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Top 10 ways to spend a snow day in Charlottesville

These are the best tried and true ways to spend a snow day around Grounds

<p>It’s one of the University’s traditions to have a snowball fight at midnight in front of the Rotunda on the first snow day of the year. &nbsp;</p>

It’s one of the University’s traditions to have a snowball fight at midnight in front of the Rotunda on the first snow day of the year.  


1. Build a Snowman

This is a classic snow day activity. From building snowmen in the little bit of snow that used to fall at home, to seeing the much more impressive snowmen in the Charlottesville snow, this has been a favorite snow day tradition of mine. One of the best parts of snowman building is when people make snowmen families, occasionally there are even snowmen shaped like cats or dogs. Last year, Jim Ryan held a snow sculpture challenge – the winners included a snow-nurse, mini Rotunda and elegant dragon sculpture!

2. Go for a winter walk

Driving is not safe when the roads are covered in snow and ice. The best thing to do is to walk, albeit slowly if there is ice. Grounds glitters beautifully whenever snow falls around here. The Lawn and the Rotunda especially are worth the walk to see them on a snow day. Charlottesville turns into a winter wonderland on snow days and walking with a friend to see it is a great way to get out of the house and enjoy the weather. 

3. Have a cozy day in

Alternatively, if you don’t want to go outside in the cold, having a day in is a great option. Watching a movie and drinking hot chocolate while snuggled up with blankets is amazing. You can paint, complete puzzles, play board games and bake throughout the day. Seeing the snow and knowing it's chilly outside while you’re all bundled up and warm is one of the most relaxing feelings known to man. 

4. Play in the snow

This applies to all snow activities. From making snow angels to playing football or spikeball in the snow, there are many other ways to get out and enjoy the day off. Make sure you are dressed for the cold and make your way to the Lawn or Madbowl. If sports aren’t your thing, many people bring their dogs out to the snow to play with and I’m sure they would love to frolic in the powdery snow. 

5. Go sledding

There are many hills in Charlottesville and sledding is the perfect way to spend a few hours on a snow day. Whether it’s the side of Mad Bowl or a different hill around Grounds, on a snow day there are so many people out sledding. There is the “Preston Hill” by Booker T. Washington Park or the hill by Observatory Hill if you’re feeling ambitious. There are also smaller hills on the lawn if you want to take it slow. If you’re lucky, you may see someone break out their skis and snowboards too.

6. Cook

Even if you don’t spend the whole day inside, cooking or having a warm meal at the end of the day is a great way to warm up. What you decide to cook is completely up to you. It does not have to be a dish from scratch, heating up a can of soup would be just as beneficial. Cooking anything from pasta or chili, to a casserole or enchiladas would help you stay warm. Cooking is also a great way to bond with friends after a long, cold day — either cooking with others or cooking for others, the delicious food will bring you all together.

7. Make snow ice cream

Snow ice cream is very easy to make. All you need is some vanilla extract, milk, sugar, salt and snow — of course. You just mix together the non-snow ingredients and then add snow and mix and then you’re set to enjoy a delicious treat. Definitely try to do this when the snow is fluffier and fresh, it will make the consistency of the ice cream so much better. 

8. Walk to go out to dinner

During the snow day on Sunday, many of the restaurants on the Corner and on Jefferson Park Avenue were open for business. Walking to go out to dinner and supporting local businesses could allow for a nice ending to a long day. As the roads were not safe to drive on, if someone wanted to grab a bite to eat, the best and safest place to go would be the Corner or any other restaurants located around Grounds. Eating at a small business also supports those who traveled to make sure they could be open to provide for us and the surrounding community. 

9. Snowball fight

There is never a lack of snowball fights on snow days, especially on Grounds. In fact, it’s one of the University’s traditions to have a snowball fight at midnight in front of the Rotunda on the first snow day of the year. There are also many other casual snowball fights throughout the day on Mad Bowl and around Grounds. You can have snowball fights with friends or with strangers — either way, they are a very fun bonding experience for everyone involved. 

10. Take fun winter pictures

It is always good to take a few moments to snap some pictures. Taking pictures of the snow-covered scenery or of your friends hanging out in the snow can form some solid memories. Take just a moment to snap a quick picture of you and your friends doing any of your favorite snow activities, you won’t regret it when you’re looking back on them later.