How to Survive A Polar Vortex: Go Swimming!
Last weekend it was a crisp 8 degrees outside before the windchill at my cousin’s house in Vermont. The kids — my two who are 5 and 7 and my cousin’s two who are 4-year-old twins — could handle playing outside in the snowfor a full 15 minutes without whining about cold toes and the white stuff seeping into their gloves. In all fairness, it was cold. And the snow, like it has been in much of the country this winter, was incredibly deep. We couldn’t even go sledding without carving our own path out of 3 foot deep powder, and by the time we created it, the kids were over it. Frankly, I’m over this @^$%! snow too. The solution? We went swimming.Waterparks — namely the indoor ones — have been gaining in popularity across the country. And as far as I’m concerned, there’s no better time to visit them than during a polar vortex. We headed up to Jay Peak ski resort in upper Vermont to their indoor mecca of water fun called The Pump House. (Jay is mostly known for it’s awesome skiing, btw.) It was a holiday weekend so it was busy — the folks at the resort said, one of the busiest times of year — but it was still manageable, i.e., the lines were never longer than five minutes and there was no whining during the wait. My kids spent most of their time on the two blue and green towering and twisting tube slides which allow kids as short as 42 inches (thank goodness) to slide down on innertubes on their own or with a grownup in the back. I zoomed down a few times — the dips and turns made my stomach drop but in a good way. The husbands went down La Chute — a free-fall water slide that sounded too scary for me (you go 45 mph!), and was off-limits to the kids (you have to be 88 lbs and 48 inches tall).
My kids are decent swimmers — defined by me as if they were to fall into a body of water, they could swim to the side without freaking out — but it was still comforting that there were lifeguards at every entrance and exit of every slide and ride who were actually paying attention. And if you are still nervous, especially for the littlest ones, the Pump House offers free lifejackets. The 4-year olds in our group wore them the whole time in the splash zone, bobbing along in the Big River (a lazy river that circles the joint) and in the family-friendly hot tub, which strangely they loved more than anything. There’s also a hot tub outside of the the glass-walled waterpark. We didn’t venture out to it, but it was fun to eat pizza and drink a beer at the bar (yes, there’s a bar for grownups!) and watch crazy people run in dripping wet bathing suits from the outdoor tub to the warm sanctuary of the waterpark. Even my daredevil 5-year-old wasn’t that bonkers! Besides, the whole point was to get out of the frigid temperatures. So if this polar vortex continues (and according to the Punxsutawney Phil, it very well might), we will be coming back again soon.Add a Comment