|Twin Cities offer chances to beat the winter blues|
|Written by Kirby Radomski, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Monday, 08 February 2010 20:43|
The infamous term “winter blues” tends to hit ISU students hard during the cold winter months and doesn’t let up until the snow stops and the temperature rises.
It isn’t unusual to feel restless, lethargic or maybe even a little depressed during the long and cold winter. This is all part of the symptoms that are caused by the winter blues, which for some students are unavoidable during the cold months.
Just when it seems as though there is no way to evade the symptoms, the Bloomington-Normal area comes to the rescue with several ways that students can combat the winter blues by getting out and enjoying themselves, regardless of the weather.
For students that don’t mind feeling the rush of cold air, the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department offers two different locations to choose from to go sledding. Ewing Park and Highland Park Golf Course are open everyday until 10 p.m. and give students the opportunity to hit the hills with sleds or inner tubes.
“At Highland Park Golf Course, we actually have a warming house that’s open on the weekends, and we rent out inner tubes for $2 and have hot chocolate and things like that,” Barb Wells, superintendent of recreation for the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department, said.
The warming house at Highland Park is only open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, but sledders are welcome to head out during the week also.
“People can go out during the week, we just don’t have anybody manning the hills or the sled shop so they would have to bring their own sleds,” Wells said.
Jersey Hill is located at Ewing Park and the hill is open to the public, but Wells said that nobody manages it so people need to bring their own sleds or inner tubes.
Students who are looking for some indoor fun during the winter don’t have to go far. Aside from sledding, Wells said that the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department offers indoor activities during the winter as well.
“You can take different classes like arts and crafts or dance. There are different locations that offer a variety of activities. All of this information is available in our winter guide, which can be accessed at bpard.org,” Wells said.
“Going sledding or taking a class gives you something to do. We always should be active. You can get benefits of exercise if you’re going sledding. With the other indoor activities, you are learning a new skill or working on an old one, and in any of the activities you are getting socialization,” Wells said.
If students are looking for an indoor activity that still gives a winter feel, they can head on over to the Pepsi Ice Center for some indoor ice skating.
“We’re open to everyone in the general public. Our ages usually range from 3-year-olds to whoever is willing to get out there on the ice. We have a lot of teenagers during the weekends, and actually during the day time we are starting to get more college students coming in,” Lindsay May, a building supervisor and teacher for private lessons and group classes at the Pepsi Ice Center, said.
“It is $5 for admission and then $2 to rent skates. That’s for the time period of that session, and all of our sessions are an hour and a half,” May explained.
The Pepsi Ice Center offers a wide range of activities that its visitors can choose from.
“Aside from Open Skate and Learn-to-Skate classes, we offer other activities such as freestyle, which is for the more advanced skaters that have usually made their way up through the Learn-to-Skate classes, and we offer speed skating and we also have hockey classes and leagues,” May said.
“Broom ball is another activity we offer that is much like hockey but you are out on the ice without skates. This is good for those who don’t get or like the skating thing, you can still get out there and play,” she added.
“I think students should check out the ice center because it’s a different activity that a lot of people don’t normally do. It’s great for all ages and the times are really convenient,” May said.
For those students affected the greatest by the winter blues, or for those who just like to have a good laugh, Donnie B’s Funny Bone comedy club is the place to go.
“I like going to the Funny Bone because it is an inexpensive way to go out and have a great time with friends. The fun atmosphere at Donny B’s can really lift your spirits if you are feeling the winter blues,” Ilyce Miller, a senior sociology major, said.
The Funny Bone is open Wednesday through Saturday and offers comedians, pool tables, darts and drink specials.
“I really like going on Thursdays because it’s college night. The admission fee is only $5 for students, which makes it an affordable night out,” Miller said.
“Thursday nights can get pretty busy, so if you are going with a big group of people you may want to call ahead and reserve a table or get there a little bit earlier,” Miller added.
Laughing is a good way to pass the time and forget about the cold, and Donny B’s is the perfect location to accomplish this.
“I would recommend the comedy club to anyone who is looking for an inexpensive way to go out and have a great time. The comedians that come to Donnie B’s are original, likeable and hilarious. It’s a really great place to go if you want to escape the winter blues by enjoying a good laugh with friends,” Miller said.