Activities to overcome wintertime

Published: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 11:05 a.m. CDT

Winter has been hard on everyone, and can be especially hard when it comes to finding entertainment. Outdoor activities can be expensive, but there are a few activities that can be both fun and cost effective:

• Sledding: it is the obvious choice, but there is a way to gain speed using a common household item — soap. Soap under a sled means less traction. Apply some and enjoy the ride.

• Snowball fights: no matter how old you are, a snowball fight can be enjoyable. For those with kids, it gives you an excuse to act like a kid, but for those without them it does not matter. Go have a snowball fight with a significant other. You may be surprised how much fun it is.

• Movies: a movie can be a quick get away from the cold. With so many options from Capitol II to Family Video and Netflix, there is no reason why you should not have a movie day or night. The Capitol II Theater will soon show the much-anticipated movie “Oz The Great and Powerful.” Family Video has an assortment of free movies for children, and Netflix just added a wide range of Disney and Don Bluth films.

• Window shopping: It can be hard at times, but window shopping can be a great adventure. If boredom sets in, go out and gather gift ideas. It is never to early to start thinking about a gift for that one relative who has everything. The only hard part will be to avoid buying what you see.

• Cooking: a great family activity can be as simple as making a meal. Who does not like to eat fresh baked cookies right out of the oven? But this time, make it a group activity. If the cookies are ready to bake, buy some frosting and have a cookie decorating party. Add some sprinkles and candy to add a personal touch.

• Take winter pictures: Winter may seem cold at times, but it can also provide some interesting photographs. Go out to one of the many Newton parks and take a walk and snap some photographs. You can even make a snow angel.

• Snow building: Building a snowman can be fun, but there are other things to build besides a snowman. Go all out and make a snow fort. Using food coloring and some effort, one can also build a snow sculpture.

• Make a bird feeder: bird feeders can be easy and fun to make. One simple bird feeder involves tying pine cone covered with peanut butter to a tree. Another simple bird feeder involves inserting sunflower seeds in an apple. Many stores sell apple hangers for birds.

• Read a book: as simple as it sounds, reading a good book on a cold day can provide for some great entertainment. Add a warm blanket, a warm fireplace with some hot cocoa and the atmosphere is set. For those with children, make a fort with pillows, couch cushions and a blanket. It may seem silly at first, but to a child, it can make a difference.

More News

National video

Reader Poll

What are your thoughts on illegal drug use and distribution in Jasper County?
t's completely out of hand, more needs to be done about it
It's pretty bad, but no worse than anywhere else in Iowa
It's getting better than it was 10-15 years ago
It's not really a problem here
Unsure