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Davis, California

Friday, May 17, 2024

When the weather outside is frightful …

The weather is changing, and that means the weekends at the pool are over. Picnics are hard to manage in wintry weather, and romantic strolls around the Arboretum are never as fun in the rain.

Just because the sun has gone into hiding doesn’t mean there is no more fun to be had.

Thanks to the convenient location of Davis, there are a number of winter activities nearby, some of which students can easily come across right here on campus.

The Ski or Snowboard Club (SOS) is responsible for heading up a number of trips during the fall and winter months. SOS publicity officer Brian Yang said paying the $30 membership is nothing compared to the perks members earn.

“During winter quarter we have cabin trips to Lake Tahoe every other week starting from Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend. The prices vary from $45 to $65 for members depending on if it’s a long weekend. Non-members pay up to $85 for the same trips. So going on just two trips would pay for membership itself,” Yang said.

Included in the $30 membership fee is a shirt, access to events, discounts on trips and discounts on corporate companies and business gear and services.

According to Yang, there is also one event in particular this year that is one to not be missed.

“Our biggest event is the All-Cal Ski & Snowboard Fest. It’s a UC takeover of a world-class resort we have every year. Our destination this year is the renowned Steamboat Resort in Colorado. All the UC schools take part in this trip during the first part of winter break, from Dec. 10 to 17,” Yang said.

Going on this sort of trip individually would cost students well over $1,000. However, Yang said the large number of UC students in attendance at the event allows participants a hefty discount.

“The cost is just $649 which includes transportation, lodging, lift tickets and a bunch of events,” Yang said.

Maybe students would love to go play in the snow, but skiing and snowboarding just isn’t their thing.

With a short drive up to Boreal ski resort in Lake Tahoe, students and their friends can hop on some inner-tubes and enjoy the slopes, as well.

Playland at Boreal, located off the Boreal/Castle Peak exit on Interstate 80, offers a moving carpet and groomed tubing lanes and tubes.

The tubing season officially opens Thanksgiving weekend, and for a two-hour tubing session students can expect to pay $25.

Boreal also offers a college season pass for $129, which allows college students to hit the slopes anytime Monday through Friday.

Perhaps snow just isn’t your thing at all. Maybe you’d rather take a look at a rather large corn maze instead.

Located just nine miles from Davis, Cool Patch Pumpkins in Dixon is home to the world’s largest corn maze, and is currently in the middle of its season.

The maze, located on Milk Farm Road off Interstate 80, will be open through Sunday this year from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Tickets are $10.

Due to the large size of the corn maze, owners advise that it’s wise to give yourself a lot of time to find your way from beginning to end. Wear old shoes since there are still small muddy spots from row irrigation.

Mark Cooley, owner of Cool Patch Pumpkins, said he isn’t the only one who believes their maze is one in a million.

“I’m always being told that our maze is the maze that you have to visit,” Cooley said. “We have a lot of other fun things, too, though. The pumpkins, of course, and even a scarecrow contest.”

For the small town shopper, Apple Hill is located in at 2345 Carson Road in Placerville, an hour outside of Davis. Fall and winter are apple season, and the farmers are officially open for business.

There are many local growers located at Apple Hill, many offering organic apples, homemade apple cider, arts and crafts and even apple wine.

Able’s Apple Acres, which is located at the top of the hill, is open until Christmas Eve this year and its hours vary by the time of year.

From opening day, which was Sept. 3, until Sunday, the farm will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. From Monday to Dec. 23 it will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In addition to homemade baked goods and backyard-style barbecue, Able’s Apple Acres also offers pony rides and hay mazes every weekend.

Evelyn Able, owner of Able’s Apple Acres, is proud to boast the strong family ties involved with her ranch.

“We have four generations that all come together to work at the ranch during the season. It brings a great sense of family,” Able said.

MICHELLE STAUFFER can be reached at features@theaggie.org.


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