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Tour Missoula's three award-winning breweries. Our suggestion: Start with the Slow Elk at Big Sky (5417 Trumpeter Way), then travel south to grab a Doppel Bock at Bayern (1507 Montana Street) and end with a Cold Smoke at Kettlehouse (602 Myrtle Street). Consider hiring a designated driver.
Wear your best platform shoes and knock back the pints at the Whitefish Winter Carnival Disco Party. This year's citywide celebration—including the grand parade—is scheduled for Feb. 5–7.
Educate yourself about single-malt scotch. Suggested starting point: The Rhino (158 Ryman Street) stocks roughly 50 different single-malts.
Toast in the New Year at the Northern Lights Saloon in Polebridge. Getting there can take a while, but the stories last forever.
Play Polish Horseshoes, aka Snowbee
Snowmen melt, but victory lasts forever. That's why, if you're looking for a new way to frolic in the snow this winter, you should drop the carrots and coal, call your buds, and try the addictive winter drinking game often called Polish Horseshoes. (We prefer a name less derogatory, like, say, "Snowbee.")
What you'll need:
Two ski poles
Lots of beer
How to play:
Stick the ski poles in the snow, 25 feet or so apart.
Place an empty beer bottle or can atop each pole.
Split up into two teams of two, and stand behind the poles.
Throw the Frisbee back and forth, trying to knock the beer bottle off the poles.
Three points for hitting the beer bottle, two for hitting the ski pole and causing the beer bottle to fall off
The receiving team can negate points by catching the Frisbee or beer bottle. If a Frisbee hits a beer bottle, but the receiving team catches the bottle, the throwing team only receives 2 points. If the receiving team catches the beer bottle and the Frisbee, the throwing team only gets 1 point.
You must be holding your beer at all times.
Play to 11. Loser has to do something cold and funny.
Six ways to spend the season indoors
Ride the waterslides at Currents. The indoor pool at McCormick Park features two fantastic indoor slides and a whirlpool. Note: Weekend crowds can be intimidating.
Try Bikram yoga. The key here is the heated room. And, we suppose, the two breathing exercises and 26 asanas central to Bikram yoga. Missoula Bikram Yoga is located at 211 N. Higgins Avenue.
Witness the greatness of Anthony Johnson. Missoula may be a football town, but the current point guard at the University of Montana is on pace to become the next great Griz. Considered the best player in the Big Sky Conference, the senior started the season averaging 22.3 points, 4.7 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game. The Griz host Northern Arizona and Northern Colorado Dec. 4 and 5, respectively.
Turn up the heat in your house and host a beach party. We suggest beach balls, tiki torches, drinks served with little umbrellas, mandatory bathing suit attire and—here's an important thing—establishing a coat room.
Take in four movies at the theater in one day. In Missoula, this involves the Carmike 10 or Village 6, and generally requires missing any three-hour epics. But, this weekend you could hit the 12:20 matinee of 2012, the 4 p.m. show of The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Where the Wild Things Are at 7 and A Christmas Carol in 3-D at 9:50. Just keep an eye on the popcorn intake.
Watch teeth-shattering hits at a Maulers game. Missoula's resident minor league hockey team features some legitimate young talent, plus two freaks of nature: 6-foot-9 defenseman Sean Sanford and 6-foot-6 forward Jake Schutte. The Glacier Ice Rink offers thrillingly close vantage points to the action.
Five practical possibilities for improving your karma
Actually shovel your sidewalk. Then shovel your neighbor's.
Pick up the dog poop in your yard. It's easier when it's frozen.
Write a love note. If you're lonely, write a note to the Indy. We'll always love you. Well, most of you.
Donate your old winter coat to the Poverello Center. Make sure the item's clean, and help keep someone warm this winter. The Pov's located at 535 Ryman Street.
Replace all your Christmas lights with new LED lights. The LED are more expensive, but they reportedly save 80 percent more energy.