Sometimes winter can bring on the “doldrums” but you can help ward that off by being extra creative with your free time. If you or your kids get bored easily on blustery days, get into the spirit with some of these fun indoor and outdoor activities, some of which are inspired by generosity and a sense of purpose.
View the winter sky. Bundle up and go visit the Astronomy Site at Bromelsiek Park to see constellations and some of the brightest stars of the year. Nine telescope stations are available for viewing. The observatory building contains a mounted Celestron Telescope which is used at public viewing events, as well as the 16-in. Dobsonian Telescope.
Take a hike. Grab your boots or even snowshoes and go on a journey through the woods or across a field. Dress warm and keep track of time to prevent overtiring and frostbite. There are many parks in the St. Charles County and metro area to trek through, with great scenery and unique things to discover. Or, try Pere Marquette State Park, where bird-lovers can observe hundreds of wintering bald eagles at this Illinois park. Bring binoculars.
Write a letter to someone you miss or really appreciate. Do it the “old-fashioned” way and stick it in the mail. They’ll be surprised and thrilled.
Volunteer at a local charity. Volunteer your time and service to your favorite local non-profit organization. Charities are especially in need this year and could use any help and support you can offer. Find one that inspires you, offer your help and perhaps ask a few neighbors to help as well.
Grab your skates. Go ice skating indoors at the St. Peters Rec-Plex, or outdoors at Steinberg’s Skating Rink in Forest Park.
Visit the Saint Louis Zoo. During the winter months, arctic and cold climate animals may be more active, and indoor exhibits are easier to view because of smaller crowds.
Build an igloo or snow fort. On a day when the snow is suitable for packing, use a plastic container for building a snow fort, making sure to stagger the blocks for support.
Hold a movie marathon. Invite friends over, have them bring their pillows or beanbag chairs. Don't forget the hot chocolate and popcorn. To take your mind off winter, give it a beach theme and choose summery or vacation themed movies.
Put on a show. Make up funny skits with siblings or friends, then put on a show for parents and neighbors. Or, showcase your best talents and host a talent show. Be sure to videotape for fun family memories.
Unclutter your space. Go through bedroom closets, toy rooms, the basement, and garage to find no-longer needed items to donate to the Goodwill, a local non-profit or family in need.
Visit the library to settle in for a quiet read, do some interesting research, or gather some books, music CDs, audiobooks, videos, and computer games to enjoy at home. Libraries are even offering an assortment of board games to check out.
Work a puzzle. This is the perfect indoor activity for relaxing while exercising your brain. Before you begin, cut a piece of wood or cardboard a little larger than the dimensions of the puzzle. That way, if it takes a while to complete, you can store it out of your way.
Form a Virtual Book Club. Find a local book club to join or form your own with friends or family. Take turns choosing the books and use an app like Zoom to meet on a regular basis.