When winter arrives, many people tend to hibernate indoors until the warmer weather returns. But if you’re in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, you’ll find plenty of fun and exciting activities to keep you busy and entertained during the colder months.
From outdoor sports to indoor cultural events, there are endless opportunities to explore and experience this vibrant city. In this article, we’ll highlight some of the best things to do in Eau Claire in the winter, so you can make the most of your visit and enjoy all that this charming destination has to offer.
If you’re looking for some fun and adventure during the colder months, Eau Claire has plenty of outdoor activities to offer. Here are some great options to consider:
Skiing and Snowboarding
Eau Claire is home to several ski resorts, such as the nearby Mount Telemark and Trollhaugen, which offer trails for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, hitting the slopes can be a thrilling way to spend a winter day.
If you’re looking for a winter workout, snowshoeing is a great option. The Chippewa River State Trail and Lowes Creek County Park are popular spots for snowshoeing, and you can even rent snowshoes from local outfitters if you don’t have your own.
Whether you prefer indoor or outdoor rinks, there are plenty of opportunities to lace up your skates in Eau Claire. Hobbs Municipal Ice Center offers indoor skating, while Boyd Park and Pinehurst Park have outdoor rinks. Some local parks even have free skating hours!
With miles of groomed trails and beautiful scenery, cross-country skiing is a popular winter activity in Eau Claire. Some great spots include Lowes Creek County Park and Tower Ridge Recreation Area. Many of these locations offer rentals and lessons, making it easy to get started.
Finally, if you’re looking for a unique winter experience, be sure to check out some of Eau Claire’s winter festivals. The Winter After Hours festival features live music, food trucks, and ice sculptures, while the Northern Wisconsin Winter Sports Festival includes events like snowshoe races and fat tire bike demos. These festivals are a great way to celebrate the season and make memories with friends and family.
When the weather outside is chilly, it can be nice to cozy up indoors and enjoy some indoor activities. Eau Claire has plenty of options to keep you entertained during the winter months. Here are some ideas to consider:
Museums and Art Galleries
If you’re interested in art, history, or science, Eau Claire has several museums and art galleries to explore. The Chippewa Valley Museum showcases local history and culture, while the Pablo Center at the Confluence has rotating exhibits and performances from regional and national artists. The Foster Gallery also features local and regional artists.
Bowling and Billiards
For some classic indoor fun, you can’t go wrong with bowling or billiards. Eau Claire has several bowling alleys and pool halls, such as Wagner’s Lanes and O’Leary’s Pub & Grill, where you can enjoy a game with friends or family.
Indoor Sports and Fitness
If you’re looking to stay active during the winter months, Eau Claire has several indoor sports and fitness options. The YMCA offers a variety of fitness classes and equipment, as well as a pool and indoor track. For more specific sports, you can try indoor rock climbing at Vertical Escape or indoor golf at Action City’s Trampoline and Fun Park.
Shopping and Dining
Finally, Eau Claire has plenty of options for indoor shopping and dining. The Oakwood Mall has over 100 stores and restaurants to explore, while downtown Eau Claire has several local shops and eateries to discover. You can also warm up with a cup of coffee at one of the city’s many cafes or enjoy a meal at one of its many restaurants.
Tips for Staying Warm
Winter in Eau Claire can be beautiful, but it can also be quite chilly. If you’re planning to spend time outdoors, it’s important to dress appropriately and take steps to stay warm. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Dress in Layers
When it comes to staying warm in the winter, layers are your best friend. Wear a base layer made of moisture-wicking fabric to keep sweat away from your skin, add an insulating layer like fleece or wool, and top it off with a waterproof and windproof outer layer to keep the elements at bay.
- Protect Your Extremities
Your fingers, toes, ears, and nose are the most susceptible to cold weather, so it’s important to keep them covered. Wear gloves or mittens, thick socks, a warm hat, and a scarf or face mask to protect these areas from the cold.
- Stay Active
One of the best ways to stay warm in the winter is to stay active. Exercise gets your blood pumping and can help you generate body heat. Try outdoor activities like skiing or snowshoeing, or take advantage of indoor options like the YMCA or rock climbing.
- Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is important in any season, but it’s especially important in the winter. The dry air and cold temperatures can dehydrate you more quickly than you realize. Drink plenty of water and hot beverages like tea or cocoa to keep your body hydrated and warm.
- Take Breaks Indoors
Even with the best gear and preparation, it’s important to take breaks and warm up indoors from time to time. If you’re feeling cold or fatigued, head inside for a warm drink, a snack, or a few minutes in a heated building.
- Know When to Call It Quits
Finally, it’s important to know your limits and when to call them quits. If you start feeling too cold, too tired, or too uncomfortable, it’s better to head indoors and call it a day. Remember, there’s always tomorrow!
Eau Claire has plenty to offer during the winter months. Whether you prefer to spend your time outdoors, cozy up indoors, or a little bit of both, there are plenty of activities to enjoy. From skiing and ice fishing to museums and art galleries, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this charming Wisconsin city.
Just remember to dress appropriately, stay hydrated, and take breaks as needed to stay warm and comfortable during your adventures. With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can make the most of your winter visit to Eau Claire and create memories that will last a lifetime.
So don’t let the cold weather keep you from enjoying all that this wonderful city has to offer!