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Have you made your Cortland County winter bucket list yet? There are so many safe, family-friendly activities to enjoy in the colder months whether out and about, or in the comfort of your home. From visiting museum to snow tubing, trying a hot chocolate bomb to exploring the local culinary scene, there are ample ways to stay busy all season long.
Check out our list of the best winter experiences in Cortland County and start checking off items! Don't forget to share your adventures with #experiencecortland.
1 - BUILD A SNOWMAN
Do you want to build a snowman? (que Frozen soundtrack). Build a good old fashioned Frosty, or try your hand at something a little more ambitious during the Center for the Arts' first-ever Snow Sculpture Contest! There is the opportunity to win one of three cash prizes. Bucket list bonus if you share a picture of your creation with @experiencecortland! Registration deadline is January 22nd by Noon: sign up today.
2 - HOT CHOCOLATE BOMB
Brrrr it's cold outside, and a steaming mug of hot cocoa is everyone's favorite winter drink. Sinfully Sweet Café has put a twist on the rich, sweet drink with their Cocoa Explosions, or Hot Chocolate Bombs. Just put these cute little balls of chocolate into your favorite mug, and pour hot milk over them to release the marshmallows and cocoa.
3 - TAKE A SNOWSHOE HIKE
Snowshoeing is fun activity and is essential to anyone's winter bucket list. Strap on some snowshoes and take in the breathtaking natural beauty of Cortland County's snow covered woods. You will find over two miles of snowshoe trails at Lime Hollow Nature Center. Due to Covid-19, the Center will not be renting snowshoes this winter. Greek Peak Mountain Resort's Nordic Center offers over 15 km of trails for all ability levels, spanning through the Town of Virgil and Hope Lake Park. Rentals and trail passes are available daily 10am-5pm when Nordic terrain is available (weather dependent). Don't forget to bring a few hiking essentials with you - water, trail food and a first aid kit.
4 - GO SNOW TUBING
Look for that thrill of racing through the snow? Snow tubing is one of those winter activities that's fun for the young AND old. Cortland County's very own snow tubing hill can be found at Greek Peak Mountain Resort's Adventure Center. During your two-hour session, be ready to hold on and feel the chill wind in your face as you cruise down their 18-lane tubing hill. Reservations are required and can be made here.
5 - MAKE MULLED APPLE CIDER
Whether you're recuperating after a day on the slopes, or cozied up next to the fire, mulled apple cider will warm you from the inside out, and it's super easy to make. It only takes a few ingredients, and luckily Hollenbeck's Cider Mill is your one-stop-shop for all your mulled cider needs. Their fresh-pressed cider is available in gallon and half gallon, and they have premade packages of loose mulling spices if you don't want to make your own. Check out their Covid-19 protocols for order and pickup information.
6 - HAVE AN INDOOR PICNIC
Don't wait until the snow melts to enjoy a picnic - clear a space on your living room floor and recreate a memorable dining experience. Pack a traditional wicker basket with your favorite picnic foods and enjoy the feast from the comfort of your home. Split an East Side Bakery calzone made with homemade sauce and the freshest ingredients. Make an epic charcuterie board complete with Trinity Valley cheese curds, and pickled veggies from Food & Ferments. Wrap up the evening with a homemade baked pie from Anderson's Farm Market. Take a snapshot of your Instagrammable picnic and tag @experiencecortland for a chance to be featured. Don't forget the red and white checkered blanket!
7 - LEARN TO SKI OR SNOWBOARD
The New Year is the perfect time to try your hand at skiing or snowboarding, even if you only make it down the bunny slope. All three Cortland County ski mountains offer beginner programs - groups and private - for both. If you're looking to make it a weekend getaway (or staycation) get a room at a cozy resort or hotel and enjoy a night out in downtown Cortland at the end of the day. Check out the programs offered and the protocols put in place to keep guests safe at Greek Peak Mountain Resort, Labrador Mountain and Song Mountain Resort.
8 - TRY A NEW BEER
Add some brews to your winter beer bucket list! Cortland County is home to two breweries - Homer Hops Brewing and Cortland Beer Co. If you feel overwhelmed by their selection of taps, try a flight to sample a variety, or jump right in with a pint. If you need a place to start, Stouts, Porters and Spiced Ales are common winter beer styles, although all beer is good beer anytime of year! If you'd rather sip on a beverage at home, both breweries offer growlers to-go, and Cortland Beer Co. also has select beers in cans.
9 - VISIT A MUSEUM
Winter time is all about slowing down and appreciating what is in our own backyards! Roam through three Cortland County museums - whether in-person or virtually - to discover new things about our county and region. Learn about the life of late 19th-century inventor and industrialist, Chester F. Wickwire, at The 1890 House Museum. Beginning Thursday, Feb. 4 the CNY Living History Museum will be open Thursdays through Saturdays from 10am-5pm. Browse their larger than life Brockway Trucks, the massive collection of antique tractors, and an impressive 10,000 item military display. You cannot visit the Cortland County Historical Society in-person, but you can follow them on Facebook for daily virtual "adventures" inside the museum.
10 - CROSS COUNTRY SKIING
If you're looking for a peaceful way to enjoy the county's beautiful winter scenery, try your hand at cross country skiing. It's a great full-body workout, and can be enjoyed by beginners and seasoned pros. The best part? There is no waiting in lift lines - simply put on your skis and off you go! Where can you cross-county ski in Cortland County? You can purchase a daily or season pass to explore the over 15 km of trails at Greek Peak Mountain Resort's Nordic Center. They also offer rentals for all equipment. Lime Hollow Nature Center also has designated trails for cross country skiers - over 2.5 miles on mostly rolling land. Due to Covid-19, the Center will not be renting cross country skis this winter.
11 - TRY A NEW RESTAURANT
We're all guilty of eating at the same breakfast, lunch or dinner spot week after week. It's hard to say no to our favorite egg sandwich or pizza pie. Well now is the time to explore Cortland County with your taste buds! Pick three new restaurants you'd like to try out whether for a lunch break or date night. A couple new restaurants popped up in the county in the last year, including Yori House in Downtown Cortland and Carvers Steakhouse at Greek Peak Mountain Resort, or try a county mainstay that you just haven't had the opportunity to visit. You may just find your new favorite Click here for a full list of restaurants. If you're still not comfortable dining out, a majority of eateries are still offering takeout, curbside pickup and delivery.
12 - UPDATE YOUR DESKTOP BACKGROUNDS FOR WINTER
If you love the wintertime, restyle your computer with a Cortland County winter-themed background. Host a Zoom meeting with the frozen Tinker Falls behind you. Let a desktop image from the top of Greek Peak Mountain Resort get you through the workday. Check out these 10 Cortland County winter scenes to set as your Zoom or desktop background.
Share your Cortland County winter adventures with us for a chance to be featured! Tag @experiencecortland and use hashtag #experiencecortland.