We Love the “Off Season” in Door County (and you will too!)

After experiencing vacations during every season in Door County, many of our most memorable times have been in the winter.

We have spent New Years in Door County many years. A few of those years were spent with our friends who would come up for a few days with their kids. We were always lucky with snow and, if not snow, ice! During the day the kids love nearly dying at Hill 17, the infamous sledding hill at Peninsula State Park. Now, when Hill 17 is closed due to ice, they explore the park and the rest of Door County for alternate sled hills – there are plenty! Often, tired and hungry from playing in the snow, we head to Fish Creek to one of the many cozy restaurants for some soup or chili in the afternoon.

By the time New Years Eve celebrations roll around we’re stocked with whatever kind of explosives we can find. Usually we celebrate with sparklers and snappers and plenty of whistles and New Years wear. One year we took it a little too far. We decided to try some bottle rockets and they ended up exploding in our guests’ faces as they scattered through the yard! All the while, Rick was shouting “I think I lit the wrong end!” a bit too late. Luckily no one got hit and since then we’ve stuck to some tamer options!

On New Years day we head over to Jacksonport for the annual Polar Bear Plunge. We enjoy watching hundreds of crazy people dive in the icy waters of Lake Michigan – we’ve never mustered up the courage to do it ourselves! After that’s over, we head back to Egg Harbor to watch the goofiest, small town New Year parade and enjoy brats and hot chocolate to warm up. The parade usually features locals riding in hot tubs in the back of pick-ups, people dressed as Santa, and (our personal favorite) a group that calls themselves the Drill Team, waving around handheld drills instead of flags!

Besides our beloved New Years traditions, we enjoy plenty of Door County activities all winter. Day or night we’ve enjoyed bowling at Sister Bay Bowl, skating at the TKH Ice Rink in Sister Bay, or heading to Hands On Art Studio to do a project! These are a few of our favorites that are open all year! In February we love going for a weekend of cross-country skiing at Crossroads at Big Creek and a candlelight ski at one of the state parks!

Enjoying a fire after a cold candle light ski in February
Enjoying a fire after a cold candle light ski in February
About to brave Hill 17!









Good, old-fashioned bowling at Sister Bay Bowl
Good, old-fashioned bowling at Sister Bay Bowl


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