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With more than 45 inches of annual snowfall statewide, Wisconsin offers plenty of winter recreation, from skiing and snowboarding to snowmobiling, ice fishing or mushing a dog team. State parks and other public lands are quieter without the summer crowds; and the views are unblocked and spectacular.
Winter 2002 is also the ideal season to explore museums, indoor water parks, breweries and wineries, and bed and breakfasts. The Wisconsin Department of Tourism lists events and ideas for kicking cabin fever. See TravelWisconsin.com or call (800) 432-8747.
The ice won't last forever, of course – except at the largest ice arena in the nation, the Pettit National Ice Center in Milwaukee, where ice-skating is offered year-round (414) 266-0100 or Pettit National Ice Center. The Pettit is large enough to hold two football fields and has been a practice ground for Olympians like Bonnie Blair and Dan Jansen.
Meteorologists with college degrees may tell you different, but the real predictor of spring's arrival is Jimmy the Groundhog, Sun Prairie's celebrity weather rodent. Jimmy makes his prediction on Feb. 2, Groundhog Day: If he sees his shadow, there will be another six weeks of winter. If he doesn't see his shadow, spring is just around the corner. For 10 years, young James has had about an 80 percent success rating.