For those not migrating home for the winter or for those who call the Rogue Valley home, there are still ways to turn your winter break into a true staycation. While hibernating with a month’s supply of hot cocoa may seem appealing, try venturing out of your caves to experience some local winter events.
Now-Feb. 28: The Ashland Rotary Centennial ice skating rink is now open in the great outdoors of Lithia Park. There is open skate for all ages and abilities, hockey for the competitive types, and hot cocoa for onlookers in the sidelines. If you want to brush up on your skills you can even take figure skating or ice hockey lessons. Adult admission is $4 and skate rentals are $2.50. Weather permitting; it will be open seven days a week. For the skating schedule check www.ashland.or.us/IceRink.
Dec. 7: Celebrate the end of finals week at the Pray For Snow Food Drive Party with pizza, beer, and prizes. The event is a fundraiser for Access Food Bank so be sure to bring either 2 canned food items or pay $2 for admission. Attending gives you the chance to win a seasonal pass to Mt. Ashland, a new snowboard and other fun stuff. Wear an ugly holiday sweater for even more special prizes. Event starts at 6 p.m. under the Water Street overpass at Creekside Pizza.
Dec. 8 -9: The Oregon Shakespeare Festival Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair will be held Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Great Hall, 70 E. Main St. This annual sale of artisan crafts includes handmade soaps, holiday cards, jewelry, clothing, unique housewares, toys and more. Admission is free. The perfect gift awaits you.
Dec. 15-22: Studio Roxander will present their third annual production of “The Nutcracker” at the Crater Performing Arts Center in Central Point. Get your dose of sugarplum fairies and Tchaikovsky as 75 Rogue Valley dancers perform this Christmas classic in all new sets, costumes and choreography. Tickets are $10-$20 and are available online, by phone (541-773-7272), or at Studio Roxander in Medford. Show times are Dec. 15 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Dec. 16 at 1 p.m.; Dec. 21 at 7 p.m.; and Dec. 22 at 1 p.m.
Dec. 17: Watch rapper Snoop Dogg drop it like it’s hot at the Historic Ashland Armory on Monday night. Tickets are $42.50 and will sell out fast so fight for them at Music Coop, Badass Coffee, SixOneNine, Listen Here or online at ticketweb.com. All ages. Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m.
Dec. 21: Third Friday in Medford is a monthly self-guided walking tour of local art galleries, studios, museums, shops and restaurants on Main Street. Wander down Historic Downtown Medford for an evening of sophisticated art and wine tasting. The event also hosts street performances like jugglers, fire-eaters and musicians. The fun goes from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. and is free to the public.
Dec. 23: Get into the Christmas spirit at the Seventh Annual Outdoor Christmas Caroling Event on Sunday night in downtown Ashland. Free hot chocolate and song sheets will be provided so round up your friends and bring along flashlights or lanterns. Meet at the Ashland Plaza Center Island at 7 p.m.
Now-Dec. 31: Dispel the winter blues at the Super 8’s indoor pool and water slide. It’s no waterpark, but for the bargain price of $5 you get unlimited slides from noon to 7 p.m.! Located at the Super 8 Medford Airport, 4999 Biddle Rd. The water’s warm. Why not?