Complaining about the weather is practically a full-time job for college students in the Boston area. But beyond the necessary long-term love-affair with Gore-Tex, the snowstorms have their benefits. Boston and its environs are a veritable fantasyland of wintry treats. So make like a Christmas chocolate box with these sweet-as-candy winter escapades that will put a glow in your cheek and a spring in your (snow-shoed) step.
The best of New England
When the hot chocolate in the dining hall just isn’t enough any more, head over to your local ski lodge for the real thing—marshmallows, mug and all. Bring your snow suit and freestyle form, and let FM tell you where to hit the slopes this winter.
Travel Time: One hour.
Location: Route 140 in South Princeton, Mass.
Day pass: weekends, $45; weekdays, $35.
“Mountain Fun, Minutes Away,” boasts the Wachusett Mountain slogan. It is the only ski resort in Massachusetts to call itself a “mountain.” With 22 trails, two chairlifts and 100 percent snowmaking capabilities, Wachusett is certainly your best bet in the state.
Travel Time: Two and a half hours.
Location: Route 302 in Bartlett, New Hampshire
Day pass: weekdays and weekends, $49
“Size, Service and Snow” is the Attitash-Bear Creek Resort’s slogan. With 70 trails, 14 chairlifts, gladed terrain and its own snowboard park, “Katchina,” Attitash is the largest resort in New Hampshire. It is open all four seasons and is well worth the drive from Cambridge.
Travel Time: Three hours.
Location: Route 108 in Stowe, Vermont
Day pass: weekdays and weekends, $62
Known as the “ski capital of the East,” Stowe rivals the ski meccas of the Colorado Rockies. With eight chairlifts and a gondola, getting to Stowe’s 60 trails is easy, as is access to the mountain, named for the resort town in which it is located. Stowe is equally as hospitable to snowboarders with its new program “Ridestowe.”
Whether figure skating or ice-hockey is your forte, Boston is your place. With more than 35 rinks in the surrounding area, Boston is the skating capital of the northeast. FM has narrowed the list down to some local hot spots, so think double axles and toe-picks, and you’re ready to go.
Boston Common Frog Pond
Public Gardens – Beacon Street, Back Bay
A full service snack bar and heated kiosk provide the perfect way to thaw-out after a long day of skating at Boston’s “cement pond” in historic Boston Common. This scenic location is the perfect convenient skating location, much like Rockefeller Center—but in Boston. $3; skate rental $7.
Public skating: Su 10 a.m.-9 p.m, M 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tu-Th 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and F-Sa 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Porazzo Memorial Rink
Constitution Beach – East Boston
This city-operated rink is more of a hockey-oriented facility, but is also open for public skating. The Porazzo Rink also offers a full service snack bar at its indoor facility. Free; no skate rental.
Public skating: Su 2 p.m.-4 p.m., F 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Sa 2 p.m.-4 p.m.
Simoni Memorial Rink
155 Gore Street (and 7th Street), Cambridge
Another rink operated by the Metropolitan District Commission, the Simoni is very similar to the Porazzo. The Simoni also has a snack bar at its indoor facility, but is located locally right here in Cambridge. Free; no skate rental.
Public skating: Su 2 p.m.-3:50 p.m, Th 12:30 p.m. –1:30 p.m., F 7 p.m.-8:50 p.m., Sa 7 p.m.-8:50 p.m.
The Skating Club of Boston
1240 Soldiers Field Road, Boston
The Tuesday free-skate is reserved for 18+, so if you’re looking to get away from long lines and small children, this is your place. This rink also offers skating lessons in conjunction with the Skating School of Boston on Mondays and Saturdays by appointment. $7; skate rental $4.
Public skating: Tu 8:30 p.m. -10:45 p.m. and Sa 2:40 p.m. -4:20 p.m.