Here in Southern California, winter weather mostly consists of gloomy clouds and the occasional rain shower, but with a little creativity, anyone can find snow to celebrate the season.
Road Trip to the Mountains
The snowcapped San Gabriel mountains are visible from campus and they’re the closest option for students looking for actual snowfall. Mount Baldy is a fun place to go for a snow day, as there’s plenty of areas to go sledding, snowboarding, skiing and snowman-building. Mount Baldy also has beautiful hiking trails, like the Ice House Canyon Trail, but these are a little safer once the ice and snow melts.
If there’s no powder on the slopes, check the kitchen instead. You can make winter-like treats like powdered snowball cookies. To make them, mix together a box of white cake mix, 1/3 cup of oil, three egg whites and four ounces of softened cream cheese. Chill the dough for 30 minutes, roll it into dough balls on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, bake for nine to 11 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and dust in powdered sugar. These warm, gooey snowballs are far more delicious than the real thing, but snowball cookie fights aren’t recommended.
Powdered sugar is a main ingredient in most icing recipes, so you can add a little “snow” into almost any dessert, especially if you’re making cake, cookies or cinnamon rolls. You can also twist typical holiday treats by adding them to ice cream, like peppermint, cookie dough and Santa’s milk & cookies. These cool combinations are cold like snow, and you can take a bite without getting frostbite.
Winter Fest OC
For a winter experience that doesn’t require snow chains or baking abilities, check out Winter Fest OC in Costa Mesa from Dec. 20 to Jan. 6. The winter-themed festival features ice tubing, ice skating, fireworks, a light maze, carnival rides, and of course, visits with Santa.
Fresh “snow” is blown in daily, turning the entire park into a winter wonderland. This winter-like version of the OC Fair costs $17 for adult admission during the weekdays and $19 for the weekends and holidays, with additional fees for ice skating, ice tubing and carnival rides, so it’s a bit pricey as well as icy.
California winters will never be the same as the rest of the country, with their blizzards and negative temperatures, but these activities will help California natives get in the Christmas spirit nonetheless.