Winter Wonderland: The Top 5 Ways to Play in the Snow in Phoenix

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It’s the middle of January and earlier this week the temps rose to nearly 80 here in Phoenix. But let’s face it, it never really feels like winter around here. If you’re a transplant who’s been feeling a tad nostalgic for mittens, wool coats and snowflakes, here are the Top 5 ways to make-believe it’s a winter wonderland in our corner of the Sonoran.

1 Skate Around at Arcadia Ice Arena

Why not take to the ice to cool things down? Located on the southeast corner of 38th Street and Thomas Road, Arcadia Ice Arena is owned and managed by Jim Rogers, and offers public skating and instruction in figure skating, as well as learn-to-skate lessons for absolute beginners. Or, if team sports are more your thing, you can take hockey lessons or even join one of the adult hockey teams (teams for youth are also available). Other activities include hockey camps and an open hockey skate time, during which you and your buddies can play pick-up games. And of course, you can also discuss with Rogers ideas for parties at the arena, as well as renting the ice for private skating time. Go ahead and channel your inner Michelel Kwan.

3853 E. Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ 602.957.9966 web

2 Throw a Snowball at the Bright Horizons Snow Festival

It's time to break out that winter coat! (If you can find it, that is.) Bundle up the littlest members of your family, too, and head to Bright Horizons' Chandler center on Jan. 28 for its snow festival from 4 to 6 p.m. The festival is free to attend, and we think Phoenix kids will get a kick out of the six tons of snow being brought in special for the occasion. Plus, sleds will be provided, and they'll have the opportunity enjoy a handful of other wintry activities. Bright Horizons is a community-based childcare and early education center offering infant, toddler, preschool and pre-kindergarten programs, including back-up care. So not only will the event be fun, but if you have little ones, this could also be an excellent time to check out all the center has to offer!

Bright Horizons 1151 W. Ray Road, Chandler, AZ 85224 480.792.6448 web

3 Sip Champurrado at The Mission

What's that, you haven't tried the champurrado at Aaron May's The Mission? But you must! Let us try to convince you. A traditional Mexican drink, champurrado is a thick and chocolaty warm beverage, made with a mix of festive spices and flavors, for example, cinnamon and vanilla. At The Mission, May's team adds its own twist to this hot chocolate drink by making it with masa, piloncillo and anise, and serving a snack of rice crispy and pastel de almendras (a flake pastry with almonds) alongside it. You'll find it easy to pretend it's snowing outside while you're sipping this decadent concoction in The Mission's dark and cozy interior. The wooden tables, delicate chandeliers and oversized mirrors add Old World elegance, while the Himalayan salt block wall provides a mesmerizing modern touch. And the best part is, champurrado is on the menu year-round here!

3815 N. Brown Ave., Scottsdale, AZ 480.636.5005 web

4 Luxuriate in a Java Gingersnap Massage at the VH Spa

Celebrate winter in Phoenix while taking advantage of one of this city's greatest institutions: the spa. At the VH Spa, you can book the Java Gingersnap Massage and Foot Scrub through the end of January. Holiday-inspired, the service features all the best scents of the coziest season: a coffee-chocolate body butter with your massage, and vanilla-ginger scrub with your foot treatment. But wait, there's more. As your treatment is just wrapping up, you'll receive a complimentary ginger-cognac hot chocolate topped with a homemade marshmallow to sip as you further unwind. Perfection. Contact the spa for price of service and full details.

6850 E. Main St., Scottsdale, AZ 480.248.2000 web

5 Cheer on the Phoenix Coyotes

We mentioned hockey earlier, so you had to have known this was coming. If you're serious about looking for the coldest spot in Phoenix, it's guaranteed to be the hockey rink at the Arena during one of the Phoenix Coyotes' games. The National Hockey League team's season began in October and will run until the beginning of April, with more than a dozen home games left to go. So don your red and white (and something warm, too), and go cheer on our Coyotes. Better yet, get some of your friends together and rent one of the luxury suites for the ultimate game-watching experience. Arena, 9400 W. Maryland Ave., Glendale, AZ 623.772.3200 web

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