The cold weather means shorter days and bundling up, but it doesn’t have to mean staying locked indoors until spring comes. If you are in Waterloo or the surrounding area, here are a few ideas to get active in the community and make the winter go by faster!
There are lots of community centres with indoor rinks if you don’t feel like skating outdoors; however, to change up the scenery a bit, there are a few outdoor rinks in the area that may be something worth checking out. Used to play hockey? Miss skating with your family? Never learned how to skate? Well, now is the perfect time to either get back into it or learn how to. At Mary Allen Park, there is a nice outdoor community rink with lighting so you can skate at night with friends! There is also another close one at the Public Square that is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. A little bit further away is the Vermont Park outdoor rink.
Go for a Walk
This may sound simple, but when the snow comes, people typically tend to avoid walking at all costs. On a day when it’s not so cold, make plans to go get hot chocolate with your friends at a local coffee shop in Waterloo! Or if you really need a change of surroundings, head to a park. Waterloo Park is extremely close to the university and would be an easy loop to walk and talk while sipping hot chocolate with friends or alone. A little further away is Victoria Park, which is a little larger and just as pretty in the winter as it is the rest of the year.
Snowboarding or Skiing at Chicopee Ski Club
Whether you just decided to learn to ski or snowboard or have all your gear from years of experience, the closest place to get back into the groove is at Chicopee Ski Club! They have a variety of lift tickets available. If you can only handle a few hours without getting sore, go for a night lift ticket (7 p.m. to 9 p.m.) for $35 during the entire week. If you want to make a whole day out of it, go for an all-access lift ticket that gives you the entire day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. for $49 on weekdays and $54 on weekends. And if you have no clue how to ski or snowboard but want to try new things, go for a learning centre pass for $33 on the weekdays and $38 on the weekends.
Feeling like appealing to your inner child? Grab a cheap sled and hit the hills! Lucky for the Waterloo residents, there are designated hills to go tobogganing in the area. Three locations listed on the City of Kitchener webpage are as follows: Foxglove Park, McLennan Park and Hillside Park. However, when walking to school, if you see a good steep hill and it isn’t someone else’s property, knock your socks off. There are a few school fields in the area that have a small hill to them that would do the trick in a bind. And don’t forget to invite your friends!
St. Jacobs Farmers Market
Although this market has amazing stuff during spring, summer and fall, the winter season is no exception! St. Jacobs currently has a Holiday Sip n’ Shop Night Market going on from November 18th to December 2nd, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. This event costs $8 if the ticket is bought in advance of the event and it’s $10 at the door. Besides the gorgeous Christmas lights and barn buildings, they also have live music, an Artisan market and beverage sampling (you must be of age and provide ID to buy beverages). Or, if you’re just in the mood for food, visit St. Jacobs Farmers Market on a regular working day to enjoy all the fresh locally grown and made foods that will get your mouth watering.
The slump in the winter is real. Don’t let it take over this winter! These are just a few ideas to get you thinking of things to do to get yourself busy during the wintertime. Remember that it is always important to think of your mental health before anything else! If these will help you get through the winter, then I’m glad they helped.