Make Your Own Snow Ice Cream
There is a silver lining to a snowstorm: snow ice cream. Surprisingly simple and definitely delicious, this frozen dessert was a special childhood treat for Robert Stricklin, executive chef of The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks and assistant professor of culinary arts. Try his simple recipe for creating a tasty, wintry indulgence. Check out the full recipe for snow ice cream.
Make a Grown Up Hot Cocoa
Want something to warm you up instead? Sip on a homemade rum-spiked hot cocoa that you can make yourself.
Go to New Heights at Wolfe Creek
Things are looking up at Branson Zipline Canopy Tours at Wolfe Creek Preserve (2339 Highway 65, Walnut Shade, 417-5610-699). Open through December 31, the park is ripe for exploration in winter because the bare trees open up wide views of the surrounding hills. Try the Ozarks Explorer Zipline Canopy Tour, which boasts seven zip lines, 10 sky bridges and a cheery rest area beside a bonfire where you can thaw out and sip hot cocoa or apple cider.
Have a Ball
When your family is itching for an outing, hop in the car and head to a Springfield entertainment complex for activities and attractions to keep your brood amused for hours. Get bowled over by the offerings at Andy B’s Restaurant & Entertainment (1127 E. Battlefield Rd., Springfield, 417-883-1234), like underground laser tag, unique arcade games and a full-service restaurant. Of course there’s also bowling; reserve a lane in the luxury VIB area featuring cool LED lighting, high-definition jumbo screens, plush seating and more for “very important bowlers.”
It’s all fun and games at Springfield’s Incredible Pizza Company (2522 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield, 417-887-3030). Kids can bounce away extra energy in the Spring Town trampoline park, twirl on the topsy-turvy Lost in Space ride, cruise in speedy indoor go-karts, play laser tag and more.
Warm Up with a Smokin’ Dish
Feel the heat with one of these toasty, on-fire dishes coming in hot from local restaurants.
The heat is on at Kai (306 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield, 417-832-0077). Try the trademark Hot Rocks appetizer featuring sizzling-hot lava stones on which you cook thin slices of beef (try upgrading to top-notch wagyu beef). It comes with Kai’s signature Hot Rocks sauce, a Korean barbecue-style concoction.
Haruno Sushi Bar and Grill (3044 S. Fremont Ave., Springfield, 417-887-0077) smokes the competition with its signature, smoldering Oh My God maki roll. Featuring shrimp tempura, crab, creamy avocado, spicy mayo and Sriracha, this rockin’ roll is lit on fire before it’s served.
Build the Coolest Snowman on the Block
A top-notch snowman requires more than a corncob pipe, a button nose and two eyes made out of coal. Employ these tips to make your family’s man in white the envy of the neighborhood.
1. It’s all about location, location, location. Choose one that’s flat and shady so poor Frosty stays stable and doesn’t melt.
2. Use dense, heavy snow that’s on the wetter side, which you can create by spritzing a little water onto snow that’s too fluffy and dry.
3. For structural integrity, stick with a bottom-heavy shape. And if attempting a classic three-tier snowman, flatten the snowballs where they stack together.
4. Bring your creation to life and give it personality with pine cones, pebbles, old clothing, food coloring and more. But beware: Using items like fruit to decorate might draw unwanted attention from birds and critters.
Cozy Up Beside a Crackling Bonfire
With Jack Frost nipping at your nose, what better way to ward off cold temps than snuggling up to a roaring fireplace? Head to one of these 417-land spots when you want to feel the heat.
Take a break from holiday shopping and collapse into the comfy chairs and sofas surrounding the grand fireplace in the lobby at Bass Pro Shops (1935 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield, 417-887-7334). Be sure to also grab a hot chocolate from the coffee shop nearby.
With tall windows and an eye-catching stone fireplace, the rustic atrium room in Osage Restaurant at Top of the Rock (190 Top of the Rock Rd., Ridgedale, 417-335-2777) is an idyllic spot to watch for falling snowflakes.
After exploring Dogwood Canyon (2038 W. State Highway 86, Lampe, 800-225-6343), tuck into the Dogwood Canyon Restaurant and cozy up to the fireplace in the dining area. There’s also a dramatic outdoor fireplace made from stacked stone laid by local masons.
For a toasty hangout closer to home, recline beside the stylish, sleek fireplace at Hotel Vandivort (305 E. Walnut St., Springfield, 417-832-1515). Bonus: The Order typically comes up with fun holiday cocktails, so grab one of those as you relax and enjoy the lobby’s buzzing, sophisticated atmosphere.