December 14, 2023 By CDHD Winter activities for all abilities Here in Idaho we have a snowcapped wonderland at our disposal when winter rolls around. Most parts of the state see a thick blanket of snow come November, December and January. And while it’s tempting to spend the colder months cozied up on the couch, getting out to appreciate the beauty of the season can be pretty neat too. Here are five outdoor winter activities that can be adapted for people with disabilities looking for some fun in the snow … Adaptive skiing Did you know that Idaho is in the top 10 in the US for states with the most ski resorts? We have no less than 18 peppered across our fair state. Even better, many of our hills offer adaptive equipment so skiers of all abilities can enjoy the powder. Previous experience is not required. Many offer hands-on education and programs so people of all abilities can try a run. Service animals are also welcome. Check out Visit Idaho’s website for more information about adaptive equipment availability at a ski hill near you. Sled hockey If you’re more interested in a team winter activity, sled hockey can be a great option. This sport offers high competition, thrills and the opportunity to bond with peers. All the rules of hockey apply – the only difference is players use a sled or sledge to skate around the ice. There are sled hockey teams based around Idaho, including Idaho Falls, Boise and Victor. If you’d like to learn more about the sport, get up close with the equipment, or test the waters, some rinks host information sessions and adaptive skate programs. You can also find more information about the sport in Idaho at the Idaho Sled Hockey Association website. Sledding Sledding is a winter classic for good reason. All you need is a sled, a slope and some snow. It’s often free, available close by and highly adaptive. Depending on you or your family member’s needs, adaptive sleds in different price ranges are available to purchase. Alternatively, family-sized tubes that allow two people to sled together are a great option. Many modern sled designs offer safety belts, hand grips and back support. You can even get creative and make an adaptive sled or your own. This woman put her daughter’s chair in a storage container lid to create an adaptive sled. Light displays Winter fun doesn’t have to be all about thrills in the ice and snow. The season also happens to see spectacular light displays popping up all over the place. It’s well worth spending a night or two checking out some of the brightly-colored lights around Idaho. Many local homes and neighborhoods get into the spirit of the season; however, some of the larger displays include: Coeur d’Alene’s Journey to the North Pole cruise Lewiston’s Winter Spirit Boise’s Winter Garden aGlow Caldwell’s Winter Wonderland Meridian’s Scentsy Commons Orton Botanical Garden lights Note that all are ADA compliant; however, please visit their respective websites or contact them directly for more information about event/venue accessibility and available accommodations.