Avoiding The Winter Chill

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Indoor activities to enjoy this season

Try rock climbing at Island Rock this winter to stay active while indoors.

With the chill in the air, the snow coming down and the lack of daylight, it can be very tempting to just curl up in front of the fire or television during the winter months. However, there are plenty of things to do on Long Island that don’t require gearing up and risking frostbite—and will also help keep you from going stir-crazy. And in fact, without the distractions of yard work, vacations and pool parties, winter could provide the perfect opportunity to learn a new skill and meet new people.

Join A Book Club

Reading a book is an enjoyable activity all year round, and having a specific book to read and discuss with peers can make it that much more rewarding. Check your local library for weekly or monthly book discussions and visit www.meetup.com for possible topic-related book discussions, such as the Spiritual/Self-Empowerment Book Club of Long Island that meets in Great Neck or the Books and Cabernet club based in Huntington.

Take A Class

This season is the ideal time to learn something new and perhaps connect with others who share the same interest. Most local libraries are a rich resource for workshops, knitting groups, musical entertainment, cooking tips, financial information and even yoga classes and are either free or require a minimal fee. Senior centers such as the Glen Cove Senior Center and the Life Enrichment Center of Oyster Bay offer classes daily, either at no cost to members or a minimal extra fee, and also offer Lifelong Learning Classes for those who want more in-depth information on certain topics.

Hofstra University is another resource for seniors; the Personal Enrichment in Retirement (PEIR) Program at Hofstra is “designed for retired seniors seeking intellectual stimulation, cultural enrichment and personal growth in the context of a community of peers,” according to its website and PEIR “attracts a broad array of lifelong learners with diverse interests, talents and backgrounds.” Meetings are held monthly.

Many school districts, including Glen Cove, North Shore and Farmingdale offer continuing education classes for the community for a nominal fee.

Sur La Table in Manhasset offers cooking classes for adults on a regular basis, with themes that include a Ravioli Workshop, French Croissants 101, Sushi Party and various “Date Nights.” The calendar is available online at www.surlatable.com and registration is required.

For kids, What’s Cooking? in Oyster Bay regularly offers classes and workshops as well as camps during holiday breaks, providing an opportunity to get out of the house and learn while having fun. Visit www.whatscookingny.com for schedules and more information.

Stay Active Indoors Rock Climbing

If you want a challenge, head to Island Rock at 60 Skyline Dr., in Plainview, open noon to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Island Rock has 30-foot climbing walls, a 25-foot rappel tower, two crack climbs, a separate lead wall and bouldering cave, plus Cybex training and cardiovascular equipment. The climbing gym has locker rooms with showers plus a sauna and is suitable for all ages and experience levels. Day rates for lessons and usage are available, as are various membership packages. Call 516-822-7625.

Bowling

Bowling is always a fun activity, a way to stay social while also honing a skill. Get a group together and rent some lanes for a couple of hours of fun; there are bowling alleys all over Nassau County, including: Levittown Lanes, AMF Sheridan Lanes in Mineola, Herrill Lanes in New Hyde Park, AMF Garden City Lanes, Massapequa Bowl and Lounge, AMF East Meadow Lanes, AMF Syosset Lanes, Farmingdale Lanes and AMF Wantagh Lanes.

Glow Golf

Playing mini-golf is no longer strictly an outdoor, weather-dependent activity, and Glow Golf takes the experience to a new level. Head to Roosevelt Field for a round of Glow-in-the-Dark Mini Golf, a unique form of entertainment suitable for a family escape, date night or fun with friends. Located on the concourse level near the grand entrance by Bobby’s Burger Palace, Glow Golf is next to the play area and open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Prices for mini-golf: adults $12, children ages 5-12, $10, 4 and younger, $7, seniors, $7. Laser maze: single game, $3; two games, $5; five games, $10. Parties: $12 per person (minimum of 10 people), which includes two hours of golf, use of the party area and glow bracelets. Call 516-747-3682 for more information.

Play With The Kids

Of course, there will be days when you’re trapped in the house due to an overabundance of snow or icy roads. And if you have kids, curling up with a book is not always an option, so it’s important to have some kind of activity to do to stave off boredom (or insanity). While books, movies, Play-Doh, board games, Legos and coloring books are all necessary items to have on hand, working on a project together may help keep the interest level higher for all family members.

One idea that parents and children can have fun making this winter is a Mason jar snow globe. The cool thing about these is they can be customized as personalized gifts or decorations for the home and each one is completely unique. All you need are Mason jars in any size, glitter, small figurines, toys or other items to place inside, small plastic snowflakes and a hot glue gun.

Children will have fun designing the scene: use the lid of the jar to set the scene and glue each item in place. Add the sparkles, glitter and snowflakes to the jar and fill it up with water and glycerin, or keep it dry. Insert the inner lid and seal tightly. A simple winter scene can last all season or stock up on more jars to make special Valentine’s Day globes.

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