You can’t spend all winter in a Snuggie.
Sure, it’s tempting to spend the season hovered over your hot cocoa, but think how much better you’ll feel if you get out and move a little.
Our region has a wealth of activities designed to make the most of the winter weather. Many don’t even require snow and ice — well, not the natural kind, anyhow.
Here are some places to check out.
Lock 3 Park
The downtown Akron park’s outdoor ice rink and Reindeer Run sledding hill are open through Jan. 29, so there’s still time to get in a little gliding and sliding.
The rink is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. There’s no admission charge, but skate rental is $3. Strap-on skates are free for toddlers as long as the skates are available. Preschoolers must be accompanied by an adult on skates.
Reindeer Run, a 150-foot artificial sledding hill, is designed for younger children. Only toboggans and tubes provided by Lock 3 may be used.
Sledding hours are 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 1 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m. Saturdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. Sled rental is $3 for 33 minutes, and the number of sleds is limited to prevent crowding.
Lock 3 Park is at 200 S. Main St. Details are at www.lock3live.com.
Falls River Square ice rink
The Cuyahoga Falls plaza hops with events throughout the year, and winter is no exception. Right now it’s the site of an outdoor ice rink that will remain open through Feb. 20.
Skating hours are 3 to 9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, noon to 9 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 8 p.m. Sundays. The rink is normally closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but it will be open on Presidents Day, its last day of operation.
Cuyahoga Falls residents get in free with a CFOne Card. Others pay $3. Skate rental is $3 for everyone, or you can bring your own.
Children younger than 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
Kids 5 or older can learn to skate during a four-week series of lessons that will be offered from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays, starting this weekend. Hockey lessons for children 4 to 8 are from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Cost for either is $35. Details are at www.kent.edu/icearena/cuyahogafalls.cfm.
The rink will be open during this weekend’s Frozen River Festival on Falls River Square, the first of a series of events marking the city’s 200th birthday. Attractions include ice carving both days by the University of Akron Garde Manger Club and a demonstration at 3 p.m. Saturday by figure skaters from Kent State University.
Festival hours are 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission and parking are free.
Falls River Square is on Front Street in downtown Cuyahoga Falls. For information, call 330-971-8373 or visit www.cityofcf.com.
Kent State Ice Arena
Prefer to stay indoors? Kent State University makes its ice arena available for public skating.
Hours vary, so check the schedule in the public skating section of the arena’s website, www.kent.edu/icearena.
General admission is $6, and skate rental is $2.50. Discounts are offered to KSU students, faculty members, staff members and alumni, as well as seniors, children and groups.
The rink also offers lessons for children and adults at a variety of skill levels. Details are on the website. The arena is at 650 Loop Road, Kent.
The twin ski areas in the Cuyahoga Valley offer opportunities to speed down a snow-covered slope, be it on skis, a snowboard or just your backside planted in a snow tube.
You don’t even have to wait for snow. Both sites have machinery to make artificial snow, as long as it’s cold enough — preferably less than 28 degrees, said Steve Mackle, who handles marketing and public relations for the resorts.
Boston Mills has six trails and a freestyle terrain park, which is an area where skiers and snowboarders can perform tricks. Brandywine has nine trails and two terrain parks.
Group lessons are offered throughout the day for beginner, intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders. Private and semiprivate lessons are available.
Brandywine also has Polar Blast, an area set aside for snow tubing that’s separate from the ski slopes. The site has up to 20 tubing lanes, suitable for everyone from the timid to the fearless. Two conveyor lifts take you and your tube back to the top.
Prices, hours and other details are at www.bmbw.com. You can also call 330-467-2242 or 330-657-2334.
Boston Mills is at 7100 Riverview Road in Boston Township, just north of Peninsula. Brandywine is at 1146 W. Highland Road in Sagamore Hills Township.
Chalet toboggan chute
A drive up Interstate 71 takes you to the Cleveland Metroparks’ Chalet Recreation Area and its toboggan chutes, offering a 1,000-foot thrill ride down one of two ice-covered lanes.
The chutes are refrigerated, so you can toboggan even when nature hasn’t provided the snow for regular sledding. They stay open till the first weekend of March.
The drop is surprisingly steep, so use your best judgment on bringing kids or scaredy-cat adults. Children must be at least 3 feet, 6 inches tall to ride.
You also need to be able to climb a set of steps to the top of the tobogganing hill while you’re lugging a 45-pound toboggan — preferably with help from a friend or three.
Hours are 6 to 10:30 p.m. Fridays, noon to 10:30 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. In January and February, the chutes are also open from 6 to 10:30 p.m. Thursdays.
The cost is $8, or $6 for children 11 and younger. A single-ride ticket is $3. Prices include the use of a toboggan, which seats up to four riders.
Chalet Recreation Area is at 16200 Valley Parkway, Strongsville. Information is at www.clemetparks.com/recreation/tobogganing, or call 440-572-9990.
Metro Parks, Serving Summit County, offers a number of sites for sledding, ice skating and cross-country skiing. But there’s no artificial snow- or ice-making here, so you’re at the mercy of Mother Nature.
Nine cross-country ski trails are found in the parks, as well as seven sledding areas, four of them lighted. When the ice gets thick enough, skating under lights is available on Furnace Run Metro Park’s Brushwood Lake in Richfield, Gorge Metro Park in Cuyahoga Falls and the Big Bend Area of Sand Run Metro Park in West Akron.
You need to bring your own equipment.
To check whether winter sports areas are open, call 330-865-8060. General information is at www.summitmetroparks.org (click on “Winter Sports” under the Activities drop-down menu).
You can also get updates via Twitter by following @metro_parks.
The parks’ hiking trails are also open for walking in winter and throughout the year. Information including locations, descriptions and difficulty is in the Parks & Trails section of the website.
If you’ve never tried snowshoeing, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park can get you started.
Almost all the trails in the park are appropriate for the sport. And as long as there’s enough snow, the park rents snowshoes for $5 at its Winter Sports Center at Kendall Lake Shelter and at the Boston Store Visitor Center.
The Winter Sports Center, on Truxell Road in Boston Township, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Feb. 26, as well as on Presidents Day — but only if there’s at least 4 inches of snow on the ground. It may be open other days during heavy snowfalls.
The Boston Store, at 1548 Boston Mills Road, Boston Township, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
You can rent cross-country skis at the Winter Sports Center for $15 a day or $7.50 for three hours. Seven trails in the park are suggested for cross-country skiing plus Ledges Field, a flat, open field that’s ideal for beginners.
The national park also offers ice fishing in its lakes and ponds, hiking on all its trails and sledding at Kendall Hills on Quick Road in Boston Township.
Information is at www.nps.gov/cuva, or call 800-257-9477.
You may never have heard of earthcaching, but if you have a GPS device, you can participate. It’s a twist on the treasure-hunting activity of geocaching, except you search for geological features instead of hidden trinkets.
Earthcaching is a year-round sport, but the thrill of discovery might be just the incentive to get you outdoors and moving in winter.
The purpose of earthcaching is to teach people about earth science and encourage them to see examples in person, not just in books or on websites, said Matthew Dawson of the Geological Society of America, which partners with Groundspeak Inc. to administer the earthcaching program. It’s a great activity for families, he said.
To participate, go to www.geocaching.com and type a ZIP code or location into the search box. You’ll get a list of all the geocaching sites in that area, but look for the ones that have a blue Earth symbol indicating they’re earthcaches.
Once you choose one, you can either download or print out the information. You’ll get the longitude and latitude coordinates, some information about the feature and a few questions for you to answer to prove you visited the site and claim credit for the cache.
You don’t get a trinket to keep, but you do get bragging rights.
Mary Beth Breckenridge can be reached at 330-996-3756 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also become a fan on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @MBBreckenridge and read her blog at marybeth.ohio.com.