Snow ahead! Creative uses for that winter slush

    If your primary experience with snow this season is trying not to slip and fall on your ass, then you’re missing out: complaining about the slush on the ground is fun and all, but it’s not going anywhere fast. We’re stuck here all winter; why not learn to love it ? While most people from cold areas know the usual snow activities — creating snowmen, building snow forts and making snow angels — there are way more creative uses for snow out there. Here are some ideas for students, from students.

    Childhood basics: For the kid in everyone

    Snow caves

    The obscene amount of snow left from the recent demi-blizzard screams one thing: snow caves.

    To build a snow cave, gather the snow that has been plowed onto the sides of the road into one big mound, then dig a hole through the middle of it. If you are up for a challenge, make the cave igloo-style by filling up pails with snow and stacking them on top of each other instead.

    Or, you could even build a snow castle; it’s like a sand castle, but colder and you can throw things (like, snowballs) out of it. “One time, I made a snow castle so big that I was able to make different paths around it, and I trid to walk around,” Weinburg sophomore Daniel Shin said.

    Sledding ramps

    Where to sled at ye old Northwestern University? Rumors of tray-sledding down the Norris hill have yet to be proven true or false, but if they’re true, I say, create ramps out of garbage cans, old furniture or haystacks.

    “You can get mad air if you do it right,” McCormick freshman Steve Arvis said. “My friend even broke his arm.”

    Yeah, don’t do that.

    Recipes: For the cheap college student…

    Maple syrup candies:

    To make these tasty treats, pour maple syrup on the freshly-fallen snow and watch it harden into edible goblets. If you’re already salivating, thank Weinberg freshman Stefanie Venghaus, who got the idea from The Little House on the Prairie.

    You can even add different flavored syrups to make snow cones. But be warned: Lemon-flavored snow and urine-flavored snow look suspiciously alike.

    Snow margaritas

    After enjoying these candies, you’ll want to wash them down with some drinks. A true margarita takes tequila, lime juice and orange liqueur over ice. Instead of lugging home the 10-pound bag of ice from Burger King, just use the conveniently located snow.

    Snow can be used as the base for any slushy drink, including piña coladas and strawberry daiquiris. Weinberg freshman Jillian Marini recommended lemonade slushies.

    “The only problem is that it melts faster than ice does,” Venghaus said.

    Icicle mixers

    When it comes to stalactites and stalagmites and sta-whatsits, the important thing to know is that icicles make for badass drink stirrers. Icicles are the perfect shape, plus you don’t need additional ice to make the Skol under your bed cold. “They are excellent beverage chillers,” Marini said.

    Plus, icicles can add a inexpensive and classy look to the drink. They’ll be popping up at theme parties in no time.

    Cold bean ice

    This snack is a Korean treat that includes sweet beans and fruits.  While it typically includes crushed ice,snow can be substituted.  After mixing sweet beans with the fruit of your choice and snow, pour milk over your concoction for a tasty treat.

    “It’s a cold, dairy-flavored dessert that is both sweet and healthy,” Weinburg sophomore Daniel Shin said.

    Substitute the beans for rice and add flavored syrup to create another Korean dessert, Pat Bing Su

    Other: For the creative student…

    Writing Messages

    Whether you want to display school pride, political support or your love for your girlfriend, snow is the perfect billboard that can only be topped by The Rock – but you don’t need to guard the snow for 24 hours.

    “Last year my friends and I ran around in the snow and wrote all different words,” McCormick sophomore Byron Cheng said. He declined to comment on the nature of those words. Hmm.


    These decorations can add a frosty look to your room. Tightly pack some hollowed-out mounds and place a candle inside. Make sure not to leave these lights indoors for too long, though!


    Another fun activity for those who get distracted easily is creating ice bubbles. Grab your favorite bubble set and blow the biggest bubbles you can make, watch them freeze, then splatter, in a matter of seconds.

    Because of their short life spans, though, they can only be made in the coldest temperatures. What luck, we’re in Chicago!


    The only thing that your snowy day is missing is an out-of-place animal.

    “When I was little, my dad and I made a sculpture of a dinosaur,” McCormick freshman Courtney Moore said.  “We used food coloring in a bottle to make a green dinosaur.”

    Sculptures work best in deep snow.  To create them, roll the snow into a big boulder and chip away… with your claw-like hands.

    “My friends made a giant caterpillar last year,” Cheng said.  “We lined up balls of snow next to each other.”

    Almost any animal, from a mouse to a woolly mammoth, can be created with enough artistic energy. And by artistic energy, I mean hatred of snow.


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