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Welcome, Winter

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Surveying the snow in November - ALISON NOVAK
  • Alison Novak
  • Surveying the snow in November

On the morning of November 12, my 9-year-old son, Theo — already sporting his trusty long underwear — stood at our front window, watching the snow pile up outside. He was giddy about the first snow day of the school year and eager to go outside and tromp around with his neighborhood friend. A plow came by and pushed the snow into the middle of our cul-de-sac, creating the beginning of a snow pile that will likely last until April. Watching the scene unfold, just one line ran through my mind: And so it begins.

Winter came to Vermont early this year, and it will likely stay late. To help get you through it, we've put together a list of 20 activities for those days when it's too cold and icy to play outside, but you still could use a change of scenery or a fun spot to let off steam. See "On the Menu: Winter Family Fun!"

In our December/January issue — our sole double issue of this year — you'll also find articles about how to create your very own snow structure, why an outing to a UVM women's hockey game is fun family entertainment and where to look for distinctive red rocks in Chittenden County. In "Language Lessons," read about Vermont's only Spanish immersion program, at Jericho Elementary School, where students receive all academic instruction en español. You'll also find a new column, "Growing Up Green," by Winooski mom Meredith Bay-Tyack that will focus on how to raise environmentally responsible kids. Her first installment explains how to create a "reuse zone" in your home that your little ones can use for play and art.

There's still plenty of time to sign up for our second Good Citizen Challenge, an interactive civics-themed project in which kids must rack up 251 points — the number of towns in Vermont. The Challenge is divided into five subject areas — History, Government, News Literacy, Community Engagement and Advocacy. Players must successfully complete a short quiz and activities in each area. The deadline to finish the Challenge is March 6, 2020.

Finally, mark your calendar for a few special events that are fast approaching. On Saturday, December 7 at noon, Kids VT hosts the 6th annual "Spectacular Spectacular," a talent show for Vermont's rising stars. Come to Higher Ground in South Burlington to see local kids, ages 5 to 13, perform two-minute acts showcasing their singing, dancing and instrument playing skills. Get your tickets at highergroundmusic.com, and check out some of the performers on page 20. And save the date for our Camp and School Fair, Saturday, February 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hilton Burlington. Reps from camps and schools all over the state and beyond will be on hand to share information and answer questions about their programs. Hope to see you there!

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