by Denny Phillips
Frugal Ways to Beat Winter Blahs
Cabin Fever Relief
Frugal Winter Fun with Kids
With gray snow-laden skies and temperatures below zero, winter can sometimes seem endless. Often it seems the only thing to do is to settle down beside a warm fireplace with a good book. Boring! What you need are some fun ideas that won't cost you a cent to help you enjoy winter.
Have you ever thought of having a winter bonfire? You sit around a campfire in summer all the time. Consider brushing the snow off that summer fire pit in your yard and staging a winter bonfire party. Bring out some of your fireplace logs and set your patio chairs around. Invite your friends and have a wiener or marshmallow roast. Sip steaming mugs of hot chocolate (or hot toddies) and sing around the campfire. With red noses and flames a-blazing, you and your friends are sure to have a blast.
Do you love hockey but find that going to the NHL games are way too expensive? You can still indulge your love of the sport by going to minor hockey games at your neighborhood arenas. They are generally free to the public so you can sit in the stands and watch to your heart's content. You can root for your favorite team (maybe even one your grandson or a neighbor child is on) and enjoy some exciting hockey matches. You may even want to volunteer as a hockey coach to get in on more of the fun.
Instead of going paint-balling, why not have a snow-balling event? The snow is all around you, so take advantage of it. Call your friends to set up snow-forts and build ammunition. Then go to town to see which team wins. There is sure to be a lot of fun and laughter involved. (As a word of caution, wear your hockey or bicycle helmets for protection.)
Stage a snowman building competition. On a particularly snowy day, call your friends or neighbors to build a snowman in their own yards. You can sculpt the snow and create unique snowmen. Then drive around and have an impartial person judge the snowmen to see which is the best. It could be the largest one or the most imaginative or the most unique one. Then get together to celebrate the winner.
Why not go skating in your town square? Many towns and cities are now setting up free skating rinks in downtown locations for everyone to enjoy. Put on your extra muffler and mittens and take a few friends to enjoy this winter sport with you.
You can also take a winter trail hike. Find a wooded or conservation area and take a walk. You may be amazed at the quietness of the woods around you and the wild animals that you may see (like deer or winter rabbits or maybe even a fox or two). People who love nature will really appreciate this idea.
At Christmas time, try taking a walk around the neighborhood at dusk to see the Christmas lights. Many people go to extraordinary trouble to set up beautiful displays. You can pause to enjoy these wonders as you walk along getting in some extra winter exercise.
Although it may sometimes seem like it, tobogganing and sledding are not just for kids. You can get in your roller-coaster lover's thrills by joining the crowds of "sliders" on your local hills. Imagine whizzing down those icy hilly paths with the nip of the winter wind on your cheeks. What fun!
By engaging in a few of the fun activities above, winter is sure to rush along into summer. In fact, you may be having such an enjoyable time that you won't want winter to end. And the best part is that you don't have to pay anything to participate in these fun ideas.
Debt is preventing me from taking a vacation this year or the vacation I'd like to take this year! Tell us: Yes, debt is affecting my vacation plans! or No, we're going exactly where we want to go but we'd love to learn make our trip as inexpensive as possible!
Take the Next Step:
- Winter doesn't have to seem endless and boring. Try one or more of these fun winter activities that won't cost you a cent. You just may end up enjoying winter.
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