If you’re a parent of one of the many children who didn’t have to trudge off to school Tuesday because of the major snowstorm, and you’ve already exhausted all of your options to avoid going stir crazy indoors, it may be time to grab a sled and step outside.
Luckily, a group of local mothers can tell you exactly where to go.
Community Kangaroo, a collaborative website that tracks and logs family-friendly activities around the state, has been building a map of some of the best sledding spots in the Boston suburbs for the past few years.
To date, the team of 18 mothers who contribute to the website has amassed dozens of locations where little ones — or not-so-little ones — can shred some powder. The suggestions are based on input from residents in the communities where each hill can be found and covers a wide swath of places from Boston to Worcester.
“It can be hard to know where an open hill is to sled,” said Sharon Aigler, a Millis resident and mother of three who founded Community Kangaroo in 2015. “Also for people who have a favorite hill, a lot of times they want to try something else. Maybe they have outgrown their favorite hill or want some variety.”
The interactive Sledding Map sorts each sledding location into three color-coded categories, so parents can figure out which area works best for their kids.
There are “Small Hills,” which are marked in purple and described as “perfect for pre-K” and those just getting their boots wet; “Large Hills,” which are marked in green and aimed at sledders of varying experience and age; and “Intense Thrill” hills. The latter are marked in red and are mostly former ski slopes — hills that are “not for the faint of heart,” the website warns.
When a user clicks on one of the color-coded icons, which are scattered around the state, it pulls up the site’s address as well as additional information about its particular features.
For example, a purple spot in Stoughton is listed as a “great little toddler/learning hill.” And in Marlborough, sledders can find an “Extreme hill.”
Be warned: The map also comes with a disclaimer. Because it was built based on information gathered from online groups and through word-of-mouth, Community Kangaroo reminds parents bringing their children to any of the locations pinpointed on the map to be cautious when exploring each spot.
“We can’t ensure accuracy or safety, and have not independently verified permission on private property,” the website says. “Sled at your own risk.”
Aigler, a former high school teacher, said the map can be helpful to parents because sledding isn’t something that’s advertised like a business. You either know where the spots are, or you don’t.
Putting the locations all in one place also eliminates the hassle of driving around until you find the right location for your child.
“There are lists of sledding hills out there, but they cover just the big ones,” Aigler said. “So we try to cater to everybody.”
The website, which covers about 60 towns, is always accepting new additions to its map.
If sledding isn’t on your family’s to-do list this winter, Aigler said Community Kangaroo offers a plethora of alternatives, including dates and times of fairs, festivals, and other events, and a map of where the best Christmas and holiday lights can be found.
“The strength of the website is the team of moms scattered throughout the suburbs,” Aigler said. “And when they’re all finding information right near them, then we get some great work done.”Steve Annear can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.