Indoor Winter Hobbies

As the snow piles up outside, and it’s officially ‘once I get home, I’m not going out again’ season, consider these perfect-for-cold-weather activities

When the mercury drops, it’s natural to spend more time inside, which raises the question of what to do to stay entertained. It turns out that there are many activities that are ideal antidotes for cabin fever.

Building a ship in a bottle is a challenging task that helps pass the time when it’s too cold to venture outside.

Anchor Your Attention

For those who are very patient, a great indoor hobby is building a ship in a bottle. It turns out the trick is to pre-build as much of the ship as possible before it goes in the bottle. Who knew? There are many kits to choose from, such as Amati’s Golden Yacht, a replica of a yacht dating from 1660. The process is very intensive, requiring a steady hand and plenty of time—making it a satisfying way to stay occupied on cold, snowy days or evenings.

There are plenty of very effective exercises that don’t require equipment, including sit-ups and planks. (Egrigorovich/Shutterstock)

Fish for Finesse

Another hands-on hobby that requires patience and concentration, along with a splash of creativity, is tying fly fishing flies. These delicate creations are each an individual piece of art, designed to entice a trout to attack. While they’re practical pieces of fishing tackle, many never see the river, instead being created simply for display. As a bonus, you may find a ready market for your flies, making this a hobby that pays for itself.

Tying fly-fishing flies lets you explore your creative skills and can result in a creel full of trout when the weather warms up. (schankz/Shutterstock)

Time-Captivating Cooking

If you use your flies to catch fresh mountain trout, you may want to spend some of the winter leisure time learning to cook or bake, or both. Getting started with easy menu items such as pasta builds the confidence needed to tackle tougher items such as baked goods.

Learning how to cook can be a fun winter hobby that also keeps you well-fed. (Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock)

Enjoyable Exercises

As you build your culinary skills, you may realize that’s not all that has broadened, making physical fitness an appropriate new winter hobby. There are plenty of very effective exercises that don’t require equipment, including sit-ups and planks. Always consult with a physician prior to starting an exercise regime, and go slow to build stamina and strength.

Learn a Language

If you’re seeking a less active hobby, consider expanding your linguistic skills. Learning to speak a new language can be practical or simply a fun challenge. There are many online courses to choose from, but you can get started by teaching yourself the basics by learning several words every day and then learning how to correctly use them in sentences. Practice every day in order to improve pronunciation while ingraining the new words into your memory.

Consider College

Earning a college degree is a worthwhile winter hobby, whether motivated by career advancement or simply pursuing a degree in an area that you wish to explore on your schedule. Classes can be taken online or via the mail, with both requiring a significant amount of time dedicated to reading and completing assignments, making this hobby one that’s demanding in terms of time and effort. Some schools, such as Stanford Online, offer free courses in areas of engineering, health, and education, as well as arts and humanities.

The frigid winter months are an ideal time to work toward a college degree via online courses. (Ground Picture/Shutterstock)

Imbibe Information

There are other ways to learn on your own time, of course, from books to instructional videos on YouTube. Because these channels reflect their creator’s personality and skill level, it becomes clear early on which ones hold your interest. With any of these chosen on the basis of education instead of their entertainment value, it’s important to determine if the presenter has a good grasp of the subject matter. Some YouTube channels may be able to augment courses taken from an accredited school. They may even be able to possibly replace a college course if you aren’t pursuing a degree, but are rather just enjoying the process of learning.

Not all YouTube channels are designed to teach traditional literature or humanities courses; a significant amount are designed to help viewers learn how to play a musical instrument, paint, tune up a car, or any of a thousand other topics. There are many documentary channels on YouTube that can provide a basic or advanced knowledge of history or philosophy, as well as a wealth of fringe-science subjects. You can easily spend the winter months expanding your knowledge of the Egyptian pyramids, the works of Nikola Tesla, the wonders of Antarctica, how modern technology came to be, creatures living deep in the ocean, or many other topics.

YouTube has an incredible array of channels that can help you learn to play guitar or any other musical instrument. (Gatot Adri/Shutterstock)

Become a Content Creator

If it turns out that you’re an expert in a topic, consider hosting your own YouTube channel. The process is straightforward and starts off easy: Create a Google account, then go to YouTube and click on “Create a channel.” The difficulty level goes straight up at this point, as you need to record or otherwise create content, which requires video equipment and the skills to edit what you shoot. Go slow, do a lot of research to see how other channels handle the topics you plan to cover, and most of all, have fun.

Bill Lindsey

Bill Lindsey is an award-winning writer based in South Florida. He covers real estate, automobiles, timepieces, boats, and travel topics.

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