February, though a short month, has signaled some important dates of the year. Birthdays for important individuals, such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, my brother, two of our daughters and one grandson, are remembered this time of year. Some Februarys make for snowy, frigid days. Others flirt with springtime temperatures. With Christmas in the rear-view mirror, it can be a time to welcome another fun gathering.
Regardless of the weather, February is a month that became well-suited for Grabau Heritage Farm to host an event called The Arctic Blast. The Arctic Blast became a regular part of several winters when our own children still lived with us at home. Several of our friends from church gave us help as we reached out to entertain and benefit the young ones.
Music played a part of the afternoon. We led the children in the singing of songs ranging from Sunday School choruses to a fun little ditty with motions called “An Austrian Went Yodeling.”
Ladies from our church performed a delightful puppet skit. The colorful puppets engaged their audience with rapt attention. The puppet show brought joy and laughter for everyone to enjoy. It also presented a lesson from God’s Word, the Holy Bible. We played outdoors with a Treasure Hunt. The treasure was always a nice assortment of fun candies. The hunt began with a tour of the farm. We laced clues into our conversation during the tour in order to allow the children to recall them when the Treasure Hunt clues were finally read. This activity helped our young guests burn off some of their energy.
My husband, by this time of year, had emptied his stash of straw bales enough so that he could build a grand Straw House in the barn. The Straw House, highpoint of the afternoon, delighted the youngsters. And, yes, some of them did get itchy. The kids could climb and burrow their ways through the bales over and over again.
While the kids played outside, mothers kept busy in the kitchen setting up for The Arctic Blast lunch.
A typical menu for The Arctic Blast consisted of the following: Sub Zero Sandwiches (any homemade subway-style sandwich), Wind Chill-y (chile recipe below), Glacial Arctic Water with Icebergs (water tinted with blue food coloring, add ice cubes), Snowmen’s Noses (baby carrots), Polar Berries (berry recipe below), Hostess SnoBalls.
Perhaps this little idea will encourage you to try having such a party for yourself. Let it break up the long doldrums of your winter as you await the coming of spring. Remember, spring really is on the way!