February gets a little long, no surprise there.

There are years when we get a reprieve from extended snow cover and temperatures rise above what we're used to. Then there's normal. Then there's 2018.

So here's a winter activity twofer that allows you and your family to get outside and enjoy the snow that we have and then have a warm and humid escape in one location.

That's the Outdoor Campus and the Butterfly House and Aquarium both located near 49th Street and Oxbow Avenue, near the Big Sioux River. The two facilities aren't related by anything other than location. But that's all you need.

The Outdoor Campus is an excellent place to learn to cross country ski or snow shoe. It's sheltered by a forest of elms and oaks and other indigenous trees. And there's two miles of groomed ski trails. That's not a ton if you're an accomplished skier, but it's not bad, and still gets you out for a bit without leaving the city.

And when you start getting cold, just shut it down and go to the Butterfly House and Aquarium where the humid eco-system that's ideal for butterflies will provide your dried and brittle skin a welcome therapy session. Plus, they've got a lovely collection of tropical fish and critters to put you in the mind of a more welcoming climate.

Sure, you have to go back outside eventually, but it's a great way to spend a couple hours on a winter weekend without moving your car from the parking lot.

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