one. I like the bowling and craft/projects ones too.
 
MidwestMan
senior member (88)senior membersenior member
 
06/25/2022 02:41PM  
Wow - truly amazed at these responses! Thank you all so much! There are a number of ideas here that were not on my radar at all and have certainly peaked my interest!
 
deepdish71
distinguished member (234)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/25/2022 04:38PM  
I’m located in Manitowish Waters, if you are close by this area I could suggest a few things to do. If you don’t mind, where did you move to? As others have mentioned it would be helpful to know.
 
missmolly
distinguished member(7326)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/25/2022 05:49PM  
MidwestMan: "Wow - truly amazed at these responses! Thank you all so much! There are a number of ideas here that were not on my radar at all and have certainly peaked my interest!"

You want more amazing ideas? How about bear hugging? You wander the woods until you find a bear den. You enter. You hug the bear and exit before it awakens. Are you amazed at how stupid my idea is? It is, however, exciting.
 
06/25/2022 07:24PM  
I moved to Brule, WI almost 2 years ago now. To live up here you need to embrace winter. :) I moved up here expecting the long winters and 80 or so inches of snow each year. If you enjoy skiing, snowshoeing, winter camping, ice fishing, etc it's not so bad. Hardest part for me was finding daylight hours to enjoy all of the above....

As others have said it helps to get involved in the community. I volunteered for the Fire Dept and have met a lot of great folks that way. Plan trips (like bwca trips). Try and get out of the house for any reason and it helps with the cabin fever.
 
06/25/2022 10:45PM  
There are the National and State forests all around you that offer miles and miles of forest service roads, improved and unimproved, plowed and unplowed, old logging roads and narrow- gauge rail beds from turn of the century (19th) logging. You can hike or snowshoe forever and even camp out anywhere for free. (at least on federal lands). Fishing through the ice and even catch and release trout fishing on some designated streams, check the regs first. Downhill and cross -country skiing lots and lots of trails and ski hills around.
There is always snow shoveling: driveway, roof, sidewalk, patio then repeat after the plow truck pushes it all back in again and be sure to have a wood burning stove or fireplace, hours and hours of fun cutting, hauling, splitting, and stacking.
Missmolly wasn't kidding about the bear hugging but I'm pretty sure alcohol needs to be involved. I did find a bear den one winter and looked in and the bear looked back! defiantly NO HUGGING though.
 
06/25/2022 11:40PM  
merlyn: "There are the National and State forests all around you that offer miles and miles of forest service roads, improved and unimproved, plowed and unplowed, old logging roads and narrow- gauge rail beds from turn of the century (19th) logging. You can hike or snowshoe forever and even camp out anywhere for free. (at least on federal lands). Fishing through the ice and even catch and release trout fishing on some designated streams, check the regs first. Downhill and cross -country skiing lots and lots of trails and ski hills around.
There is always snow shoveling: driveway, roof, sidewalk, patio then repeat after the plow truck pushes it all back in again and be sure to have a wood burning stove or fireplace, hours and hours of fun cutting, hauling, splitting, and stacking.
Missmolly wasn't kidding about the bear hugging but I'm pretty sure alcohol needs to be involved. I did find a bear den one winter and looked in and the bear looked back! defiantly NO HUGGING though."


I'm not sure what I did to remove the first part of my post so I will add it onto the end-- I had written Don't be intimidated by Wisconsin winters, get out and enjoy the outdoors, we do winter very well up here, embrace the clean cold air.
 
06/26/2022 06:40AM  
Haha Miss Molly... bear hugging. Them critters are everywhere here. We have one momma with twins and another with triplets.
My favorite pastime was snowshoeing... having a dog, cross country skiing wasn’t as viable unless you were breaking your own trails. But finding an area you can get off the beaten path you can explore and opportunity to see wildlife in the winter mode.
But my favorite past time was planning and prepping for my summer canoe trips. By summer I had dehydrated foods and developed meals for myself to the point I brought exact portions and such and came out with minimal food stuff... maybe enough for an extra day. People many times ask two days before a trip what they need for food, fuel for stoves, and things like that. Come spring I was usually ready to grab everything and go. In the bwca, route is best known by January so you can get in on the permits of choice when that opens up. Even your gear... especially if you have anything your not familiar with like a new tent... practice setting it up in your house if you can.
Now my winter activities will be in Arizona... haha... the old body has called it quits on a number of things.
 
06/26/2022 07:42AM  
Good topic, as I hope to move to the northland when I retire.
 
missmolly
distinguished member(7326)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/26/2022 07:44AM  
Ben might laugh off bear hugging, but don't believe it. He's a veteran bear hugger. How do I know? He gave me a bear hug once.
 
MidwestMan
senior member (88)senior membersenior member
 
06/26/2022 08:17AM  
missmolly: "MidwestMan: "Wow - truly amazed at these responses! Thank you all so much! There are a number of ideas here that were not on my radar at all and have certainly peaked my interest!"


You want more amazing ideas? How about bear hugging? You wander the woods until you find a bear den. You enter. You hug the bear and exit before it awakens. Are you amazed at how stupid my idea is? It is, however, exciting. "


If you tag along, missmolly, I’m happy to try it. As the saying goes, “I don’t gotta outrun the bear, I just gotta outrun you.” ;)
 
MidwestMan
senior member (88)senior membersenior member
 
06/26/2022 08:19AM  
deepdish71: "I’m located in Manitowish Waters, if you are close by this area I could suggest a few things to do. If you don’t mind, where did you move to? As others have mentioned it would be helpful to know. "

Rhinelander!
 
missmolly
distinguished member(7326)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/26/2022 10:38AM  
MidwestMan: "missmolly: "MidwestMan: "Wow - truly amazed at these responses! Thank you all so much! There are a number of ideas here that were not on my radar at all and have certainly peaked my interest!"



You want more amazing ideas? How about bear hugging? You wander the woods until you find a bear den. You enter. You hug the bear and exit before it awakens. Are you amazed at how stupid my idea is? It is, however, exciting. "



If you tag along, missmolly, I’m happy to try it. As the saying goes, “I don’t gotta outrun the bear, I just gotta outrun you.” ;)"


Ha!

I've an idea: How about if I tag along and only hug the cute cubs? That can't go south, can it?
 
MidwestMan
senior member (88)senior membersenior member
 
06/26/2022 11:15AM  
missmolly: "MidwestMan: "missmolly: "MidwestMan: "Wow - truly amazed at these responses! Thank you all so much! There are a number of ideas here that were not on my radar at all and have certainly peaked my interest!"



You want more amazing ideas? How about bear hugging? You wander the woods until you find a bear den. You enter. You hug the bear and exit before it awakens. Are you amazed at how stupid my idea is? It is, however, exciting. "




If you tag along, missmolly, I’m happy to try it. As the saying goes, “I don’t gotta outrun the bear, I just gotta outrun you.” ;)"



Ha!


I've an idea: How about if I tag along and only hug the cute cubs? That can't go south, can it? "


That is a solid plan. Don’t see it going south at all. As long as the momma is a quadriplegic then this is approved by me.
 
missmolly
distinguished member(7326)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/26/2022 01:39PM  
My only regret is that we they tell our woeful tale, that the title, "Dumb and Dumber," will already have been taken.

Perhaps "MM & MM, Their Race to the Bottom (of the Dens and Back)," will work. Too wordy?

Perhaps, "MMMM," which makes our movie sound delicious!

 
06/26/2022 04:25PM  
Welcome to the great snowy north! I LOVE winter here in Minnesota, and though I have lived here much of my life I’m actually a native of SoCal. I’ve been of the firm opinion for several decades that the people here who suffer trying to get through winter are almost always people who do everything possible to avoid going outside in winter. While the original post alluded to indoor activities (which are important), I definitely encourage you to explore whatever outdoor interest might spark you. Think of any outdoor winter activity and you will find plenty of YouTubes showing you what it’s about. I basically learned to winter camp by watching YouTube and now love that the BWCA is open to me year around. I also love snowshoeing and volunteering at dogsled races. Oddly I even love shoveling, blowing, or plowing snow.

One word of advice I’ll offer about being able to deal with winter is to do some research and get some decent winter clothing. I’m sometimes dumbstruck by seeing people who live here and have plenty of fashionable clothing for warm weather but are poorly equipped for winter. Spoiler alert: a big puffy down coat is not the answer. When you do your research, look to people who actually spend a lot of time outside in the winter. Some of my favorite brands are Steiger Mukluks, Wintergreen, Big Bill/Codet wool pants, and Smartwool 250 base layers. Winter is awesome!

When I am inside in winter I spend a fair amount of time making things, especially outdoor gear. I’ll make anything from light-weight silnylon tarps and tents to beaver fur mittens and heavy wool coats.


 
Heyfritty
distinguished member (144)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/26/2022 07:59PM  
That’s a really cool camp! Inviting.
 
Michwall2
distinguished member(1283)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/26/2022 09:14PM  
High School Athletics continue through the winter in northern Wis. Find your local high school men's and women's basketball/volleyball teams. I think you will find most of the town in the High School gym Friday nights anyhow. (Do you like high school athletics? The WIAA is always looking for game officials. You could work as much or as little as you want.)

I like the bowling idea. But perhaps you would enjoy curling? Is there a local club where you have moved to?

Are you a veteran? Join the local American Legion or VFW? My dad was a member of the AL for over 50 years.

If you are into it, ice fishing can be fun. You don't have to catch the biggest fish either. A nice meal of blue gill or perch in the middle of winter can lift your spirits.

Do you hunt? There used to be 2 deer archery seasons. They sandwiched the gun season.

Like music - Find your local high school band/choir concert schedule. Solo & Ensemble contest is usually in February (Do you play piano? They are always looking for accompanists.). Do you live near a 2-4 year college campus? Music and Theater productions continue through the winter months. Often for little or no cost.

Join or start a book club (at your local library?). With so many titles now available in freee-reader versions through your local library, there is no excuse not to be reading. My Alma-mater hosts an online book club once a month.

More cerebral? There are online Chess communities you can join for little cost.

Do you want a total black hole for your time? Start working on your family's genealogy. I guarantee you will have a time-sink anytime you need it.


 
Hockhocking
member (47)member
 
06/26/2022 10:36PM  
And, be sure to read up about the Packers (hint-they are the only municipally-owned team in the NFL, their colors are green and gold, and speculating about Aaron Rodgers is required any time a conversation of any kind occurs……).
 
Speckled
distinguished member(561)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/27/2022 09:11AM  
Depends on where you're at. Things we do;

1. Snowboard and Ski at local ski hills
2. Snowshoe on the trails near our house
3. Wood working
4. Art (graphite drawing and acrylic painting)
5. Snare Rabbits
6. Plan, re-plan and re-plan camping and canoeing trips
7. BWCA.com message board
8. Cribbage
 
Mocha
distinguished member(7693)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/27/2022 09:22AM  
Install some trail cameras and find out what goes on when you aren't looking!
 
06/27/2022 09:59AM  
You have to get outside every day. With the right clothes only a few days each winter are too cold for a nice walk in the woods. I’m in Duluth and the worst part of winter was the spring thaw when they close the miles of trails blocks from my home. Also having a Labrador changes everything, you might not feel like going outside but the dog is the boss and it is never too crappy for a lab.
 
MidwestMan
senior member (88)senior membersenior member
 
06/27/2022 10:37AM  
Michwall2: "High School Athletics continue through the winter in northern Wis. Find your local high school men's and women's basketball/volleyball teams. I think you will find most of the town in the High School gym Friday nights anyhow. (Do you like high school athletics? The WIAA is always looking for game officials. You could work as much or as little as you want.)


I like the bowling idea. But perhaps you would enjoy curling? Is there a local club where you have moved to?


Are you a veteran? Join the local American Legion or VFW? My dad was a member of the AL for over 50 years.


If you are into it, ice fishing can be fun. You don't have to catch the biggest fish either. A nice meal of blue gill or perch in the middle of winter can lift your spirits.


Do you hunt? There used to be 2 deer archery seasons. They sandwiched the gun season.


Like music - Find your local high school band/choir concert schedule. Solo & Ensemble contest is usually in February (Do you play piano? They are always looking for accompanists.). Do you live near a 2-4 year college campus? Music and Theater productions continue through the winter months. Often for little or no cost.


Join or start a book club (at your local library?). With so many titles now available in freee-reader versions through your local library, there is no excuse not to be reading. My Alma-mater hosts an online book club once a month.


More cerebral? There are online Chess communities you can join for little cost.


Do you want a total black hole for your time? Start working on your family's genealogy. I guarantee you will have a time-sink anytime you need it.



"


I really love basketball. I’m currently a candidate to be an assistant boy’s basketball coach at the middle school level in Rhinelander. I am beyond excited to be in the running, just trying not to get my hopes up too much in case they decide to go with someone else.
 
Gadfly
distinguished member (430)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/27/2022 11:59AM  
I would second all of the comments about getting outside and embracing the winter rather than complaining about it. Ice fishing, skating, skiing, snowshoeing & camping. I feel lucky to live in a place where I can enjoy these activities.
 
MidwestMan
senior member (88)senior membersenior member
 
06/27/2022 12:32PM  
Gadfly: "I would second all of the comments about getting outside and embracing the winter rather than complaining about it. Ice fishing, skating, skiing, snowshoeing & camping. I feel lucky to live in a place where I can enjoy these activities. "

You won’t catch me complaining about much of anything. I’m looking forward to the winter and definitely plan on getting outside often throughout the winter. I greatly appreciate all the ideas and insight that everyone has brought to the table regarding winter activities. I’m currently making separate indoor and outdoor winter activities lists and have included numerous ideas that you guys and gals have mentioned. Thanks again to everyone!
 
06/27/2022 01:20PM  
Lots of great ideas.

I will be brief to offer my 2 cents. Make sure to get outside regularly. Do something active and learn to dress appropriately (not always in heavy clothes). If you know you can get outside, the feeling of being trapped is greatly reduced.

I love winter because I get outside.
 
Banksiana
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06/27/2022 02:09PM  
I moved to Ely a few years after college because of my love of the land and of canoeing but it is cross country skiing and the joy of winter that makes it nearly impossible to consider leaving. Simply nothing better in my existence than the joy of soaring through the woods on skis.
 
Finnboy
senior member (66)senior membersenior member
 
06/27/2022 08:12PM  
Lots of good advice. My advice mirrors some others. Get outside and be active. Figure out your clothes. I always have wool base layers and socks. Usually pretty light. If I’m active it’s light synthetic hiking pants and a supplex wind shirt over those. Something that can breath and/ or vent. Add a light fleece or wool shirt and you can be out below zero if you’re moving. Nothing worse than getting clammy in the cold. Don’t over dress!
 
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(14167)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
06/27/2022 10:42PM  
We love to play cribbage with two people and cross cribbage with 4 people. Puzzles too.
 
Canoearoo
distinguished member(2550)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/28/2022 10:33PM  
Square dancing is becoming popular again. Maybe paint together?
 
06/29/2022 06:23AM  
jwartman59: "You have to get outside every day. With the right clothes only a few days each winter are too cold for a nice walk in the woods. I’m in Duluth and the worst part of winter was the spring thaw when they close the miles of trails blocks from my home. Also having a Labrador changes everything, you might not feel like going outside but the dog is the boss and it is never too crappy for a lab. "

That's a happy dog.
 
Portage99
distinguished member(580)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/30/2022 05:19PM  
airmorse: "jwartman59: "You have to get outside every day. With the right clothes only a few days each winter are too cold for a nice walk in the woods. I’m in Duluth and the worst part of winter was the spring thaw when they close the miles of trails blocks from my home. Also having a Labrador changes everything, you might not feel like going outside but the dog is the boss and it is never too crappy for a lab. "


That's a happy dog."


I was typing basically this same post, and then, I realized jwartman59 said what I was going to say. I have a ton of layers, coats, boots. Don't let the cold or the dark stop you. It is gorgeous! I was able to hike and ski in 20 below with the correct clothing. I ice-fished at 40 below. GREAT memories.
 
Freddy
distinguished member(713)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/01/2022 06:15AM  

Warm clothes and smores by a fire! You can listen to the owls hooting and of course you are moving to the promised land of the Green Bay Packers!!!
 
ayudell
distinguished member (155)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/01/2022 05:07PM  
After work? Light a fire in the fireplace, play a game of cribbage and then catch up on the sleep that you missed during the Arctic length summer days.
 
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