The days are shorter and the nights are colder. But don’t let the winter months drag you down. There are plenty of fun hobbies, both indoors and outdoors, to make this time of year more enjoyable. Here are some fun ideas the whole family can try.
Regardless of whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, snowshoeing can be a fun activity for any age or ability level. While my family as invested in snowshoes, many trails around the area offer rentals. There’s no shortage of places to try in WNY that cater to different ability levels. We went to Akron Falls last winter and it was a pretty easy walk, plus seeing the frozen falls was a fantastic sight.
2. Get in touch with your artsy side
There are so many painting and make-and-take events, it’s hard to keep track of all the artsy creations you can try, but there’s sure to be something for everyone. Buffalo Arts Studio is a great place to fuel your creativity, with classes like glass blowing, pottery, painting and more. Interested in woodworking? Try Hammer and Stain or Loaded Lumber. If you’re looking for a variety of activities to keep the kids busy, from art classes to acting, check out Kids Out and About for both in-person and virtual activities around the area. They’ll also give you ideas for free fun.
3. Learn to Cook
Whether you choose to do a home meal kit service like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh, or if you want to head out to do something in person, there are several ways to channel your inner chef. There’s no shortage of cooking classes. Maybe you need some inspiration for a meal, but you don’t feel like going out shopping. You can use a website like Super Cook or My Fridge Food to get recipes for what you already have in your kitchen.
4. Learn a new language
You can learn a new language at any age! Whether you want to brush up on the language you learned in high school, pick up a new language, or just learn a few key phrases for an upcoming vacation, there’s an app for that. Forbes listed the 10 best language learning apps for every style. If you learn better through music, there’s an app for that. If you prefer to learn through games, there’s an app for that. On the go? You guessed it. There’s an app for that too. Need more ideas? Check out this article from New York Magazine.
Maybe you’re the type of learner for whom an app really isn’t going to work, and you need the real thing. There are online classes through Zoom and prerecorded classes through YouTube. Want live one-on-one tutoring? Try Verbling or Preply. Both have dozens of languages and thousands of tutors to choose from. You can even choose from the dialect you want to learn like business Spanish, Chilean Spanish, Colombian Spanish, European Spanish, Conversational Spanish and even Spanish for students with ADHD, Asperger syndrome or dyslexia. Lessons on many of these one-on-one services with native speakers from around the world start at just $5 per hour.
5. Get ready for spring by starting a garden
Let’s be honest, once March rolls around, most of us are ready for the snow to stop and summer to be here! What better way to get ready for the warmer temperatures than starting your garden indoors. Maybe you want your green thumb to get a workout year-round with an indoor herb garden. There are so many cool options for indoor gardens. Growing up, my family always started our garden indoors, with tomato, cucumber and pumpkin seeds for the vegetable garden and snapdragons, marigolds and sunflowers for the flower beds. It was a fun family activity, from planting the seeds to seeing them sprout, to eventually transplanting them outdoors. Check out these great lesson plans for teaching kids about gardening. Here are some of the best veggies and flowers to grow from seed. Remember, not everything can and should be started indoors. Check out the planting calendar for what to plant and when for your region (believe it or not, there are several planting regions in WNY). If you’re not sure where to start or what kind of garden to try, check out this link to learn what might be right for you.