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The holidays are coming up, this is a special time of the year and many activities take place. The only issue is, covid is still around. More variants are being discovered, more people are being hospitalized and the numbers who are infected are increasing. Although none of us want to continue to stay socially distant and wear masks, it is something we need to be doing. During the winter, many activities need to be held indoors due to how cold it is outside. The options are now limited because we still need to wear masks and even social distance. I thought it would be a great idea to come up with some safe ideas where you can still have fun this winter break! Many of these activities are obvious and small, but those are the ones that you end up having the most fun!

Baking/cooking with your family

The holiday season is the perfect time to try new recipes, we all know you have a pinterest board saved with some holiday recipes. Pinterest is the perfect spot to find new and easy recipes that you can make yourself or with family. Cooking is a great opportunity to connect with family or friends and have fun while doing so.

You can also do a gingerbread house competition if you live with a competitive family. This is one of my personal favorites, my family goes hard building gingerbread houses. Last holiday season we did a competition with my dad and I on one team and my sister and mom on another. To make things more interesting, we added a time limit. We had to finish our gingerbread house in under 15 minutes. That may seem like enough time, but let me tell you, we for sure could have used more. To make it even more exciting, you can post a poll on instagram and have your followers decide who they think made the best house. Unfortunately my family could not post our houses because we destroyed each others in the process. The same thing goes for decorating cookies, there are so many different holiday cookies out there that need decorating. This is your chance to be in The American Baking Competition!

Game Night

This is an easy way to have fun with friends and family. Who doesn’t love a game night? You can invite your friends over, but the catch is, they have to bring over their favorite game. Besides having a great time with your friends, you may learn a new game and find a new favorite that you start bringing to places. One of my favorite games to play is five second rule. This game is a good ice breaker if you don’t know everyone you are hanging out with. You get five seconds to answer a question like: name three famous bald people. If you fail to name three people in five seconds, it moves on to the next person. This allows you to have a fun competition and it does not matter who wins.

It also does not only have to be board games, you can play the wii or the switch. My townhouse and I love to play the Wii. Mario kart is a staple at any gathering, the same with just dance. Plus, the Wii has a variety of games so you will never get bored. You can stay in your little friend and family bubble, not having to worry about covid, but still have an enjoyable time.

Paint and Sip

My personal favorite….wine and paint. I do this all the time with friends at school. This is an inexpensive activity that everyone can do and there will for sure be laughter. All you need are some paint supplies, which you can get at your local craft store and a bottle of your favorite wine. (of course the bottle is for yourself, no sharing allowed!) My townhouse takes turns on who picks the painting, this way everybody gets a chance to make the painting as easy or hard as they want. It is also really fun to see how everyone’s paintings turn out because none of them look the same. This activity allows you to stay safe and surround yourself with people you are comfortable with. You can even order the supplies online if you don’t want to go to the store and they also deliver wine now!

If you don’t want to paint anymore, or painting isn’t your thing. You can always just sip and watch! (that is usually what I do)

Ice skating/skiing

What is the one winter activity your mind always goes to….ice skating! I love ice skating, this is an activity that most people enjoy. One of my favorite things to do during the winter is to go ice skating. I used to figure skate when I was younger so free skating has become one of my favorite hobbies. Where I live there is a pond down the road and during the winter they set it up to be an ice skating rink. My sister and friends would go skating on the pond almost every day over winter break. A local spot to skate at during the winter is the Empire State Plaza. This is actually one of the best spots to go skating because it is outdoors. So you do not have to worry about being indoors with covid. I went ice skating at the plaza my sophomore year at Siena and had the most fun! You also get the opportunity to take cute pictures with your friends with Christmas decorations.

Another activity to do in the winter is to ski or snowboard. Hopefully there will be more snow this year than there was last winter! Skiing is one of my favorite winter activities, I go all the time with my sister and friends. One of the best things about skiing is that once you do it a couple times, you will get the hang of it. Although this is one of the pricier activities, it can be one of the most fun. A local ski mountain that I have gone to before is Jiminy Peak in Massachusetts.

Checking out Christmas lights

The last activity that is most definitely my favorite is light seeing. This is something that can be completely free, just going around houses in your neighborhood or town. Another fun option is seeing the Capital Holiday Lights. This will be the last time to see the lights in Washington Park, so you might as well check it out this holiday season. This activity you can do with your family or friends, get some hot chocolate, put some christmas tunes on and look at the beautiful decorations.

Alexandra is currently in her third year at Siena College on the path of communications marketing. She loves hanging out with her friends, family, and playing tennis. Instagram: alexandragazdik
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