While you want a departure from the ordinary, there’s no need to go far or spend a lot. Some of the simplest ideas can net you a lot of R and R. Look for coupons and specials through services like Groupon or Amazon Local to make these little recuperative indulgences more affordable.
- Botanic Gardens or Arboretum - If you’re in need of a burst of exposure to living things, there’s nothing better than entering a lush paradise. Regardless of the season, there’s plenty growing here.
- Museums - Look for discounted admission (or free) days, usually during the week. Often overlooked during warmer weather, museums will transport you to another time and place.
- Planetarium - Put your head in the stars, far beyond inclement, cold days on Earth.
- Bowling - Weekdays are the time to find cheaper and less-crowded lanes.
- Library – Get lost in the stacks and borrow some new reading material. They often have programs and activities for children, too.
- Local concerts and performances - Support the arts and enjoy some inexpensive entertainment.
- Indoor athletics - Find a local athletic center where you can participate in indoor versions of such sports as wall climbing, ice skating or swimming.
- Arts and crafts classes - Exercise your creativity by learning ceramics, watercolor or jewelry making.
- Visit an animal shelter - Playing with and petting some furry friends will warm your heart and the animals will appreciate the company.
- Explore the city while the holiday lights are still up - Waiting until the holiday crowds have waned provides a more relaxing opportunity to take in the sights.
- Manicure, pedicure, massage or facial at a salon - A little pampering can go a long way toward rejuvenating a winter-weary spirit.
- Weekend away at local motel - Take a mini-vacation at a local motel, taking advantage of their pool, spa and other fun and relaxing amenities.
Just because it’s winter, it’s not necessarily frigid. Consider going to places you’d visit in warmer weather – they’ll be less crowded. You may need to dress warmer but there’s still lots of fun to be had.
- Park or nature preserve - Take in the sights while experiencing winter’s unique beauty. You may discover things you've never seen before!
- Zoo - Many zoos are open year-round and are great places to go to experience a change of pace and focus.
- Biking /hiking trails - How about a little exercise out in the fresh air?
- “Summer in the winter” - Throw on appropriate outerwear and do something unexpected for the season! Drink cocoa sitting in a lawn chair. Have lunch at a picnic table wearing mittens. Mixing it up like that will break you out of the winter doldrums.
The trick to overcoming the restlessness of the winter blahs is to celebrate what we can do in the season, rather than lament what we can’t. With a little imagination not much expense, we can snap out of the winter doldrums and actually enjoy the unique joys of winter.