Al DiFranco, director of student experience at Weatherhead, is a native Clevelander. In his free time, this foodie and avid sports fan can be found at one of the many unique local restaurants or cheering on the Cleveland Browns as a season ticket holder. Email Al.
Those of you who are new to winter, especially Cleveland winter, have heard all the stories. Cold, wind, clouds, snow…all of it is on the horizon!
Having lived in Cleveland for most of my life, I can tell you winter here is really not that bad. You just need to be prepared for it and make the best of it.
Here are a few tips:
1. Shop for the right gear
Here is a quick list of things everyone needs:
- Winter coat – don’t rely on layering, make sure you get a coat that covers you to at least mid-thigh.
- Waterproof boots – CWRU grounds crew does a pretty good job of clearing the sidewalks, but sometimes it is hard to keep up when we are experiencing a winter storm. Make sure you buy a pair of good waterproof boots.
- Gloves – your hands can get really cold and dry in the winter, so invest in a good pair of gloves.
- Scarf – a good scarf can be great in helping keep your neck area warm where some coats don’t quite reach, and they usually come in great colors and patterns.
- Hat – you lose a large amount of warmth through your head if left unprotected from the cold, so make sure you purchase a winter hat, beanie, or balaclava that will cover at least your head and ears.
2. Equip your car properly
For those of you who drive, it is imperative that you prepare for the possibility of sliding off the road or becoming stuck in the middle of a snowstorm. Here are some things I suggest having in your car if you are going to drive this winter:
- A good car brush with an attached scraper to clean off snow and ice
- Small snow shovel
- Road flares
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Car charger for your cell phone
- A blanket
3. Get outside and enjoy some winter activities
Okay, enough doom and gloom, don’t-forget-your-booties-‘cause-it’s-cold-out-there preparations – let’s have some fun! Here are a couple ideas for outdoor fun in CLE during the winter:
- Ice skating at the Wade Oval Rink – a great way to stay outdoors and have fun in the University Circle area, and admission is just $2/person (skate rental is $3/person if you need skates). The rink is scheduled to be open from November 28-March 8, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and some Wednesdays in December. The Holiday CircleFest on Sunday, December 7, offers FREE skating and there are also some skating lessons on Saturdays in January and February. For more information, check out University Circle's website.
- Hike around Cuyahoga Valley National Park – CVNP features some of our area’s most beautiful scenery and offers novice to serious hikers some great trails. There are more than 33,000 acres in the park! You can go cross country skiing, downhill skiing, snow tubing, ice fishing, snowshoeing and sledding. For more, visit CVNP's website.
I hope this information gets you ready for winter in Cleveland, whether or not it is your first. You can’t avoid it, so you might as well enjoy it!