You are here

28 Feb 2023
Related Items: 

If you’re in Mammoth right now, or are planning a trip soon, you know that we’re in the middle of a series of snow storms! In fact, we’re currently under a Winter Storm and Blizzard Warning, which means that everyone who can stay inside, should continue to shelter in place until the warning is lifted.

And, while that will eventually make for some amazing conditions on the mountain, right now, you might be wondering what to do. If you’re hunkered down in your condo with kids, this article may help! Let’s take a look at 7 activities that you can do with your family to ride out the storm.

While the internet is still working, download your family’s favorite movies

When the conditions get very snowy, it’s no surprise that you might experience some connectivity problems. Plan ahead by downloading movies and music playlists while your internet is still working.

The good news is, there’s no better setting for a family movie night than in a condo in Mammoth. Cozy up in your pajamas, pop some popcorn, and cuddle up under a pile of blankets. With the sound-proofing effect of snow outside, you’ll feel like you’re in a true at-home theater.

Make pancakes from scratch

Baking is a fantastic activity to do during a snowstorm. And, if you did manage to pick up some specific ingredients like chocolate chips and brown sugar, you’re good to go!

But, if you’re without some of the baking staples in most recipes, don’t worry. You can whip up some pancakes with the ingredients that are probably already in your condo:


  • 1½ cups flour
  • 3½ tsp baking powder (or 1½ tsp baking soda)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp melted butter 
  • 1¼ cups milk 

Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Pour in the wet ingredients and whisk until smooth.

If your pancakes are dry—remember, we’re in a dry climate even with the snow!—add more milk until you get a pourable mixture. Then, cook your pancake batter!

You can even make pancake syrup by heating equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan. The syrup will thicken as it boils, just don’t cook for more than 4 minutes! Stir in a dash of vanilla extract, and you’ve got a perfectly acceptable pancake syrup! 

Set up a snow-painting station

Take a look around your condo for a large roasting pan, tupperware, or other wide, shallow container. This is going to be your canvas.

Meanwhile, set up your paints. Ideally, you’ll want something very watery, like watered down washable kid’s paint or even a cup of water with food coloring. You’ll also need some paint brushes, but if you don’t have them, your kiddos can drip the paint onto the snow using spoons or even a turkey baster.

Next, fill your container with snow from outside. Make sure to lay down some towels to help with any snowmelt spillage. Once you’re all set up, let your little artists get creative!

Put on a shadow puppet play

Shadow puppet plays are a traditional form of storytelling from Southeast Asia that were once used to pass on ancient legends and fairytales. 

To recreate this activity, your kiddos will get creative in cutting out their characters and taping them onto popsicle sticks, skewers, or pencils. They’ll also want to think up a story, either imagined or from their favorite movie or book to act out onstage.

Then, set up your stage by hanging a white bedsheet with a bright light source behind it. This can be a lamp with the shade removed or a flashlight.

With the help of narration and moving their shadow puppets behind the screen, your whole family will enjoy the magic that is shadow play! 

Do some Mammoth math!

Maybe your kids are more interested in STEM. Luckily, you’ve found yourself in the middle of a spectacular weather event!

One fun thing that you can do with your kids during a winter storm is to measure the snow density of our current storm. All that you need is a glass container, like a mason jar, and a ruler. You’ll want to go outside (don’t venture too far!) and fill the jar with snow.

Start the experiment by measuring the height of the snow in the jar. You should also encourage your kids to guess how much water will be in the jar at the end of the experiment. 

Over the next hour, take measurements of the snow every ten or fifteen minutes. As the water melts, the snow line will go down. In general, freshly fallen snow will have 8% water density. That means that a jar filled with 6 inches of snow should melt down to only about a half inch of water (6 X .08 = .48). Once the snow is fully melted, you can find the snow density by dividing the final measurement by the first measurement you took. Move the decimal two places to the right and you’ve got the percentage of water in your snow, AKA snow density!

Another interesting thing about this experiment is that you can replicate it at different phases of the snow storm. As temperatures change, so does snow density, which will give you different results. This can also open up a conversation about the different qualities of snow! Light, powdery snow is good for skiing and snowboarding, while snow with a higher water density is great for snowball fights.

Get moving!

One of the biggest struggles for kids in a snowstorm is being stuck inside! Unfortunately, until the worst of the storm passes, outdoor play can be dangerous. Snow removal equipment, snow shed from roofs, and tree wells all pose serious threats to your family’s safety.

So, get creative about staying active inside. Put on your favorite music for a few rounds of freeze dance. Follow a kid-friendly yoga video. Make blanket forts or indoor obstacle courses (without being too rough on the furniture, please!). 

And if your family has been quietly working on crafts or puzzles, make sure to get them on their feet at least once an hour to move around and get the blood flowing. Trust us when we say that regular movement is key to warding off cabin fever!

Draw something special for the snow removal teams

We say it all the time, but our town is incredibly grateful to the snow removal teams that work around the clock to keep our roads, driveways, and walkways clear during storms.

If your kiddos like to draw and color, why not have them share their art with some of the men and women who drive the snow plows that keep our town operational throughout winter? The Visitor’s Center would be ecstatic to receive the handmade thank-you drawings you created while safely sheltering indoors.

And a big thank you to YOU for staying safe

We know that being snowed-in isn’t the ideal situation when you’re visiting Mammoth Lakes. That’s especially true when you have to find activities for the kiddos! But, we’re incredibly grateful for your efforts to follow the stay-in-place orders issued during big winter storms like this one. It keeps you and everyone safe until the worst of the weather has passed!

Looking to book once the weather has cleared? Take a look at the Mammoth Lakes lodging we have available!