Things we love about the cottage: Skating on the lake

While a cold, early winter might have you cursing at an extra month of boots, shovelling and salt stains, it also means you can lace up your skates for some lake skating that much earlier. A cottage on the waterfront means that come winter, you can easily have an ice rink that doesn’t need the garden hose to get started, though you might want to bring friends and extra shovels to help clear off the snow.

The cottage skating rink isn’t surrounded by plastic boards and doesn’t smell like old hockey equipment. Instead, it is a pond at the end of the driveway or a nook at the edge of the shore. It never closes, is free of reckless hockey goons (unless you’re related to the hockey goons—we can’t help you there), and snow-covered trees and winter wildlife surround it.

The lure of a campfire will eventually draw you off the ice, so you can pop down on a log and warm up after a game of shimmy.

One more bonus: the cottage skating rink has a built in beer cooler. Nothing beats a beer chilled in a snow bank after you’ve worked up a sweat on the rink. Of course, if it’s too cold, you can always head inside and warm up with hot cocoa.