Let It Snow

Snow activities aren’t just limited to classic sledding and snowball fights. Many unique uses exist for the cold flurries.


photo by Jess Daninhirsch

Each new snowflake allows for a possibility to try a new activity in the snow.

Anna Parsons, Senior Staff Writer

In Pittsburgh, it’s not an unusual sight to see kids trick-or-treating while snowflakes fall on their heads. But what is highly unusual is not seeing snow until January. This winter season, the skies had stayed almost entirely clear of snow until just a few days ago. 

When the temperatures drop and the precipitation turns to little cold crystals, many people resort to staying inside, away from the frigid outdoors. However, the exciting activities that one can during snowfall range from making angels all the way to making ice cream. So, since the ground is once again covered in fluffy (maybe sludgey is the better word?) white, here are five activities to do in snow that you probably have heard of and five activities you most likely have not. 

1. Building Snowmen

Probably the most basic use of snow is making people out of it. Sounds strange when said aloud, but building snowmen is a timeless activity that is enjoyed by everyone. It requires perfectly sticky snow to clump together just right and an array of stones, sticks, a hat, and scarf. Ranging from all sizes and shapes, a whole newborn family can be made from snow. 

2. Making Snow Angels

After plopping down in the freezing snow and moving your arms and legs in and out, you are left with the imprint of a perfectly portioned angel. The difficult part is standing back up without accidentally stepping on your masterpiece, but laying in the snow while watching snowflakes fall from the sky above can be the most relaxing experience. 

3. Sledding

Although most people find sled riding to be a “childish” activity, the thrill of accelerating down a hill never gets old. Finding the steepest and tallest hill to fly down is so rewarding. A way to add an extra aspect of thrill to the common activity is to go night sledding and experience soaring down a hill in the dark. 

4. Snowboarding

Unlike skiing, which most people can only take part in at a ski resort, snowboarding can be done anywhere a sled can go. A bit of balance is required to stay up, but no special skills are needed to enjoy the activity. Steeper hills do make it more challenging, but after some practice, all can be conquered. 

5. Classic Snowball Fight

When winter rivalries occur, the only way to sort them out is to have a good ol’ snowball fight. Creating places to hide, establishing home-bases, and even creating something to capture from the other team can turn a mundane snowball fight into a fun, complex competition. 



1. Snow Ice Cream

For the first unusual use of snow, a tasty treat that many enjoy can be made with milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and yes, snow itself. Just adding the ingredients to the freshly collected, non-yellow snow creates an ice cream-like treat that may not be the most gourmet dessert of all time, but, with a few extra sprinkles, is definitely worth a try.

2. Building an Igloo

Everyone has heard of an igloo, but how many people have actually attempted to make one? It requires a good amount of snow, so it’s recommended to save it for one of those classic Pittsburgh blizzards. Building an igloo can be made with a simple rectangle container and careful craftsmanship. Bonus tip! Once made, it can be a great outside fort for those snowball fights.

3. Frozen Kayaking

Usually undertaken in flowing water, kayaking is a relaxing activity often done to enjoy the scene of an open lake. But when the water freezes over and a snowy top appears, kayaking becomes an energetic sledding adventure down river slopes. 

kristine_reinolde / Via instagram.com

4. Painting in the Snow

The world is your canvas… Literally. Forgot to run to the craft store to buy a new canvas? No worries because snow can act as a new blank slate for the next Van Gogh painting. By just using food dye or water color paints, snow can easily be transformed into a colorful work of art


5. Give Your Car a New Face

Many people claim that all cars have faces and the type of car determines if it’s a nice or mean expression. But when inches upon inches of snow cover the existing face, use it to draw a new and improved facial expression. 

While snow can be used for those classic activities that have been enjoyed for decades, the new and slightly strange uses are equally as fun. So, on that next snow day, embrace the cold flurries falling from the sky and try out some unique activities to do in the snow.