How to beat the January blues

January snowfall at the Gwynedd Preserve.

Peyton Stagliano

January snowfall at the Gwynedd Preserve.

The holiday season is truly the most wonderful time of the year. With almost two weeks off of school and plenty of holiday gatherings and activities, everyone is cheerful and full of good spirit. While it’s all fun at the moment, when the holidays finally pass, and the break is over, we are left with the long and daunting cold winter months ahead with not much to look forward to. But no need to fret, there are have numerous activities you can participate in to cure your January blues. 

Chestnut Hill’s Ice sculpture of Philadelphia’s well-known LOVE sculpture. (Peyton Stagliano)

Getting outside and avoiding being confined indoors with the risk of being exposed to Covid can be the perfect activity during January. On January 28th and 29th, Chestnut Hill is hosting their yearly festival, Chestnut Hill on Ice. The festival includes ice sculptures displayed throughout the town of Chestnut Hill created by Peter Salvin and sculptors from Ice Sculpture Philly. Walking around the festival and enjoying the ice art is free, but some activities require payment. These include ice skating on an iceless rink, live ice carving demonstrations, axe-throwing, and live music. There is also food at some of the restaurants around town, most of which are offering chili specials, and food is also available as a more on the go option at the Market at Fareway. The market will also be selling hot chocolate and has their ice bar, which is exactly what it sounds like: a bar made out of ice! – Link to information on Chestnut Hill on Ice

The ski slopes at Bear Creek Resort. (Peyton Stagliano)

Another great outdoor activity is skiing and snowboarding. Two of the best locations near North Penn for skiing and snowboarding are Spring Mountain and Bear Creek. For newcomers, both locations offer lessons to help get you started on the slopes. Both locations also have rental equipment for anyone who does not have the gear. Bear Creek is also a family-friendly resort, so why not make a weekend getaway out of your trip. Another activity offered at the slopes is snow tubing, which is fun and doesn’t require any lessons. Season tickets are available online. – Link to Bear Creek Resorts website – link to Spring Mountains website

Even though the holidays are over, it does not mean some post-holiday activities can’t be enjoyed. To continue the holiday fun, stop by Shady Brook Farms. Shady Brook is continuing the holiday spirit with their drive-through light display that will be open until January 29. The display has a variety of fun scenes created out of more than three thousand lights. There are also tickets available for wagon rides through the light spectacle for a more up-close experience. Afterward, a private campfire can be reserved to enjoy s’mores and food. There are vendors on site to order food, as well as the catering provided by Shady Brook’s Kitchen. – Link to Shady Brook Farm’s website 

Winter sugar cookie decorating. (Peyton Stagliano)

When the bitter cold finally hits and puts a chill in your bones, the best thing to do is stay warm in the comfort of home. While that may sound boring, things can still spice up. Literally. Spend a comfy Saturday night with friends, or alone, and bake. For dinner, pizza-making kits work great or use ingredients you have around your house. Get creative and use different kinds of toppings; for example, make pizza into different shapes. Once finished creating a delicious pizza, next try a little baking. Whether that be cookies, cupcakes, brownies, or any other scrumptious treats, once it’s done baking, get creative and put those decorating skills to good use. For a little extra fun, try having a decorating or baking contest with prizes.   

The last activity for a joyful January is laser tag. Get a group of friends together and head out for some rounds of laser tag. Ultrazone is one of the closest locations that offers laser tag, and they welcome reservations and walk-ins. They offer all different passes such as one game, three games, and all-day passes. They also offer a late-night game on Fridays and Saturdays that starts at 11:15 PM and lasts for 40 minutes. Ultrazone also has other attractions like an arcade and a laser trap maze. – Link to Ultrazone’s laser tag website

January can be a little depressing when all the fun and excitement of the holiday season comes to a close, but that can change. These are just a few activities to make January just as good as December. There are a variety of ways to have fun and get out with friends, but these activities can guarantee that the January blues with melt away.