Winter day fun during Ski Boot Day

Text: Essi Keskitalo Photos: Marko Mikkola

Here we go: we have dressed warmly and packed a plastic sledge in the boot. Three adults and a two-and-a-half-year-old are headed towards Merikarvia to check out the Ski Boot Day at the Krookka harbour on a Saturday in February. 

Ski Boot Day is part of the Ski Boot Week, an event coinciding with the winter break at schools. The two-week event includes miscellaneous activities for families from outdoor games to story times baking bread. The municipality of Merikarvia, the Merikarvia Tourism Association and local companies and organisations collaborate to organise these events for school children on their days off.

This is it, we are here. The parking attendant is gesturing us to drive further - the number of cars in the parking area suggests that the event is popular. The nearly three-metre-high Meriseri snowman welcomes visitors by the sea. The event has barely started, but we can see children with rosy cheeks everywhere we look.

The program contains plenty of activities to choose from!

Over the next few hours, we get to try snowmobiling and dog sledding and watch a rescue demonstration. All the playful competitions end up being particular favourites. A short stint on tandem skis turns out to be easier than expected, but tandem kicksledding is another story, particularly at the turns. We lose by a few seconds to the winners but everyone is given sweets as a consolation prize.

Coffee and grilled sausages serve to boost our energy level. After some hot juice, the youngest member of our group wants to try the sleigh-go-round, admire the handicrafts for sale at the event and watch sledging and ice skating.

Joy, smiles and new experiences

The organisers seem genuinely cheerful, even when the three-hour event comes to an end and the chilly wind continues to blow from the sea. The organisers deserve praise for making the day a fun experience. Ski Boot Day left us smiling and many experiences richer.

We are quiet on our way back home, as the busy day has zapped our energy. Our child has fallen asleep on the back seat, but the rest of us keep talking about the event. We all agree on the plan: we have to come back next year!