It’s January. Winter is about to hit hard in the wintry regions. But snow in the Caribbean? Nope. For those of us who don’t live in a snowy region, we long for it. Well, maybe just for one little ol’ day. Wish granted! Here are a few fake winter activities in surprising places.
First off, one can’t go to an indoor ski resort and compare it to the Alps. This is a novelty, people. And because most locals probably don’t have a full ski suit in the back of their closet, the resort provides you with everything needed – apparel and a full set of equipment. Ski Dubai is the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East (there have been other, now defunct resorts in Australia, Japan, and surprisingly the Netherlands). It may only take 30 seconds to get to the bottom of the slope, but where else in the world is the outdoor environment – a hot, sandy desert – more contrasted to an indoor winter wonderland?
If artificial snow isn’t an option, there’s always the sand. Especially in Namibia, where dunes are plentiful. The country has the lowest rainfall in sub-Saharan Africa. And the dunes are the highest in the world! But don’t head into the African desert alone. Dune expert Henrik May has been taking groups of visitors down these sandy slopes since 2003. Sled, ski or roll down the hill, all equipment is provided.
Enter an ice bar and you’ll find all ice everything: the bar, the seats, the cocktail glasses. Because the thermostat in these places is kept at 23 degrees Farenheit, the establishments provide down parkas. It’s no surprise that glitzy, touristy places like Las Vegas and Orlando have them, but the tiny island of St. Thomas in the Caribbean Sea has hosted Magic Ice since 2012.
No snow? No sled? No problem. Truly the “winter” sport for all, ice blocking only requires a decently steep, grassy hill, and well, a block of ice. Because most of California is not a snowy region, it’s a particularly popular pastime. See you at the local park! (But, beware. It’s not an endorsed activity by your local authorities. Wink, wink.)
The ice skating rink in the photo is made of plastic. That’s Michelle Kwan giving a performance at the Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore. Throw a little water on the polymer and the ground is a slick as ice. There are many famous rinks made of iceless ice: the Polar Rink at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, Kego Park in Japan, and Mawsons Skate in Australia. It has the same effect with none of the work required. Plastic for the win!