It seems like months since we’ve seen grass (maybe because it has been). Now that the green stuff has finally appeared, we should take advantage of it. I know I’ve been dreaming of this day for quite some time now. Don’t get me wrong, I love winter and the snow, just not so much of it and not for quite as long as we had it this year.

In case you haven’t been planning for this day like me, I’ve compiled a list of things to do with this recent warm weather change. These may not all be fun suggestions, but you still might find them useful.

Go Downtown – Get the kids out of the house and take a ride on A Carousel for Missoula, run around Dragon Hollow and grab a bite to eat one of the many delicious eateries downtown.

Hoof it – Run, hike, ride a bike, jump on a horse or walk that dog down any one of Missoula’s trails. You’ve been waiting for the piles of snow to melt and it finally has, so take advantage of it.

Clean it up – Now that the snow has melted, you can finally see what’s been hidden under it for the past few months. This isn’t a fun suggestion, but a necessary one. It’s time to clean up the leaves that didn’t get raked up before winter came and scoop the dog poop that’s been smashed under the snow.

Play some ball – It doesn’t matter what kind of ball it is, soccer, baseball, basketball, football, rugby… the list goes on. Grab yourself, your kids, your friends, your kids’ friends, your neighbors, anyone and everyone and throw together a game and play.

Shut it down – Turn off those pesky but convenient electronics that have turned your kids into zombies this winter and kick them outside. Let them get dirty, wet and muddy. It doesn’t matter what they’re doing as long as they’re enjoying the outdoors.

Wash it – Give your car its first bath of the new year. It’s been a while since the water in the hose wasn’t frozen. Take advantage of free flowing water and give your car a little TLC. You can get a little exercise outside and end up with a clean car. If you really want to go crazy, you can clean the inside too.

Joy Larson is a mother of four boys, graduate of the University of Montana, animal lover and writer.