Winter? sNOw, You Don't Have to Stay Inside

With all of this seemingly endless snow and even more endless days of winter left, it can be easy to feel confined to the indoors wishing it was 75 degrees and partly sunny in order to enjoy the outdoors. But as winter continues to drag on, finding ways to incorporate time outside (especially when the sun decides to come out) is shown to be very beneficial for both mental and physical health. Here are easy ways to spend a little, or a lot, more time outside during the remainder of winter. Enjoying the snow shouldn’t be just for kids.

When people think of outdoor winter activities, one of the most common things is ice skating. Lucky for us, there are plenty of accessible and inexpensive places that rent ice skates and have free skate often. The Oval in Roseville and The Wells Fargo WinterSkate (though this one is now closed for the season, it’s a great place in downtown open December- January) are the closest. Make sure to dress warm and don’t be afraid  to fall a few times (unless you’re a pro)!

If falling on your butt isn’t your thing, snowshoeing might be for you. It’s as easy as walking (since it pretty much is walking)! Snowshoeing is a great workout that doesn’t feel like a workout and allows people to enjoy the beauty of parks and trails without the trouble of sinking into the snow. It can be done at almost any park if you already own a pair of snowshoes, and if not, Theodore Wirth Park is the closest park that also has rentals.

If falling on your butt IS your thing, another option besides ice skating would be to simply go for a winter hike. Though ice grips for boots are recommended, half the fun is slipping and sliding up and down the trails. These trails, plus the countless more surrounding the Twin Cities, are beautiful in the winter when the trees and livelihood rest beneath blankets of snow.

A classic winter activity that shouldn’t be left out is sledding. This winter classic is still exciting, even as an adult. There are plenty of locations in St. Paul that are free, just BYOS (bring your own sled). With this also comes other classics like snowball fights, snowman or igloo building, and the requirements of hot cocoa and wrapping up beneath blankets afterwards.

Though some days it feels like spring may never come, enjoying the outdoors even in the midst of snow and ice can make for a much more enjoyable winter, as well as just reminding yourself that yes, someday, spring will come and save us all.