Embrace the Big Chill

Like your momma used to tell you, don't cry over spilled milk. In Brookings or South Dakota for that matter, we apply the same saying but replace it with snow. 

It's a matter of fact, winter in the Upper Midwest is not for the faint of hearts. We've got snow storms, freezing temperatures, and blustery winds. But in Brookings, we've got eight places to warm up with a cup of coffee or hot tea. We've also got snowshoes, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling trails. We can tell you where the fish are biting under a frozen lake or who has the best fireplace. Living in South Dakota teaches us the dos and don'ts of surviving and thriving in the winter months. 

Here's Your Winter Starter Pack for Living Like a Local:

  1. No matter what, no snowstorm will ever top the winter of '96.
  2. We love our Jackrabbit accessories, like hats, mittens, and scarves. While cute and sporty, they also serve a crucial purpose.
  3. You can never have too many pairs of boots. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
  4. Someone knows someone who knows how thick the ice is on Lake Poinsett or any other lake within a 30-mile radius.
  5. Knowing the consistency of the snow, talking about the snow and knowing whether or not you'll need a snowblower, shovel, or ice pick is a common conversation among neighbors.
  6. Find a good ice scraper, it's life changing. 
  7. Don't worry if you get stuck in a snowbank or in the middle of an intersection, it only takes two seconds for the next passerby to stop and help.
  8. You're bound to get a few out of office replies once February hits.. look for us in the Caribbean. Even locals need a break.
  9. As crazy as it is, you’re bound to see someone strutting around in shorts while it’s 10 degrees outside. 
  10. Casual Friday is really any day after a big snow system moves through. We still show up for work, but with a little dose of practicality. For more details, review #3.
  11. No amount of snow will keep us from enjoying a few cold ones in downtown.
  12. Layering up is a matter of fact vs. a fashion statement.
  13. We have several different types of winter coats... from regular to extra puffy. Again.. review #3
  14. Finally, we playfully argue about the perfect thermostat temperature. #Team68 or #Team72

For all the not so fun moments that come along with the winter season, there are several other moments that make us smile. 

For instance, we've decided to embrace the big chill and celebrate the season. Every third week in February, area attractions and businesses come together as part of Frost Fest. It's our way of telling winter, "We see your snowstorm, and raise you one frosty festival."

Cabin fever vibes suddenly drift away and we remember how much fun winter can be. Kids get involved at the Ice Fishing Derby at Dakota Nature Park, while the Children's Museum of South Dakota hosts a Snow Ball dance. We take advantage of the snow and build forts and snowmen. We even ride our bikes through the snow! 

Our life doesn't stop when the snow flies, it just gets a little cooler. Pun intended. 

Frost Fest is fun for the entire family. Most events are free and open to the public, but some do require pre-registration or a small admission fee. For a full schedule of events, click here.