Winter activities: how to have fun in sub-zero Saint John

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How do you solve a problem like Saint John in the wintertime? It is cold and barren outside, you are seriously low on vitamin D and it seems that there is nothing to do.

To help you deal with the boring winter months, here are some activities that can turn your bland landscape into a wonderland.

The outdoors can be daunting this time of year, but if you’re willing to brave it, there are some fun times waiting for you.

Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are two activities that can make for a great time. These are definitely perfect for an outdoor enthusiast, but if you just want to take a nice winter hike, check out local hot spots like Eagle Rock, Ben Lomond – Robertson Lake Area, Rockwood Park and the Irving Nature Park.

Two other wonderful outdoor activities that you should try if you haven’t already are skiing and snowboarding. We are fortunate enough to be reasonably close to one of NB’s best ski hills: Poley Mountain, located just 10 km outside of Sussex. There is no equipment required and you can enjoy fun-filled events off of the slopes such as the karaoke night that they have coming up on Thursday, Jan. 17.

You can visit their website, www.poleymountain.com, for more information.

Another exhilarating winter activity is sliding. Grab a Crazy Carpet and head to a golf course or check out the legendary hill in front of the Saint John Airport for some prime snow shredding.

If you like to rollerblade in the summer, skating is a great choice for the winter weather. You can skate at The Charles Gorman, Stewart Hurley, Peter Murray or Hilton Belyea Arenas. For the official 2013 skating schedule go to www.saintjohn.ca.

Now that you’ve dealt with the cold, let’s cover some things that you can do inside. A movie night in is a great way to get caught up with friends while staying warm. For a girl’s-only affair, check out the Bridget Jones’ Diary series (watch the original if you want to see winter scenes, and the sequel if you feel like dreaming about a tropical vacation in Thailand with Hugh Grant), The Holiday, Love, Actually or Last Holiday. For a co-ed hangout session, take a look at Tomb Raider (for its many exotic locations), Savages or any of the Indiana Jones films.

If you want a more interactive winter activity that you can do with friends, have a baking night. Give this simple peppermint hot chocolate cupcake recipe a try: take one box of chocolate cake mix, 2/3 to one cup of a can of dark pop and a teaspoon of peppermint extract. Mix these ingredients together and bake using the directions on the batter box. Get some store-bought icing to put on top, crush some candy canes over the froth for a garnish and voila! If that’s not quite your cup of tea, then there are a wide variety of recipes to check out online.

So, ladies and gentlemen, shed your pajamas and get out there. Use the winter season to your advantage.