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The Winter Classic: winter in St Louis

Head outside for the annual NHL Winter Classic

Head outside for the annual NHL Winter Classic

Why go?

Each year on or around New Year’s Day, the NHL holds a regular-season hockey game called the Winter Classic. On January 2 2017, the game is being hosted in St. Louis, where the St. Louis Blues will take on the Chicago Blackhawks. But this isn’t just any hockey game; it’s the one time a year that the teams leave their areas and head to a custom-built outdoor rink as a sort of hat tip to the game’s pond hockey roots. And participating teams also don a retro-style sweater much to the delight of fans.

There's no promise of snow during a St. Louis January

There's no promise of snow during a St. Louis January

The weather

Hockey-goers will have their fingers crossed for snow but the white stuff isn’t always forecast. Average January temperatures range from +5 and -5 degrees Celsius but it’s not uncommon to have temperatures in the high teens. Essentially, you never really know what you’re going to get.

You'll be spending a lot of time outside so dress warm

You'll be spending a lot of time outside so dress warm

To pack

Even if you’re not tailgating for the big game, spending any time outdoors requires a little forward thinking. Pack right to be prepared for anything. Thermal wear is pretty much mandatory, so make sure you pack at least one coat that can really withstand the cold. Gloves, scarves, hats and chunky winter footwear will ensure you’re not freezing or falling over, and earmuffs are recommended too. After that, it’s up to you how you incorporate the all-important team jersey and spirit wear into your cold-weather outfit.

Stay warm with some toasted ravioli

Stay warm with some toasted ravioli

To eat

This is a city that knows how to do food that fills you up and keeps you going despite the cold. Take toasted ravioli: while an Italian may shudder at the thought of breading and frying this classic dish, they may actually find them pretty difficult to resist. Visiting a local bakery to try a slice of rich, soft and tooth-tinglingly sweet gooey butter cake should also be high up on your to-do list. And of course, we have to mention the St. Louis barbecue for the meat eaters – this city is regularly voted as one of the best in the US for grilled meat.

Don't miss the Loop Ice Carnival

Don't miss the Loop Ice Carnival

To do

It’s not just the Winter Classic that’s offering entertainment in St. Louis this winter. The Loop Ice Carnival makes the most of the chilly season with ice sculptures, children’s events and fire spinners. Just outside St. Louis in Historic St. Charles, the Christmas Traditions Festival is a fun day out.