Photo courtesy of Melinda Shelton

Brrrrr. It’s getting cold fast; I know you can feel it too.

As we all know, Utah is famous for its icy peaks, long-lasting snow and bone-chilling, torturous winter season. Even though the weather has been somewhat bipolar this year, there’s no doubt that winter’s frigid bite is just around the corner.

Speaking of myself, I come from northwest Washington where rain reigns supreme, so I’m sadly unaware of popular Utah winter activities. Curious about what options UVU students have in between studying and exams, I asked around and received a few suggestions for such times of relaxation and delight.

2002 was the year of worldwide exposure to the Utah landscape when the Winter Olympics were hosted, almost literally, in the school’s backyard. Unfortunately, I wasn’t here to enjoy the excitement, instead nestled in a warm house attentively watching the TV and winter events. That being remembered, it’s obvious that we are in the prime spot for quality snowboarding, skiing and sledding.

To UVU’s northeast, Alta Ski Area features a 2,020 foot drop and 2,200 acres of available area for your enjoyment. Visit for specific times, openings and prices. Of course Alta is not only the place to go; Brighton and Sundance Resorts also cater to those hungry for a thrill.

A thrill-seeking alternative that’s a little kinder to the wallet is ice blocking or sledding. I must be out of the loop because I have never gone ice blocking, but I hear it’s an exhilarating experience, especially with a group of friends.

A popular activity that I have had the opportunity to experience is taking a trip to the Provo Olympic ice rink. I must say, not only was it a blast, but also quite relaxing; that is, if you’re skilled enough to avoid falling.

If physical activity isn’t up your alley, there is always the option of taking a romantic date to the LDS Temple Square in Salt Lake City. There, you can gaze upon the beautiful Christmas lights of one of Utah’s biggest tourist spectacles.

Not up to spending a bundle on gas or season passes? Group homespun fun could be your cup of tea. One student suggested a “hot chocolate night” accompanied with snowman building using snow that will no doubt be available outside your front door very soon.

I may be preaching to the choir or sharing the obvious with these suggestions, but it is always good to have a reminder to make sure that our beautiful backdoors are being well used, not just our couches.