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Activities to overcome wintertime

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

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.