By Alexa DeVore
Living in Youngstown in the winter is an opportunity for Youngstown State University students to pick up a sled or skates and head to the local rink or snowy hill.
Tommy Ross, manager of Mill Creek Metroparks, Wick Recreation Area or commonly known as Rocky Ridge, said they have closed the Lily Pond for ice skating because it is spring fed, but the park still has other options to give the community.
“We have a volleyball court, we take the post out and flood the volleyball courts,” Ross said.
They have done this before and plan to do this again for an ice skating rink, all depending on the temperature for the water to freeze safely, Ross said.
“It is available to the public,” Ross said. “We don’t provide ice skates, because we do not monitor the rink, but the hours run from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.”
A sled hill is located at the Wick Recreation Area as well, with lights all around that they turn on around dusk, said Ross.
“Depends on the amount of snow. We do have a snow gun they use to make snow to shoot out if the temperature is conducive to that,” Ross said.
Students can find a warm fire located behind the top snow hill, adjacent to the volleyball courts, when visiting the park during their ice skating or sled riding to warm.
Mill Creek Metroparks sled hill, ice skating rink and fire are located on McCollum Road, Youngstown’s west side.
Another place to hit for the holidays is the Canfield Christmas Lights tour.
Mike McAndrew, owns and operates Canfield Christmas Lights on Fairview Avenue in Canfield.
“We have under 100,000 lights but we count channels instead,” McAndrew said. “2017 will finish off with 1,024 static channels — 17 pixel channels.”
The light show is free to watch Sunday through Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., McAndrew said.
“First timers, it is nothing they expected nor could anticipate and repeaters, they just know,” McAndrew said.
Visitors can tune their radios to 107.7 F.M. to listen to the music synchronized with the lights.
For the full list of Christmas lights in Canfield, visit the Canfield Christmas Lights page on Facebook to find a list of all eight areas of light displays.
If students are looking for a close place to tube, snowboard or ski, Boston Mills/Brandywine Ski Resort is in Peninsula.
Thomas Conti, public relations manager of Brandywine, said the slopes are ready to use when the weather permits.
“We are looking at some good snowmaking temperatures very soon, so we are looking toward the middle of December for opening this season,” Conti said.
Starting at the end of December into January, college I.D. late nights are perfect for students, Conti said.
“Students bring their valid college I.D. to show at the ticket window, they get a $20 lift ticket,” Conti said. “We do it every single Friday night, it’s from 8 p.m. until 1 a.m.”
Snowboards and skis can be rented at Boston Mills/Brandywine or students can bring their own equipment.
Boston Mills will be open from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Brandywine is 3:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.