Snow days aren't quite as awesome when you're older because instead of sledding and snowball fights, your day is spent shoveling and scraping. With the icing on the cake being a house full of kids excited they're not in school.
But there's still fun to be had for grownups when the work is done. And here are seven tools that will guarantee you don't spend the next snow day just plowing your driveway.
Snowball Launching Crossbow
Grownups usually try and discourage snowball fights, but I think it's only because energetic kids are better equipped to wage a war of snow. Even the odds against those little brats with this medieval snowball launching crossbow that can hurl a frozen projectile up to 60 feet.
It helps keep your gloves dry, giving you a slight tactical advantage in the long run, even if reload times are slow. But that's just the start of your winter weapon arsenal. $30
Like the crossbow, this Snowball Blaster takes care of the launching for you, hurdling a frozen cannonball up to 50 feet. But unlike the crossbow, this blaster features a built-in mould letting you quickly churn out three snowballs at a time for a non-stop assault.
It also relies on elastics instead of electric motors, so as long as you have the energy to pull back the firing mechanism, you can rain down frozen hell on the neighborhood kids. You know you've been waiting all year for it. $30
Skiing is a great way to spend a snowy afternoon. It loses some of its charm, though, when there's no lift to get you up that hill. Which is where Skizee comes in.
Think of it as just the motorized tread part of a snowmobile that propels a skier over any terrain. But since it pushes from behind, there's still the sensation of careening down a hill powered only by gravity. The gas engine does take some of the peace and quiet out of a day spent on skis, but with this at your disposal any snow-covered surface becomes a downhill slalom course. $2,500
Small Foot Inflatable Snowshoes
There's a reason they call it a winter wonderland, and sometimes the best way to spend a snow day is by simply taking a walk around your neighborhood after it's been transformed by a heavy snowfall. Unfortunately there's nothing fun about trudging through deep snowdrifts, so a pair of these easy to use—and easier to store—inflatable snowshoes will keep you from sinking to your hips.
The inflated tube that surrounds each foot has a compact footprint, making the Small Foot shoes easier to walk in if you're not used to wearing snowshoes. But they still provide enough surface area to evenly distribute your weight so you won't disappear into the snowy abyss with one misstep. Coming early 2012
Gas Powered Snowboard
It quickly became obvious that my first attempt at snowboarding a few years ago would also be my last. But I'd be happy to give it another shot if I had this gas powered snowboard underfoot.
With a top speed of 18 mph, it can carry a 250 pound rider for two hours on just 3/4 gallon of gasoline, providing just as many thrills going uphill as going down. The throttle and tethered engine cut-off are both located on the snowboard's handlebar, which also serves to help balance unsteady riders like yours truly. $2,500
2Moto Radix Dirt Bike Conversion Kit
Snowmobiles can only be used when there's actually snow on the ground, limiting their fun depending on where you live. But with a bit of time in the garage, the 2Moto Radix kits lets you convert most dirt bikes into an all-year-round off-road vehicle that feels just as home in the powder as a snowmobile.
The powered rear tread and front ski assemblies replace the wheels on a dirt bike, essentially turning it into a motorcycle-snowmobile hybrid that looks to be just about the most fun anyone could ever have on a snow covered trail. $4,250
Flexible Flyer Saucer
But you know what? You can keep your gas powered toys and snowball launchers. As far as I'm concerned, the best way to spend a snow day is on a steep hill with a sled. And there's nothing more iconic than the round Flexible Flyer saucer.
In particular I recommend this metal version, which ensures the minimal amount of friction while you're sliding down a hill. And the inevitable dents and dings it suffers can be easily removed with just a hammer. It's not so great at turning, but speed always trumps steering when it comes to sledding, and there's nothing quite like the out-of-control thrill of tackling a huge hill on nothing but a giant metal disc. $40
Photo: Associated Press/Scott Sady