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Winter warmup 

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Something feels a little incongruent with publishing this Winter Guide during a relatively mild winter. There hasn't been much snow in the first month of 2017, and a streak of days with temperatures in the upper-30's and mid-40's would fit better in April rather than a Rochester January.

Depending on what aspects of winter you like, the unseasonable weather could be a welcome surprise or a bitter frustration. We're not complaining, but we know the lack of snow throws a wrench into the plans of those looking for winter sports, and the warmer temperatures means fewer nights next to a fire.

Still, it is winter in Rochester, and that comes with some inevitable opportunities.

Something about winter makes most of us rush for comfort food, those delicious, not-always-good-for-you dishes that scratch an itch. Mac 'n' cheese has always been a popular comfort dish, but the last few years have seen Rochester restaurants take it up a notch. Writer Leah Stacy highlights some of the city's best mac 'n' cheese dishes.

Regardless of the amount of snow on the ground, winter brings out a new perspective on the natural world. Rebecca Rafferty tells the story of Earth Explorers, a City of Rochester program that engages kids with nature-oriented activities.

Those looking to get moving this winter might want to turn to Kathy Laluk's broomball story. The sport is like a cross between hockey and soccer, and has been growing into a vibrant league.

In case a bad storm does hit (you know it's going to happen) and you're stuck inside, you know you'll turn to Netflix eventually. But trying to decide what to watch is one of the hardest decisions of the day. Adam Lubitow has crafted five movie marathons using the movies available on Netflix and Amazon Prime (if you don't subscribe to Prime, you can still pay a few dollars for these movies) — all you have to decide now is the genre.

What are you looking forward to this winter? Disappointed or delighted about the weather? Let us know in the comment sections of these stories.

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