9 Ideas to Enjoy the Winter Season (Post-Christmas)4 min read

I always dread the start of the new year. Whenever Christmas is over and January arrives, I have a really tough time to think of things to do to get myself energized. It’s too cold to spend the whole day outdoors, university classes and work hours are starting again, and there is usually nothing special to look forward to in the next few months. This year*, I decided to embrace the winter season and do something fun every day. I don’t know if you experience the same seasonal dip, but I’ve found a few ways that work for me. Here are my 9 best ideas to enjoy the winter season (post-Christmas)!

How to enjoy the winter season

1. Get into the Artsy-Fartsy Spirit and Visit those Museums

Winter is hands down the best season to visit a museum, especially on cold and rainy days. On sunny summer days, I often don’t want to spend too much time indoors. I always feel a little bit fomo about not enjoying the amazing weather. You don’t have to worry about that in winter! By visiting museums, you can still get out of the house and do an activity in a comfortable temperature. I’m sure there are at least one or two museums on radar that you haven’t taken the time to visit yet.

Petit Palais in Paris

2. Go to the Beach and Let Your Worries Fly Away

When it’s absolutely freezing outside, going to the beach might be a bit too much of an ambitious outdoorsy plan. However, when the sun is out and temperatures aren’t dipping too low, I strongly recommend a visit to the beach! When you’ve got something on your mind that’s bothering you, there is no better medicine than a visit to the windy shoreline. The refreshing sight of the open sea (or ocean) will make you feel ten times better. Don’t bother bringing your swimming trunks or bikini, but do consider wearing your boots. Bonus tip to make your trip to the beach even more satisfying: bring a bag to collect rubbish as you’re strolling along. You’ll be helping the planet while you relax!

Ideas to enjoywinter: a trip to the beach to feel the wind and clear the rubbish

3. Invite your Friends for Hot Drinks (and Apple Pie)

When it’s summer time, I often invite my friends to go into town for an ice cream or cold smoothie. It’s a great way to catch up and enjoy exploring new places in town. Why not do the same thing in winter, but slightly differently? Meet up with your friends to go have one of those amazing-looking lattes or a good old cup of hot chocolate milk. To complete the ultimate winter experience, you might also want to consider adding a sweet piece of apple pie. Whatever you do, don’t forget to stay social.

Hot drinks in winter

4. Head to the Library (or Book Store) to Pick up New, Inspiring Books

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably always saying that you want to read more books. As a kid, I must have gone through dozens of them every year, but as an adult, university stuff and work always tend to get in the way. Instead of picking up a good book after a long day, I mindlessly watch TV or YouTube videos. It’s time to prioritize your literary development again, my friend! Make it a exciting mission, head to the library and pick out a few gems you’ve been wanting to read.

Winter is a wonderful time to read a book

5. Go on a Forest Walk to Sniff a Whiff of Fresh Air

Winter time is when I spend most of my time indoors. It’s understandable, but it can also be really detrimental to your mood and health in general. It might be cold, but going on a forest walk in winter can be really stimulating. Go by yourself or ask a friend to join you. You will appreciate being outdoors and enjoying nature. Trust me, it never fails in helping you feel calm and rejuvenated.

A forest walk during golden hour.

6. Get that Gram: Take Photos of the Snowy or Frosty Landscape

If you are lucky enough to live in an area where you have a realistic chance of snow, it can be really exciting to see temperatures drop below zero. Snowy or frosty weather conditions can completely transform the landscape in an enchanting winter wonderland. Whenever that happens, bundle up and get your camera ready. If you’re a nature-enthusiast like me, there is nothing more exciting about the winter season than capturing those sparkly white views. You will have a blast and forget the cold while you’re at it. Remember; for the frosty look, you’ll have to get up early and seize the day!

Frosty landscape in Holland, with a windmill in the distance and a clear blue sky

7. The REAL Season for Shopping & Snacking: Visit an Indoor Market or Food Hall

Many people seem think that December is the time to go shopping. I disagree. The real deals happen afterwards, when people are less likely to hit the shops (since they just spent a smack on money on Christmas presents). Are you in dire need for some snazzy sweaters or…I don’t know…a random kitchen appliance? This is the right time to head out.

Shopping malls are cool, but indoor (flea) markets are better places to find unique pieces. Are you a dedicated minimalist or frustrated anti-materialist? Then you should invite your friends to a food hall. Who doesn’t love trying new treats and tasting foreign dishes?

Visit an indoor market in the winter

8. Get Seriously Sporty and Go (Indoor) Ice Skating, Skiing, or Snowboarding

We all know that the new resolution game is always strongest at the start of the year, often including plans like: “I’m going to be an Instagram fit girl,” “I’m going to lose two of my muffin top rolls,” or “I don’t want to die at age 45 and get more exercise.” Well, who says you can’t have fun while desperately trying to discipline yourself into a better version of yourself? Grab onto that unrealistic motivation and use it to enjoy yourself at a skating rink or indoor snow slope.

Ice skating in the winter is a great activity

9. Plan Your Summer Vacation and Stop Fantasizing about Sunny Beaches

Now if you really, really hate the cold and absolutely don’t want to go outside, there is one thing left to do: plan your summer vacation! See which dates you want to go away on holiday, check your budget, and pick your destination for next summer. You will thank yourself later in the year, since you will be 100% prepared and don’t have to worry about expensive tickets or finding a room in fully-booked hotel. Plus, you’ll have something real to look forward to. Maybe then you will stop fantasizing about sunny beaches with palm trees.

A vintage road map of Northern Europe

*This article was updated on January 10, 2019.


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