Snow tubes, skijoring and more: 5 ways to make the best of the white stuff

You may find it frightful, but there are more than a few delightful ways to enjoy winter weather in Manitoba.

You may think it frightful, but you can still enjoy wintry weather this season

Tube on frozen water for a change at a handful of Manitoba locations. (Benjamin Brayfield/Rapid City Journal/Associated Press)

You might have noticed there's more than a little snow on the ground throughout the province.

With near a record-breaking amount of snowfall this December, it's easy to get buried in the winter blues.

To dig yourself out, here's a few ideas for how to make the best of it.

Chill out on snow sofas

The Great-West Life Snow Lounge at The Forks is cool in more ways than one.
Check out snowy sofas at The Forks to rest up after skating or sledding. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

There are a handful of options for winter revelling at the site — skating, sledding and tasty treats are all available — but one of the location's quirkier offerings is a collection of couches made of snow.

Find them along the skating trails crossing the Historic Rail Bridge.

Beyond taking a break from skating, they provide some fun inspiration for what you can do with snow.

Try skijoring

If you want to get outside but don't want to leave your furry friend behind, try your hand at skijoring.
Get your canine comrades out for an afternoon of skijoring.

Imagine dog-sledding without the sled, and you've got skijoring. In this winter sport, a dog pulls a person standing on skis. For another variation you can swap out the skis for a kick sled, which is called kicksledding.

Manitoba skijoring club Snow Motion holds frequent skijoring runs in the province, and also offers lessons periodically.

Check them out here.

Slide down a hill on a snow tube

Tubing is a classic summer pastime for many Manitoba cottagers, and you don't have to leave it behind in the snowy months.

There are a handful of slopes in the province where you can try out snow tubing and shoot down iced slopes on big squishy inner tubes.

Here are a few options:

  • Assesssippi Ski Area and Resort: Test out four downhill tube runs starting at $29 a day for adults and     $19.58 for children.
  • Adrenaline Adventures: Children as young as two have enjoyed tubing on the slopes at the site near Winnipeg. Pay $11.99 for an hour, $18.99 for the day or $14.99 for the evening (after 5 p.m.), or save a few bucks on the family rates (groups of three or more).
  • Valley View Bible Camp: About 100 kilometres outside of Winnipeg, the Valley View Tubing Hill is usually open from mid-December to mid-March. Public sliding is available Friday evening weekend afternoons for $8 a person.

Ice fishing for beginners

Fishing is another summer pastime from the lake you can bring into the winter months.

If you're already confident in your ice fishing chops, there are a number of places to rent ice fishing shacks and spend a day on the ice.
Even if you don't have the gear, you've got a couple options for ice-fishing in the province. (Submitted by Ryan George)

If you've never ice fished before but want to try, head to FortWhyte Alive in January.

On the weekend of January 28 and 29, you can fish for free with regular admission on all four of the site's lakes, no licence required, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Total beginners can catch an introductory workshop at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 1 p.m., also free with regular admission.

FortWhyte also rents ice fishing gear whenever you'd like at the site. The rental fee is $6 for non-members, and members save 15 per cent.

Slip on some snowshoes

If you're in the mood for walking in a winter wonderland, try snowshoeing to change things up.
A snowshoer takes in one of the scenic vistas while snowshoeing on Mount Seymour, in North Vancouver, on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward (THE CANADIAN PRESS)

In Winnipeg, you can rent snowshoes at Mountain Equipment Co-op for $15 a day for adults and $10 for kids, at Wilderness Supply for $15 a day for men's and women's, at Woodcock Cycleworks starting at $19.99, plus a handful of other spots.

The best part? You can do it anywhere, so feel free to get adventurous in provincial parks or find an adventure in your own backyard.