Forget Sledding: This Is Our Tradition When the Snow Falls!

Yesterday was a long, but VERY fun day with the kids, my brother and his kids. Yeah, we did the sledding thing, but it was what we did after sledding that was the real highlight of the day. I mean…look at this poor unfortunate soul trying to climb up the hill in 9 inches of snow. Does that look fun to you?!

Yeah, I guess it was pretty fun…but we found something even MORE fun and that doesn’t make your muscles hurt the next day!

I’ve always noticed these fireplaces inside forest preserve pavilions…specifically Hammel Woods near my home in Plainfield. Not knowing the rules surrounding these fireplaces, I’ve been a bit apprehensive to use them. Then I saw this blog from Leslie Harris, and have since seen other families utilizing the fireplaces. So I pitched the idea to my brother.

How about after we go sledding, we regroup, grab a few hot dogs to roast over a fire, a bundle of firewood and head to the forest preserve. We can cook some lunch and let the kids go crazy in the newly fallen snow.

He said yes, but I can tell was a bit apprehensive.

The kids were surprisingly accepting of the idea even after a few hours of sledding, wave the two year old who took her nap, thank God.

We loaded up the car, but unfortunately, were met by a closed gate at the access road! NOOOOO!

My brother and I huddled up again and decided we didn’t come all this way for nothing! The pavilion was only a half mile down the road, so we loaded up our stuff on to the sleds and marched on!

When we arrived, which was only a ten minute walk, we built a roaring fire, cooked our food, and just had a ball in nature’s playground!


I’ll tell you what…cooking lunch by a warm, roaring fire while the kids build igloos sure beats sledding!


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A post shared by Nick Jakusz 🎙🎧 (@nickwithamic)