by WYNNE LOVE

 

1. Some local parks host their own snow days where they manufacture snow for sledding and snow play.  Check yours, or swing by Hilltop Park Recreation Center’s Winter Wonderland event in Rancho Peñasquitos on Saturday, December 1st, from 11-3.

2. Some amusement parks create snow areas as well.  Check out LEGOLAND’s Holiday Snow Days and SeaWorld’s SnowWorld, open through December.

3. While you can sometimes find snowy peaks and spectacular views off local climbs like Iron Mountain, Mount Woodson, and Cowles Mountain, word on the street is that the best place to play in the snow is on Mount Laguna.  Call the Mount Laguna Lodge at 619-473-8533 for details, and time your arrival just long enough after a good snowfall so that you don’t get turned away due to driving conditions.  Go sledding, have a snowball fight, and enjoy a hot chocolate in nearby Pine Valley.

4. Little ones may enjoy the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum’s Santa Train North Pole Limited.  While there’s no snow in the forecast, this “polar express” train ride leaves from the Campo train depot and takes the passengers and their elf hosts to the North Pole where Santa joins them for the return trip.  Rides are held weekend days through December 22nd started at $20 a seat.  Find out more at sdrm.org/npl.

5. Up for a more daring adventure?  Find snow-capped peaks an hour’s drive away at Palomar Mountain, in Julian, or up Stonewall Peak near Cuyamaca.  Or, head to the top of Mount San Jacinto in Idyllwild.  The park is open during the renovation of the visitor’s center, as is the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, a smooth gondola ride to the summit.  Get the latest trail news about the San Jacinto trail at www.parks.ca.gov or tickets for the tramway at www.pstramway.com.