IF MOONS HAVE NAMES... such as Harvest Moon and Strawberry Moon, and seasons do, too, why shouldn't particular fortnights, or three-week spans, also get some sort of helpful handle to signify what part of the year they happen to cover? Some would be quite easy: Call the first two weeks of December "Holiday Run-Up" and the last week in August and first week in September "School Start" (prosaic names, both, but perhaps the poets among us can think of something as lyrical as "Harvest Moon"). But here's a small quandary: What would one call the very end of February and beginning of March? It's after Valentine's, but before the spring break rush, before the Final Four, and before St. Patrick's Day.
IT'S STILL WINTER, but late winter. It's a time that needs some love, or, at least, something fun to do, and for less money (given that we're saving for summer vacations). Why don't we call it Last Chance for Snow, and honor that by heading for the mountains to play in the cold stuff before crocuses bloom. Mammoth Mountain wants to help us there, even if that period is truly not the last chance (skiing, depending on the weather, can stretch into spring). The Sierra-based resort has a deal on from Feb. 22 through March 15 where "kids 12 and under ski and stay free at Mammoth Mountain." That's pretty dang clear.
ALSO CLEAR? That Woolly's Tube Park and SnowPlay Area is getting in on the frolicsome action by giving young midweek visitors an extra hour of free time swishing down snowpack. And, and, and... kids ages 5 to 12 can nab $35 lift tickets through the rest of the year (well beyond that late February into early March period). If you want to get the family into some snow, and still save for whatever you have brewing for the summer, take a peek at the mountainside deals. Snow's still snow, whether it arrives with the excitement of a November opening day or just before the start of spring. And a deal is a deal, always, and always welcome.