If you're visiting a winter wonderland this holiday, you’ll be doing…well…winter stuff. Winter activities, if you may. These things you get up to in (and despite) the immaculate showers of ice, and they can be a lot more fun than you’d expect, given the hoary weather.
If you're looking for a few ways to keep busy for the rest of the season, here are 10 of the most exciting snowtime activities:
1. Winter trailing
When the first blanket of white covers the land, few people think about exploring mountain terrains when it's supposed to be family time. As a result, there are fewer crowds on even the most popular trails; any form of winter hiking is mainly for those who refuse to let some flurry keep them from staying active. In winter, a trail you’ve taken a hundred times before in other seasons can be a new venture. For some spice to your experience, you can try snowshoeing or skiing, snowboarding or sleighing, even snow tubing or ice climbing — these are all variations of fun adventures up and down snowy peaks.
2. Ice skating
Sport or pastime, skating doesn't have many rules besides keeping your balance, so in the end, it's pretty easy to get the hang of. But blading over the ice is a crucial part of winter sports, from physically intense ones like ice hockey and speed skating to aesthetic ones like figure skating. When you think it's easy enough to bore you now, you can always kick things up a notch with gameplay.
3. Ice Fishing
Fishing has always been an excellent way for people to learn how to relax and be patient, but can you keep at it as temperatures fall? During this season, surfaces of many water bodies freeze over, meaning frostbite isn’t the only thing keeping fishing enthusiasts from their fun. However, to survive, natives of North America and/or Canada learned to put a hole in the ice and navigate water hunting through it. Ice fishing, despite its serenity, is a survival game that modern technology allows us to enjoy.
4. Watch a performance
While pantomimes at Christmas are more of a British special, other countries also put on an occasional good ol’ panto that can be just as entertaining as the ones shown in London. Plays and other performances, like concerts or ballet shows, are also usually themed at this time of year to match the spirit. These are great for people who don't want to stay stuck inside their place but don't particularly want to be in the snow.
5. Christmas shopping
E-commerce makes it easy to do this on a whim and in your pyjamas, so it's easy to forget that this is another great reason to step out of your house — especially during the early parts of the season. How else would you watch the entire city react to yet another jingle coming on through the speakers? Picking out an item to buy in person helps you relish the thoughtful process of making yourself (and the people you love) happy. Even before you purchase anything, some time window shopping should be delightful as the displays this time of year are most often so glamorous.
6. Invite people over
There's no better time for company – and some snuggles, too – than Christmastime. If they're around, gather your favourite people under one roof and fill the house with the different indoor activities you all enjoy: movies, games, books, even karaoke. Anything is all the more exciting when you do them with people who excite you, and you’ll find that with enough of these invites, your bonds with them will have strengthened by the time spring rolls in and everyone prefers to get out more.
7. Indoor workouts
There's nothing like a warm and sunny day to get you out of the house in spandex, but what happens to keeping fit when the skies are grey, and you need three layers of clothes to step out at all? You can try some of the healthiest strength training moves or the most relieving stretches in the middle of your living room…and in spandex.
8. Making ornaments and crafts
The mix of holiday aesthetics and all the extra time inside is excellent for unleashing creativity. Online, you can learn how to make homemade ornaments, like boughs of holly for the halls. Or, you can try some crafts like candle making or knitting. A warm sweater or candle with a great scent will definitely make for a better yuletide. The best part to me, though, is that if you like it enough, you can stick with it even when all the snow melts.
9. Kitchen time
Still channelling the season-induced creativity, lots of time in the kitchen can lead to the curation of a sumptuous winter. Bake a cake, some Christmas bread, a gingerbread house or sugar cookies. Cook a three-course meal or just some soup. Make drinks from mulled wine or eggnog to apple cider or hot chocolate/fresh coffee. Alone or with extraordinary people, any of these activities should help keep the blues of the cold out and leave you with something delicious to devour after.
10. Personal self-care day
While almost every other thing on this list, if done right, will ease your soul and give you joy from the inside. However, specific things like a bubble bath, self-given mani-pedi, meditation time and all other explicit forms of self-care will help you throw some love at the frosty feel of winter. If the dreariness of the weather makes you feel a little gloomy, take the time to love yourself actively, and you’ll see that you can not only survive the season but also thrive.