Making the Most of Our Mild Winnipesaukee Winter
We know – we’ve heard it, too. “Winter still has months left – there’s plenty of time for snow.” And, though we rarely say it out loud, we always think the same thing: clearly, you’re not a skier. Or a snowboarder. Or an ice skater. Or an ice fisherman. Or a true, frozen-water-loving, diehard like we are up here at Meredith Bay.
The truth is: winter is well underway, and one can’t help but wonder whether there will be any significant snowfall this year. With the very mild November and December for the second year in a row, snow bunnies across the North East are left wondering if this is a trend. Will it be like last year where we had almost no snow before eventually getting buried by multiple storms? Are we on track to have a new storm head our way every week? Or are we going to get hardly any snow at all? Even without the snow, we’ve surely had enough cold days to break out the skates on Lake Winnie – right? While it may seem that way, Lake Winnipesaukee is anything but solidly frozen these days.
This begs the question all frozen fans are asking: is winter lost?
Fortunately for skiers and snowboarders, the air has been cold enough for the ski areas to make their own snow. So, if you’re planning on going to Gunstock Mountain in Gilford, N.H. this weekend, there will be plenty of man made snow on top of the natural stuff to help you enjoy the slopes (we checked it out – don’t worry, it looks great up there!). And if you’re interested in driving a little further out, Loon Mountain and Waterville Valley, both about a 60-minute drive from Meredith Bay, are looking pretty white these days, as well.
That’s great for the skiers and snowboarders – but what else is there to do when there is limited snow in New Hampshire?
The 7th Annual New England Pond Hockey Classic is scheduled for February 5-7, with 260 teams registered this year. This one event brings thousands of spectators to Lake Winnipesaukee and Meredith each year. In order to have the tournament, the ice needs to be at least 12” thick. The ice isn’t thick enough to hold it on Winnipesaukee this year, but the show must go on. The tournament has been moved to smaller Lake Waukewan where the conditions on the lake are reportedly perfect. This is a great event for hockey fans or anyone else who just enjoys spending time outdoors in the winter, with nonstop action the whole family will enjoy.
Another major event happening in the Lakes Region is the 2016 Great Rotary Fishing Derby presented by The Meredith Rotary Club, which will be held February 27-28. This event allows participants to fish on any state lake in New Hampshire’s Lake Region and attracts fishermen in from all over the country. Each year, may of them choose the biggest lake, Winnipesaukee, to cast their bait. At this point, there’s still hope for these fisherman to do their fishing on the bigger lake. We’re expecting a great turnout and hope that our wonderful Lake Winni will fully freeze in time so people can catch their fish on the big lake this year.
If you’re looking for an indoor activity, Fun Spot in Laconia has got you covered. This go-to Lakes Region institution is recognized as the largest arcade in the world, offering over 600 games, including 300 classic arcade games, a 20-lane 10-pin and candlepin bowling center, indoor mini golf, and much more. Open every day, all year round, Fun Spot is the perfect alternative to outdoor activities when the weather isn’t cooperating.
And finally, one of our personal favorites: The Ice Castles in Lincoln, N.H. These one-of-a-kind ice castles are handmade and truly breathtaking, especially when they’re illuminated at night. Only a short, 45-minute drive from Meredith Bay, it’s a magical frozen fortress for adults and kids alike! And Frozen fans can feel even closer to Disney’s hit than ever before. The ice castles are open now to March 5th, so don’t miss out on a unique day-trip adventure for the whole family.
We hope you get to enjoy some of these events and have your share of winter fun—no matter what Mother Nature decides to do!