Oh baby, it’s cold outside.
That makes it just a wee bit too easy to hole up and be a hermit. But despite the nip at your nose, there is still plenty of reason to get out and about, both indoors and out.
The great outdoors
For the outdoorsman, it’s time for the winter rabbit hunts sponsored by several area taverns. Some rules are the same for each. Teams are made up of three hunters and it costs $15 per team to enter the drawing. Pre-registration is the day before and you need to return with your quarry by 2 p.m. on the day of the drawing. Each drawing offers 100-percent payout, so the size of the pot depends on how many teams register.
This weekend, it’s Halver’s Town Tap in Gays Mills with a hunt competition scheduled. Each rabbit is worth one entry in the drawing and teams may enter up to nine rabbits.
Tazzee’s Wonder Bar in Soldiers Grove holds their rabbit hunt contest on Saturday, Jan. 31. Only one rabbit is needed to qualify for the drawing. And the bar will offer free food to the registered hunters.
No Bull Party Place in Seneca will hold their contest on Saturday, Feb. 14. The No Bull contest is a bit broader, covering rabbit, crow and coyote.
If you are a snowmobiler and like organized activities, you may want to head further afield and check out the Chaseburg Snowtrailers 45th Annual Trail Days this Saturday, January 17.
The kickoff breakfast is planned at the Tippy Toe Inn at 7 a.m., featuring live music. Afterward is the all day Poker Run. Snowmobilers need to collect one stamp from five different towns plus the Chaseburg Village Hall by 6:30 p.m. Participating taverns and club houses are: Thirsty Turtle and Rocky’s Supper Club in Stoddard; Hideaway, Tippy Toe Inn, and Chaseburg Rod & Gun Club in Chaseburg; South Ridge Inn, Stockyard, and Legacy in Coon Valley; Rudy’s Tuna’s, and Big River Inn in Genoa; Romance Tavern in Romance; Charlie’s Inn in LaCrosse; Bleachers, Snowflake Ski Hill, and Nordic Lanes in Westby; and Norwegian Hollow and Rustic Alley in Viroqua.
The Dam Phunski cross-country ski races are planned for Saturday, January 24, with races beginning at 10, 10:30, and 11 a.m. The Dam Phunski is a scenic classic and freestyle cross-country ski course along the scenic Old Highway 131 Trail.
Proceeds benefit the Kickapoo Valley Reserve Education Program and all registrants receive a Mt. Borah tassel hat. Courses include a 1k loop for youth, a 5k point-to-point for juniors and phunskiers of all ages, and a 10k point-to-point for adults.
For more information or to register visit http://kvr.state.wi.us/phunski or contact event coordinator Sadie Urban at email@example.com or 608-625-2960.
The Kickapoo Reserve will offer guided ice cave hikes on January 31, February 14 and 28, and March 7 from 12:30 - 4 p.m.
The hikes are moderate to difficult. The cost is $10 per person and registrations are due by January 23. To register, please call 608-625-2960 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Snowflake Ski Club in Westby will hold their 92nd Annual Snowflake Ski Jumping Tournament on January 30 and 31. The event begins with open training from 2 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, and 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday. Competitive jumping takes place beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
The opening ceremonies are at 7 p.m. on Friday followed by fireworks at 7:30, and competition in the longstanding jump afterwards. Competition resumes on Saturday at noon.
Standard admission buttons for the weekend are $20 at the gate; ages 12 and under are free.
The 10th Annual Prairie du Chien Bald Eagle Appreciation Days are planned for February 27 and 28. New birding programs are planned at the AmericInn and Country Inn & Suites Friday evening. Saturday's activities include live bald eagle and raptor programs, educational exhibits, outdoor viewing of bald eagles through spotting scopes, a life-sized bald eagle nest, and numerous activities for children at Hoffman Hall, 1600 S Wacouta Ave, Prairie du Chien from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. All programs are free and open to the public.
The warm indoors
Head down to Ferryville of January 23 to 25 and you can catch Ag Days at the Wooden Nickel. Drive your tractor over and take part in the exhibition and your drinks are free! Wear a farm logo for the drink specials.
An eating contest, sexy overall contest, farm girl carry, and hay bale throwing contest are planned.
Proceeds from the event will be donated to local first responders in memory of Ben Quamme, last year’s winner of the farm girl carry contest.
That weekend is also the Kickapoo Exchange in Gays Mills’ annual Winter Rummage Sale. The sale is held both days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the old Gays Mills Community Building, located at 212 Main Street.
For those with a taste for square and contra dancing, the Second Saturday Square Dance holds a monthly dance in the same building (212 Main Street, Gays Mills). The dances are held on the second Saturday of the month, fall through early spring, with upcoming dates of February 14, March 14, and April 11 beginning at 7 p.m. Each dance is taught prior to being called to live music.
If once a month is not enough for your square dancing fix, you can wander up valley to the LaFarge Community Center at 202 Main Street on the fourth Saturdays – January 24, February 28, March 28, and April 25 – for an extra reel or two provided by the Driftless Folk School. Instruction begins at 7 p.m. and dancing at 7:30.
If you are looking for something a bit quieter and like to work with your hands, the carving circle meets on the second Thursday of each month at the Ark, 401 East Jefferson, in Viroqua. The informal carvers group meets from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. with projects and tools to share, learn, and socialize.
The Driftless Folk School is offering a number of classes throughout the winter season. The first round of classes begins January 17 with mediation, sourdough bread making, candlemaking, spoon carving and more. To learn more about their courses or to sign up, either visit their website at www.driftlessfolkschool.org or call 888-587-6540.
Grab someone you love and head down to Ferryville on St. Valentines Day, Feb. 14, for the Sweetheart Pancake Breakfast. An event for sweethearts of all ages, the Ferryville Tourism Council volunteers will serve up homemade pancakes, biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, Norwegian coffee and more at the Ferryville Village Hall.
There are always the movies at the Blaine Theater in Boscobel to occupy an evening or afternoon. The Blaine shows are, unless otherwise announced: 7 p.m. on Monday - Thursday; 7 and 9 p.m. on Fridays; 4:30, 7 and 9 p.m. on Saturdays; and 2:15, 4:30, and 7 p.m. on Sundays.