When the thermometer hits a dangerous 20 below zero, it’s probably easiest (and safest) to curl up on the couch with a blanket and a good TV show to binge. No one would blame you if you did.
But, if you’re the adventurous type, or just bored out of your wits, you should know that this frigid weather offers up an opportunity for some nifty cold-weather stunts.
Turn a cup of water into steam. Here’s a classic you may have tried or seen on social media: Fill a cup with boiling water, then toss it up in the air. It’ll turn into a fine cloud of ice crystals. For a variation on this trick, try it with a Super Soaker (but DON’T aim it at anyone).
Make some “ghost noodles.” This would work with ramen noodles or just about any noodle dish with good water content (see an example here). Just cook them as usual, pile some into a deep dish or bowl, then stick a fork in them and lift up just enough so that when the noodles freeze, they make a frozen noodle column holding up your fork.
Freeze a bubble. Check out those wicked patterns:
Make a banana hammer. Freezing a banana is great if you want a regular banana later (thank you, Mitch Hedberg) or if you have some nails that need hammering. Just leave it outside for a few hours and skip that trip to the hardware store.
Make ice lights. Ice makes a gorgeous filter for outdoor lights and there are a few ways you can work something cool out of it. Try leaving a bucket of water outside for 24 hours, chiseling out an opening, then dropping in a candle. You could also freeze some water balloons, take of the balloon part, then set the ice globes on top of battery-operated tea lights.
Go watermelon bowling. This one might be fun if you’re feeling a little crafty and have a few plastic bottles left over from a holiday party. Fill the bottles about 80 percent full with water and then a couple drops of food coloring (optional). Cut finger holes in the watermelon (or any other round-ish melon), then leave them all outside to freeze for a few hours. Voila! You have a bowling ball and bowling pins for some driveway bowling.
Turn a towel into a sled. One of those things worth doing just so you can say you did it. Get a towel soaking wet and leave it outside overnight. In the morning, you have a sled. Pro tip: Use a bath sheet for an extra large sled.
Make maple syrup popsicles. Here’s a move popular at Winnipeg’s annual Festival du Voyageurs. In a saucepan, combine a cup of pure maple syrup with two eggs, a ½ cup of brown sugar (packed) and two tablespoons of butter. Warm the pan over low heat, whisking the ingredients together. Once they’re well mixed, pour the mixture into a large mixing cup, then head outside with some clean popsicle sticks.
Find some clean, fresh snow and pour the mixture into strips about six inches long, place the stick on one end, then roll the strip around the stick. You’ll end up with a tasty treat.
Make an ice carousel. This one is pretty involved but looks incredibly cool. All you need is a lake, a chainsaw, a spike, some rope and an outboard motor (and maybe a few friends):