If there is one thing the COVID pandemic has taught us, is to explore the outdoors more and find joy in the little things. With that in mind, there are plenty of great winter-time activities that are easy on your wallet and full-fledged in terms of fun!
While most people associate winter sports with skiing and snowboarding, there are so many sports, you can discover that don’t require expensive equipment. There are also programs and discounts available to allow you a chance to experience mountain sports without breaking the bank.
Skating is an old childhood favourite! Whether you are new to the sport or an old pro, it’s a great way to get fresh air, work up a sweat, and enjoy nature.
- Try out a new rink | Discover your local outdoor rinks, a neighbouring city’s rinks or even a forest trail like the one at Arrowhead Provincial Park in Huntsville, Ontario. The best part is these are usually free or accessible for a very low price.
- Look for used skates | You will be surprised at the excellent condition of ice skates available at second-hand stores or on online groups. Schools often organize an exchange program, as do some communities.
This is one for the books and one winter sport that might quickly become your very favourite.
- Social distance-friendly | Not only is ice fishing a great activity to do in a group, but it’s also a social distance-friendly sport. Set up your chairs safely apart, and don’t forget to bring the hot cocoa.
- No equipment necessary | Not sure what or how to start. Make new friends, head out onto the ice and ask an ice fisher if you can observe. Fishermen love to share their passion, and you can bet they will be pleased to chat with someone who is sincerely interested.
You don’t need to live in the far North to experience the joy and exhilaration of dogsledding.
- No need to travel far | Many neighbourhoods offer a winter festival, including dog sledding.
- Discounted experiences | If your city has suspended its winter festivals amid the pandemic, try an online group site for a discounted personal experience. It’s one you are not soon to forget!
There has never been a better time to get creative, connect with friends, and make the most of virtual activities through video conferencing.
While we can’t enjoy a home full of our friends for game night, we can still enjoy the same degree of joy and entertainment over Zoom or the like.
- Go old school | Rediscover the joy of old school social games like charades or pictionary. Have everyone prepare their favourite snacks and drinks, grab a large whiteboard and pens, and get ready for some serious belly laughs!
- Try something new | Share your screen or play a virtual group game available through such apps like HouseParty. What you play exactly doesn’t really matter. It’s all about spending time with your favourite people, doing your best to enjoy the simple things in life. Not to mention it doesn’t cost a thing!
Host A Party
Not into games? There are so many opportunities to get together and share in some joy and encouragement.
- Cook A Meal | Start a monthly cook night with your friends. Send everyone your favourite recipe a week ahead of time, choose a bottle of wine you can all enjoy, and spend some quality time cooking with each other virtually. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive.
- Pick A Theme | Maybe your group of friends just prefers a chat. Pick a theme like Star Wars or Winter Wonderland. Decorate, dress up, create a cocktail. The possibilities are endless. Just ensure you all enjoy yourselves; it’s the only requirement.
Think outside the box
Sometimes, we can feel extremely bogged down by the confusion and unrest of the current climate. Thinking outside the box can make having fun a breeze.
Write It Down
A list might seem rigid and boring, but that all depends on what is written down.
- Outdoor Bucket List | Make an outdoor bucket list. Write down your favourite winter activities, those you have never tried but want to, and even a few that you wouldn’t normally consider. Look for moose, wind glide on a frozen lake, or make maple tire in your own backyard. Roll a dice, flip a coin, whatever works so long as you enjoy it.
- Indoor Bucket List | There’s no better time than a lockdown to get your home projects done. From cleaning to decorating to renovating, plan it out the best you can and thoroughly enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done.
There’s no better time to work on your relationships than the present.
- Date nights | Bring back date nights. Once a week, take time for you and your partner to reconnect. If time is an issue, try a couple of mini-date nights every week. On one night, take a 15-minute walk together. On another night, watch a movie and grab some takeout.
- Nourish Friendships | While you can’t have friends over in many areas, you can usually walk together 2 meters apart. Set up a few one on one walks to nourish your friendships. Take turns, grabbing the coffee or making a hot adult drink. Once every few weeks, plan a group walk in a local forest, bring the kids and the partners. The fresh air and the emotional wellness will solidify your relationships.
Winter has an endless amount of great experiences to offer. Whether we dress warm and get outside or take advantage of the comfort of huddling indoors by a roaring fire while the snow falls outside our window, look for the joy alone and together.