Snow What? Winter in Central New York is pretty great.

Ok, yes, we’ve already had the first snow of the season. Feelings about winter can be as varied as the wintry mix we experience, but we think you shouldn’t let our reputation get you down. Embrace the season! Winter in Central New York is a great time to chill with outdoor activities, a hot cup of cocoa or a trip to a museum.

Here are 10 reasons to re-frame your thinking about our most notorious season:

  1. Take pride in the number of times Syracuse has won the Golden Snowball Award. It feels good to win.
  2. How often do you hear about people ragging on Colorado for the amount of snow they get (and they had snow in June this year – we didn’t)? If you don’t already know how to ski or snowboard, there are several mountains throughout the region where you can learn. Tubing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are also popular ways to get out and enjoy the powder.
  3. Winter in CNY is so pretty that the Hallmark Channel has filmed some of their romantic holiday movies here.
  4. Yes, it snows, a lot. But we know that, our officials know that, and the Department of Transportation knows that. Which means we’re prepared. Most of the country lives somewhere where winter snow and ice can be a burden or hamper travel. However, we’re better equipped and accustomed to clearing and salting roads effectively.
  5. If you’d rather be indoors, there are plenty of entertainment options – Try the rock climbing wall at Central Rock Gym. Immerse yourself in adventure at  Museum of Intrigue, Wonderworks, the IMAX Theater, Billy Beez and more at Destiny USA. Check out the hands-on Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology (better known as The MOST). Make a splash at Cascades Indoor Waterpark, attached to the Hope Lake Lodge at Greek Peak Mountain Resort near Cortland. There are also many local restaurants with fireplaces.
  6. Catch up on culture – our libraries, galleries, museums and theaters have so much to offer!
  7. Can’t bear to shovel yourself out? You don’t have to! Most of the local landscaping businesses offer the service during winter. Or download the Plowz & Mowz app (a local start-up for on-demand outdoor home services) that’s been expanding across the country.
  8. Annual Syracuse Ugly Sweater 5K Run: Kick off the holiday season with a fun, competitive run on Onondaga Lake Parkway made more amusing with participants donning ugly sweaters. Go all in to win the prize for “best in dress,” most creative and most unique ugly sweaters. Plus, a portion of the proceeds and all donations benefit the Rescue Mission of Syracuse, so you’ll be in the right spirit for the season.
  9. There are health benefits, too: According to Readers Digest, when it’s cold, your body works harder to maintain its core body temperature. As a result, you might burn more calories and strengthen your heart muscles. Colder temperatures can also help reduce both allergies and inflammation.
  10. Think of winter as a time to recharge, reflect and be present. Embrace hygge – the Danish philosophy of finding joy and contentment in small moments, like cozying up with a cup of hot cocoa. If enjoying the simple things in life works for the Danes (who also have tough winters and are consistently named some of the happiest people in the world), it should work here.

Focusing on the positives and finding fulfilling ways to spend the darker days will help you beat winter blues. Central New York winters are a great opportunity to make time for the things you love to do. Just do them with a few more layers on.