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Put Down that Shovel, Grab Your Sled and Skates

Plenty of places to enjoy the outdoors in Sussex, Falls.

With no shortage of snowstorms this time of year, we're all in for a fair amount of shoveling or snow-blowing. But that doesn't mean a fresh snowfall has to result in another sore back and frostbitten nose.

After you've cleared the sidewalks and driveway — or paid the neighbor kid to do it — grab a sled or some ice skates and head out a local park for some winter fun.

Sussex residents can hit the hills at Village Park on Weaver Drive for sledding and shred the ice at a rink at Armory Park on Maple Avenue, said Amy Jeske, director of the village's recreational services.

"We haven't had a lot of snow, but people are still sledding with what we have," she said. The ice rink has been properly prepped and opened Dec. 18.

In addition to the beautiful surroundings of these two spots, they also have convenient parking and "both are large and can accommodate a lot of people, so there is enough room to play," Jeske said.

And don't forget to plan ahead and watch out for others, she added. "Please be cautious of other people using the facilities. Dress accordingly for the weather."

Sussex also is home to the Ausblick Ski Area on Maryhill Road. The club's operating hours vary depending on snow conditions, so anyone interested in skiing should first call ahead at 262-246-3090 or check the club's website.

In Menomonee Falls, there are at least three options for putting your blades on ice, said Asstistant Village Manager and Public Works Director Arlyn Johnson.

For starters, the village floods an area in Oakwood Park on Dennis Droese Drive and a parking lot in Riverside Park in the Trenary Field area, said Johnson.

And if conditions allow, some "skating areas are cleared on the pond at Willowood Park and/or at Mill Pond Park upstream from the dam, north of the Main Street Bridge over the Menomonee River," she added.

Weather conditions for skating have been spotty this year, explained Johnson.

"Early cold weather helped to create base ice on our rinks, however, recent snow and freezing rain (have) negatively impacted the ice-skating surface," she said. "Additional flooding and ice shaving maintenance will be necessary to restore the ice surface." So, it's best to give the ice a good once over to make sure it's all right before strapping on your skates.

If you've got your toboggan or saucer on the ready, Johnson said folks have been known to sled the hills at Rotary Park and Willowood Park. But, she advised, "the village does not have any designated sledding hills," so you sled at your own risk.

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