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From 'Battle of Snomicron' to cold-loving pandas, snowstorm also brings chance for fun across DMV

From a snowball fight on the National Mall to a family of playing pandas ... along with the flurries, a little bit of fun blew in with Monday's storm.

WASHINGTON — Flurries turned into heavy snowfall in the early morning hours on Monday, waking many Washingtonians, Virginians and Marylanders with a snow-globe winter wonderland, especially if a commute wasn't in play for day. 

Of course, the first big snow of the season gets even the most warm-weather-lovers a little nostalgic for childhood snow days or getting curled up on a couch with hot cocoa. 

Here's a sampler platter of some ways to have a little fun as the snow coats the D.C. area. 

PLEASE NOTE: Officials across the area are warning of poor road conditions, encouraging locals to not drive if possible. You should only venture out to enjoy the snow if you can get to a close-by destination and back safely. 

In addition, there are many road closures, as well as bus route cancellations across the area. Click here to view WUSA9's live blog with up-to-the-minute updates.

RELATED: #SnowDay: More than 6" of snow possible, with 8-12" possible in Southern Maryland/Central Virginia areas | Get radar, forecast here

Join in a beloved tradition: Snowball fights on the National Mall

This year's event, dubbed the "Battle of Snomicron" and hosted by the Washington DC Snowball Fight Association, will get started at 3:30 p.m. Monday and continue on through dusk. Fighters can join in the fun at the Smithsonian Castle.

Where to get your sled on

"You’re never too old for sledding!" Montgomery Parks announced, and here at WUSA9, we have to agree.

Here's what the park system suggests as the best hills.

  • Avenel Local Park
  • Ayrlawn Local Park
  • Damascus Recreational Park (hillside near tennis court parking lot on Kings Valley Road)
  • Hillmead Neighborhood Park  
  • Long Branch-Wayne Local Park (off University Blvd.)
  • Norwood Local Park
  • Pilgrim Hills Local Park
  • South Germantown Recreational Park (hill behind Field F and hillside between Mooseum and TennisPlex)
  • Stratton Local Park
  • Tilden Woods Local Park
  • Woodacres Local Park

However, it's critical to keep safety top of mind, said Director of Montgomery Parks Mike Riley: “We encourage everyone to be safe and use caution while sledding because snow can hide rocks, limbs, and other hazards.”

Hazards are also to blame for why sledding isn't welcomed Monday in another popular spot: Capitol Hill.

WUSA9 reporter Mike Valerio shared that families are being told by Capitol snow teams to stay off the hill because of heavy snow snapping some tree branches.

If you're looking for a sledding hill near you, Google Maps is a good place to start. Go ahead and search for sledding hills and the name of your area for suggestions sourced through reviews from your neighbors.

Credit: Heather Cabral
Brooklyn celebrating her first birthday in the snow in Fulton, MD! Credit: Heather Cabral

Fun from home

If your favorite way to spend a snow day is by not moving too far from your couch - or if you can't get out safely - enjoy the season's first snowfall by living vicariously through the pandas at the National Zoo! 

You can watch them have a blast in the snow (when they aren't taking a break inside) on the live panda cam while you stay warm.

Click here to check it out. 

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