Winter is here! Before you start complaining about the cold and snow, maybe it's time to take a step back and see why winter in Central New York is an awesome thing.

family ice skating
Svetlana Khvorostova/ThinkStock

It's easy to hate on winter - the snow, the cold, the shorter days... But there's more to winter than all that downer stuff. Here's five reasons why winter should be appreciated in the Utica, Rome, and surrounding area.

1 - Winter Festivals

Some great events are held during the winter months in Central New York. Maybe head over to Cooperstown for their winter carnival. It takes place February 5th through the 7th and includes activities like a snow sculpture contest, open ice skating, a soup and chili luncheon, wine tasting, a variety of running events, a cooler crawl, and tons of other things. Then you can finish out an exciting day by watching their fireworks display.
Or maybe head down to Binghamton for their Pond Hockey and Winter Festival February 20th and 21st. You can't play pond hockey in the summer!

Pond Hockey in New York
Naomi Lynn/TSM

2 - Saranac Winter Flavors

You can't get "West End Winter IPA" during the spring. And what about "Caramel Porter?" Nope, it's a winter flavor as well. Some of Saranac's best brews come out in the winter. Don't forget about "Season's Best" and "4059 Porter" - Those are winter brews, too.

3 - Outside Activities

Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean you need to hibernate inside. Once you get out and get moving, you'll remember why people bear the cold. You can take a drive up to Whiteface Mountain for some skiing or snowboarding (or even watch the kids work on their skiing and snowboarding).
Enjoy winter without leaving your home - Head into the backyard and make some snow angels with the kids (or be a kid yourself and make them on your own). Even stop to build a snowman. You're never too old for that!

Skiing at Whiteface Mountain
Naomi Lynn/TSM

 4 - It Doesn't Last That Long

This isn't Alaska. We are lucky enough to get to enjoy the full effect of all the seasons. Winter is just a few months long, and within those months there's so much to experience and do. Embrace it. Spring will be here before you know it, and instead of just wishing time away (and wishing for warmer weather), enjoy what we have now. The weather isn't THAT bad (again, it's not Alaska), and the snow is beautiful. Admit it, you think it looks pretty too.

5 - Cold Weather Burns More Calories

Okay, so this isn't just for Central New York, but it's still a pretty good reason to like winter a little more. As your body uses more energy to keep warm, you burn more calories. So if you wanted to lose a few pounds for 2016 - Get outside and play in the snow! It'll be more exercise for your body than hanging out in the summer.

Before you go hating on winter, remember all that Central New York has to offer during these chilly months. Get outside and enjoy it!




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