Activities Offer COVID-19 Safety

Alternatives to classic fun while staying safe

Kate Rekas, Staff Writer

Since COVID-19 made a debut last spring, everything has since looked different, and seasonal activities are no exception. While in the spring, summer, and fall, it was easy to safely gather outdoors, the inevitable ‘Minnesnowta’ winter presents a new challenge. Staying home over winter break got dismal and boring, and I was itching to get out of the house.

Though the snow and colder temperatures may seem like an annoyance, I realized over break that the winter weather gives us the opportunity to try many more outdoor activities, we normally wouldn’t be able to all year round. So if remote or hybrid learning is getting old, take advantage of the winter weather while it lasts, and try some COVID safe, winter activities! 

For most, the barrier to see friends during a pandemic in the wintertime is the cold weather. Not wanting to gather indoors for safety reasons, we are left with the great snowy outdoors. My first recommendation for outdoor winter fun would be sledding, an easily accessible activity with minimal equipment needed. Sledding in a neighborhood park or possibly in your yard is a perfect and easy way to have some fun in the snow. 

Last year, with not much else to do, a friend and I wanted to sled but didn’t have sleds, so we took cardboard boxes and cut them flat, and hit the hill. Luckily, the snow was firm enough and we stayed in the park for hours. I went with the same friend over break with real sleds, and we had just as much fun, trying to stand and “surf” down the hill. If sledding isn’t exactly your speed, and you are looking to do something just as simple, schedule a walk with a friend, you could walk around a lake, bring your dogs to a dog park, or walk to pick up coffee. 

For some activities that need equipment, try skating outside. If you don’t have skates, you could find an outdoor rink that rents them. Not only is it a fun activity to do with friends, but even by yourself, to brush up on skills. I met up with a friend on the Lake of the Isles when the ice had frozen but the snow hadn’t come, the ice was perfectly glassy, and we could skate all over the lake. Find a day that’s not too cold and hop on the ice! 

Maybe you don’t have skates in your basement, but skis instead; check out Hyland or Buck Hill, both are great for getting back into skiing and are not too far away. These locations should have rental equipment available as well. Over the break, a friend and I went skiing at Buck Hill, we had a blast; talking on the chairlift and skiing down together. 

Finally, a winter staple we can’t forget is hot cocoa. Try looking up recipes for homemade hot cocoa bombs or you can bake a different winter treat. You could also drop off some treats at a friend’s house to spread some cheer, or enjoy them yourself!