Don't let cold weather keep you in inside this winter. Enjoy the outdoors with some fire and ice.
Embrace the chill
Bundle up and take a spin at one of Missouri's outdoor ice skating rinks.
Steinberg Skating Rink, the largest outdoor ice rink in the Midwest, offers public skating every day – including holidays – in St. Louis' Forest Park. The rink is open Nov. 13 through Feb. 28.
Glide beneath a billowy white canopy at the Crown Center Ice Terrace in Kansas City. During the holidays, the outdoor rink provides a view of the Mayor's Christmas Tree – one of the tallest in the U.S. Public skating sessions are held daily, except for Christmas Day, from Nov. 6 through March 7.
Try out central Missouri's only outdoor ice skating rink, located at Old Kinderhook resort at the Lake of the Ozarks. Skating sessions are offered Wednesday-Sunday through the end of February.
Southwest Missouri is home to Missouri's newest outdoor ice rink – at the foot of The Branson Ferris Wheel. Skating is offered daily from mid-November through early January. After dark, the wheel glows with 16,000 multi-colored LED lights.
Ice cream may not be the first thing that comes to mind when the temperatures dip below freezing – but then again, maybe it does. If you're part of the ice-cream-anytime crowd, sample a seasonal flavor made especially for the holidays.
Stop by the Ice Cream Factory in Eldon or Jefferson City for a scoop or two of their holiday flavor – white chocolate peppermint. The Italian butter cookie flavor is a seasonal favorite at Clementine's Naughty and Nice Creamery with four locations in the St. Louis area. Holiday flavors at Betty Rae's Ice Cream in Kansas City include pumpkin cheesecake and sweet potato pie.
Warm things up
There's nothing like a crackling fire on a wintery day.
Rent a fire pit at Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park in Springfield. Staff will get the fire started and add more wood as needed. Bench and picnic table seating is available. Bring your own food to cook over the fire – and don't forget roasting sticks for marshmallows.
The camp cabins and glamping tents at Camp Long Creek at Big Cedar Lodge come complete with their own private fire pits. Located near Ridgedale, the cabins and tents are heated for a cozy stay on the shore of Table Rock Lake.
Herbie's in Clayton turns up the heat on its patio with a 15-foot fire feature. Make a reservation to sample dishes inspired by the cuisines of France, Italy, Asia and the coastal American South.
Try a taste of Spain in Kansas City at La Bodega Tapas and Lounge where multiple fire pits on the expansive patio help keep diners warm. For a little extra heat, order the Spanish Coffee, spiked with coffee liqueur and rum – it's set aflame at your table.
Follow the boardwalk along Lake Taneycomo to the heart of Branson Landing where you'll find an outdoor water and fire show. Fountains shooting 120-foot geysers and fire cannons blasting flames into the air combine with music and lights for a spectacular sight. Catch the show at the top of the hour, from noon to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday.
Written by Liz Coleman