Every year, the harsh reality of winter sets in, and over the coming months much of the United States bundles up. With shorter days, plummeting temperatures and cloudy skies many of us have the urge to burrow under a blanket, but inevitably cabin fever sets in and we force ourselves to venture out. The cold has a unique way of bringing people together, there is a twisted sense of solidarity knowing that others are freezing too.

Mark Twain famously said, "everyone talks about the weather but no one does anything about it," however communities are increasingly developing programming for 4 seasons. Ignoring the long arctic months, other than the brief holiday season, is not sustainable socially or economically. With Soofa’s sensor enabled products, we’re able to help cities calculate the ROI on their winter efforts.

Cold weather and happiness experts, the Danes, embrace hygge, a word that has recently entered the English lexicon. Hygge is the concept of creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. Whether it be the glow of a candle, a smile from a stranger or a cup of hot cider, we’ve come to love this togetherness, enjoyment and coziness and have put together a list of our 8 favorite hygge inducing activities.

  1. SnowGlobe Music Festival - An outdoor music festival in South Lake Tahoe and California's biggest NYE event.

2. Little Box Sauna

A mobile sauna in Bloomington, MN with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

3. Washington DC Snowball Fight Association - a loosely organized Snowball Fight Association that tries to hold one giant snowball fight each winter.

4. Red Bull Crashed Ice - “The fastest sport on skates” ice skaters racing down luges and over jumps while suited up in hockey gear.

5. Frozen Turkey Bowling - Self explanatory and part of Icebox Days in International Falls, MN.

6. Ugly Sweater Runs

The most festive 5Ks of the season, all about having fun and breaking out your favorite ugly Christmas sweater.

7. Ice Castles - Every winter, the Utah-based company Ice Castles selects a handful of cities for its team of “icicle farmers” to erect its massive, surreal ice worlds.

8. Frostival - a weekend of games and activities during the deepest, darkest part of winter in Fargo, ND.

Worldwide authority on enlivening cities and building great public spaces, Danish architect Jan Gehl notes that activities like these have expanded the season of “good” weather from six to ten months saying, “cultures and climates differ all over the world, but people are the same. They will gather in public if you give them a good place to do it.”

And remember, there is no bad weather, only bad clothing.


Curious to learn how two business improvement districts on opposite coasts are using our benches and data?

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