There’s no question that this grueling winter is getting to all of us. With perhaps the exception of the southwest and ironically Alaska, the continental US has been under siege from arctic blasts and back-to-back blizzards. With March’s roaring arrival, it seems that the cruel winter of 2015 isn’t over yet. If you can’t get away to Hawaii, here are a few things you can do to pass the time until spring makes its appearance.
1. Resistance is Futile - Instead of staring sadly out the window as the snow piles up, bundle up and get out there. Rediscover your inner child by building a snow fort, sledding, tobogganing, ice skating or cross country skiing. Try out a modern pair of snow shoes. You’ll be surprised how much fun and what a great workout snow shoeing can be. (Spoiler alert - they don’t look like tennis rackets that you strap to your feet.)
2. Winter Retreat - Retreat from winter for a quick vacation. Head to ski country or even out to the seacoast and commiserate with friends in front of a fire over mulled cider. Check those travel sites for a last minute deal!
3. Get Physical - Want to go out, but would rather avoid the snow? Tennis, racquet ball, basket ball and hockey are all great indoor winter sports. If you don’t want the workout, look for an indoor water park. It might sound crazy, but it can be crazy fun for you and the kids and it feels like summer indoors.
4. Bored? How about Board Games? - Known by some as the “analog” version of today‘s video games, these games can provide you and yours with hours of fun. From Scrabble to Monopoly, chess to checkers, Risk to Clue, Battleship to Stratego, there’s a game out there for everyone. Want to move around some? There’s always Twister.
5. Be Crafty - Watched too much TV already this winter? Nothing passes the time and encourages creativity like craft projects. Once a niche activity, craft stores like Michael’s, Hobby Lobby and Jo-Ann Fabrics, to name just a few, have everything you need to challenge the skills and imaginations of the whole family. While they may be old fashion, crafts not only pass the time, they build skills and encourage patience.
6. Binge Watch - A more recent phenomenon made possible by Netflix, Amazon, HBO Go and others. Catch up on “Game of Thrones” or “Madmen” before their new seasons begin in April. Feeling nostalgic? How about a season or two of Seinfeld or Friends or enter the black and white world of the Twilight Zone.
7. Go Large - Get away from the all those little screens and get out to the movies. If you haven’t seen a blockbuster movie in IMAX you don’t know what you’re missing. Or, for a different change of pace, check out a play at your local theatre.
8. The Joy of Reading - Here’s my favorite. Winter is a great time to catch up on reading and encourage your children to do the same. A weekly trip to the library to find a new book can lead to a lifetime of reading and a lifelong memory of times shared together. Encourage children to write and illustrate their own books. Maybe you could write one too.
9. Treat Yourself - Last but not least, think about a spa day as a way to relax and unwind. If you’re tired of the gym, now’s your chance to try yoga. Sign up for a beginner’s class to see what it’s all about. Don’t want to bend and stretch but looking for a little peace of mind? Consider signing up for Transcendental or Mindfulness Meditation and see what all the hype is about.
Whatever you do, be patient. Mother Nature may move at her own speed, but spring starts on Friday March 20th and no one can take that away from us.