It looked as though a blizzard had let loose Thursday on the playground at Horace Mann preschool. Ten tons of snow smothered what had once been a patch of dry grass, and ice stuck to the length of a spindly tree.
But overhead, blue sky peeked through some wispy clouds, and the thermometer registered 51 degrees.
The anomaly didn't stop Horace Mann students from charging the powdery white heap, where they were soon frolicking like a scene out of "Charlie Brown's Christmas."
"I got it on my tongue," 4-year-old Aidan Means said before dashing off to start work on a snowman.
The snow scene was part of the preschool's annual Winter Week celebration, a long-running tradition in which the students explore the joys of the winter season. It includes a winter wonderland picnic where the yard is decorated with paper snowflakes, a movie day and ice-melting activities.
But the highlight of the week is Snow Day, where the Horace Mann Parents Assn. pays to truck in tons of snow, transforming the playground from a traditional schoolyard to a winter paradise.