11 Ways To Get Through The Midwestern Winter Blues

Getting through winter in the midwest can be a little tough.

It feels as if we rarely see the sun, it’s hard to plan anything outdoors, and it gets dark entirely too early. And those are just the things you can count on. With winter in Ohio also comes a certain level of unpredictability, like insane weather changes from sub-zero temps and drifting snow one day to mid-fifties the next.

Luckily, people have been surviving, nay, dare I say enjoying winter in Columbus for a long time. Here’s how you can too.

1.) Take full advantage of the Great Indoors

It’s not like Columbus doesn’t expect cold weather every year. That’s why you can safely find just about any indoor activity you’re searching for. Want to take the whole fam out for the day? We’ve got a list for that. Want to imagine you’re in a tropical paradise? Visit Franklin Park Conservatory or sit a while in the aquarium at the Columbus Zoo. There are also a lot of wonderful museums around Columbus, some of which you can visit for free. Seriously, there are tons of places that you can stay warm and have fun!

2.) Organize a pub crawl with your friends

So obviously, you’ll have to brave the winter weather in between stops on the bar crawl. But after a couple of drinks, you may appreciate the breath of fresh air! There are lots of fun spots around town that are just screaming for a bar crawl, like anywhere in the Short North or a stroll around 4th and Main. But just remember to be safe. Uber is your friend!

3.) Try a new restaurant

Columbus has so many great restaurants. Sometimes winter weather keeps other diners at home, so it’s a great time of year to try some of the trendy new spots that are always slammed in the summer. If you need suggestions, let me refer you to 9 Restaurants To Take Your Family To In Columbus That Aren’t Chain Restaurants.

4.) Take a weekend trip

I think by now you all know how much we here at Columbus Navigator appreciate a good getaway. If you enjoy the snow and cold, you can plan a trip that embraces wintery fun! If you want to hit up a beach, you can snag pretty cheap tickets to tons of beach locations through budget airlines here in Columbus. I hear that West Palm Beach is pretty nice this time of year.

5.) Attempt to make the weather part of what brings you joy

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Sledding. Snowman (or woman) building. Snowball fights. They’re all great ways to help yourself say, “Screw it. Winter’s here and I’m going to enjoy it!” But perhaps the best way to experience true winter joy is sliding down a snowy hillside that completely glows in the dark. Glow Tubing is something you 100% need to do before this winter ends. Tick tock, people!

6.) Learn how to cook something yummy

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Why not pass the time by learning how to create something delicious in your kitchen? There are plenty of cooking classes you can sign up for around Columbus. Or, if you’re feeling like you don’t want to leave the house, that’s okay! There are literally millions of cooking tutorials on Youtube!

7.) Pick up a new hobby

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Speaking of learning new things. There’s more to life than just amazing, homecooked food. There are so many other ways you can spend your time. From getting your hands a little dirty in an art class to learning how to sew. Need a little push? Here are 7 Places In Columbus To Learn A New Skill In 2020.

8.) Find a new cozy spot to curl up

Tired of all your bad weather haunts? Bundle up and spend a little time exploring. You can hunker down with a good book at one of our incredible independent bookshops. And once you find something you just can’t put down, buy it and take it with you to a local coffee shop. I’ve met some of the coolest people at coffee shops in Columbus.

9.) Let your inner nerd out

Time flies when you’re having fun. Which means winter will be over sooner if we all just enjoy ourselves. If you, like myself, enjoy a good board game, there are some awesome establishments around the city that cater to like-minded individuals. Playing games is another great way to meet new people, even if you occasionally encounter overly competitive ones. (I’m that person, so I apologize in advance.)

10.) Treat Yo Self

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I don’t want to encourage you to spend your money willy nilly. But I do think that everyone deserves to indulge themselves every now and then. Spend your day at the salon or get a relaxing manicure. That’s the point of “treat yo self”. Do what makes you happy, just for one, wintery day.

11.) Take the chance to enjoy the beauty of winter

On those days when the weather calms down and the sun pokes out, go outside. Let your body soak up some Vitamin D and enjoy the calm beauty that Ohio has to offer in the winter. I know it can be overwhelming at times, but getting out into nature, no matter the weather, will make you feel better. Plus, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, there aren’t bugs in the winter. It’s the perfect time to be outside in Ohio.

We can do this, people! Spring is right around the corner!

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Originally published 2/19/19. Updated 2/14/20.

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