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Skis and boards make for a hellacious season.

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It's all downhill from here: The slopes at Brandywine.
  • It's all downhill from here: The slopes at Brandywine.

12/23 - 3/15

Holidays got you down? Ready to smack somebody -- anybody -- upside the head? Brandywine Ski Resort offers some stress-busting downtime with several skiing and snowboarding options. And if most of your days are occupied by running from this store to that in search of one of those dancing Elmos, there's always late-night action to be found: The slopes are open till 9:30 p.m. (and, starting next week, till 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays). And don't fret if you've never strapped on a pair of skis before; lessons are as easily found as fresh-packed (or synthetic) snow on the 79-acre grounds. "The beginner can practice a lot there," says Cliff Lewis of the Cleveland Suburban Ski Club. Brandywine (which was recognized last year by the National Ski Patrol for fielding the nation's Best Alpine Ski Patrol) also has kids' extreme-sports contests and adult-racing leagues on tap for this season. The slopes (at 1146 West Highland Road in Sagamore Hills) are open most days from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. through mid-March. Lift tickets are $22 to $39, and equipment rental ranges from $22 to $25. Call 800-875-4241 for more information. -- Matt Leavitt

Cold Discomfort

SUN 12/26

At Sunday's Snowshoe Clinic, you'll learn "the importance of balancing and weight transfer," says spokesman Paul Motts. And don't wear cotton, he advises. "You'll get cold, wet, chilled, and clammy." It starts at 9:30 a.m. at the Winter Sports Center (on Truxell Road in Peninsula). Fee is $10 (equipment rental is separate); call 216-524-1498. -- Lucy McKernan

Post-Holiday Chill

SUN 12/26

Sunday's Let It Snow! program includes a two-mile hike, s'mores, and hot chocolate -- a tranquil way to spend the day after Christmas. It happens at 2:30 p.m. at Garfield Park Reservation (off the Broadway Avenue entrance in Garfield Heights). Admission is free, but reservations are required; call 216-341-3152. -- Michael Gallucci

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