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9 Fun Indoor Adventures to Beat the Winter Doldrums

By Patty Grasher February 07, 2024 Hobbies

If you are a bit tired of “Let it snow, let it snow” or “Raindrops keep falling on your head,” it might be time to bring some virtual sunshine into your day. Join me with a steaming cup of coffee or stir a bit of honey into a cup of tea and let’s get started on some fun indoor adventures.

Each of these activities is free, you can do them any time, and they can be easily broken up into 10-minute, snack-sized adventures.

Virtual Library Educational Adventures

Explore all the benefits of your local library from home.

Learn Something New

This can be as simple and fun as learning a new game or as challenging as learning a new software program. If you have a library card many libraries now offer free resources for learning almost anything.

My favorite go at the library is LinkedIn Learning which offers video courses to develop “creative, technological and business skills.” Last count they offered 16,000 online courses, and they continue to add 30 to 70 news ones every week. Each course is done in short time segments of five or 10 minutes that make it easy to learn one concept at a time.

I’ve used these courses to brush up on desktop publishing, bookkeeping and simple photography skills.

The library also offers other educational resources for help in learning a second language, digging into Genealogy research and basic education skills for any age.

Plus, They Offer Digital Magazines

If you can’t afford all the magazine subscriptions you would like or want to lower your carbon footprint, this is a great resource.

And Digital Newspapers…

I have to say that for me the library is an amazing source to pursue an indoor adventure.

Book Adventures

Choose Something Different

Do you tend to read the same type of books over and over. Jump off the literary dock and try a book totally different. It’s a great way to stay sharp and expand your horizons.

You Could Also Join a Virtual Book Club

Libraries are one source to find clubs (virtual and in person) but also check out Senior Community Centers, local City Calendars, and organizations. Don’t forget bookstores as many of them have clubs to join virtually as well as in person. BookClubs.com lists many book clubs to join or guides you to start your own.

Virtual Trips

Today there are many ways to explore places and sites around the world without stepping out the door.

You can take time to enjoy a virtual tour to prepare for planned in-person trips or simply enjoy places you may never get to but want to know more about.

Start with some of the major ones listed below or search for hundreds of others by typing “virtual + museum” or another search term.

Museums: National Women’s History Museum, British Museum, Vatican
History: Smithsonian, American Revolution, House of European History
Nature: National Parks USA, Botanical Gardens, Nature Conservancy
Science: NASA, German Maritime Museum, Science History Institute
Art: Detroit Institute of Art, Georgia O’Keefe, Getty Museum, Louvre

Check out virtual tours in your own location; you will be surprised how many there will be.

Cooking Adventures

Try cooking a new recipe, a different type of vegetable, meat, or pasta. Go deep and try cooking a different ethnic recipe. You can find complete cooking instructions for all types of cooking from boiling a potato to traditional recipes from almost any country in the world. Some of the full educational offerings such as America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School come with a cost but often have free trial periods.

Exercise Adventure

Not my idea of indoor fun (moment of truth) but with the right mindset I am sure you could make even exercise a fun adventure. Sixty and Me makes the search for virtual exercises easy, offering everything from Yoga and Tai Chai to Simple Balance Exercises. Team up with a friend to help with motivation.

Language Adventure

This is a brain booster for sure, but once you start a new language (even with just a few words) a new world opens for exploring different cultures, customs, literary contributions, art, dance, and music.

You can find courses online free or paid. One free app is Duolingo, which offers variety of language learning opportunities. You can also use your friend Google; just type “online [language] course or “learn [language]”.

A great tip to boost your language learning skills is to find radio and video programs in other languages and idly listen while doing crafting, cooking, or a puzzle. Listening and observing is the way a child learns and the best method for learning at any age.

How About a Friend Adventure?

Connect with long lost friends through Facebook or find a new contact with some of the ways listed below. Socialization is not only a heart healthy and spiritual pick me up, but it also turns even the dullest day into a happier one.

Here are some safe and friendly ideas to find like-minded folks that need a friend without leaving your home.

Old Fashioned Letter Writing

Reconnect with family and friends who would love getting something in the mailbox besides bills and advertisements.

Take it a step further and check out some of these organizations that want volunteers to send letters to those in need.

Check out The Letter Project or The Gladys Love Project or Letters Against Isolation.

Craft Adventure

Have you always admired a type of craft that you told yourself was beyond your talent?

Well, why not do it anyway? Once we hit the 60 mark and counting, the need to impress lessens and it’s time to do it for the fun of doing it.

You can learn to draw, paint, sew, weave – almost every craft has simple starting points. Start your adventure with a simple craft by accessing free tutorials online.

Writing Adventure

I think that every one of us in the “over 60 group” could write an amazing memoir that would challenge any fictional narration on the planet.

The things that we have done, the places we never thought we would go, the people we never imagined meeting, all of these are waiting to be shared if for no one else, friends and members of our family.

Perhaps you made up stories for your children or your grandchildren that could be typed and made into a homemade book to share with family. One friend I know saved every story that her mother sent for her grandchildren and many years later found an illustrator and put them into a book. It’s called, Adventures of Henry the Field Mouse.

I once read a 30-page, type-written, unpublished memoir of a friend’s uncle which was so interesting. He never planned to get it published and it probably never had a huge impact in the literal world, but I remember some of the stories this man told many years after reading it.

Create a cookbook of your favorite recipes, including a paragraph or two of how you found the recipe. Share any adaptions you’ve made and the family events, bake sale or church supper that you made them for.

In summary, sometimes all it takes to put a new zest in the long, gray days of winter is to do something new. It doesn’t have to be a major endeavor. Fun and simple indoor adventures can add sparkle and zest to the dullest day.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What fun activities do you enjoy indoors? Is it difficult to start an indoor activity and keep at it? What results have you seen that make you proud of your newly acquired skills?

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Cathy Almeter

Love all the ideas. You are a great blogger. The bird is precious. Love the little fat ones.

Debbie

Great ideas!
When I am stuck indoors I feel like it’s a good time to organize my home.
I also like to do puzzles and curl up with a good book.

Patty Grasher

Oh Puzzles! Definitely love to do puzzles. And of course there are puzzles about so many topics. I like the ones with lots of color and detail – cause as much as I love doing them I’m not the kind that can do a desert scene of sand, sand, and more sand. :-) My cousin had one of those – just sort of made me back up and get out of the room.

Sue

Thanks for all the great ideas! I went back to knitting after a 40 year break during the recent ice storm and got so much satisfaction out of knitting a simple hat!

The Author

Patty Grasher, Urban Blogger & Author, helps visitors, newcomers and residents of Vancouver, WA explore fun and exciting things to do in Clark County. She is the author of the popular guidebook, Explore Vancouver USA, as well as creating games, puzzles and other local themed books and games.

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