Submission deadline for this month is...
Deck the (Nepean) Halls: 10 Covid-Friendly Activities to Get the Most Out of This Holiday Season!
Maya G. /  Thu, 08 Dec 2022

I thought I'd make a list of possible activities that those who go to Nepean might enjoy, whether that be teachers, students or staff! I wanted to make it as Covid-Friendly and specific to this area as possible while maintaining inclusion; not everyone celebrates the same holiday at the same time, or any holiday at all, for that matter! Please let me know if I failed at conveying this and if something should be changed in the list—I just want to provide some fun ideas for everyone. With that being said, let's get started…

1. Baking Cookies - No matter what holiday you may or may not be celebrating, baking cookies is a staple in the holiday season. Not only does it get you in the festive spirit, but it's a lovely activity to share with friends or family… plus it's an excuse to have a tasty treat! (Note: Make sure to be aware of any allergies or dietary restrictions of those you offer cookies to.)

2. The Rideau Canal - Whether you'd prefer to skate along the Rideau Canal or walk to the side of it, there's no denying that it's truly an incredible sight to behold! Many tourists come to Ottawa to admire our Canal, and there's certainly a reason for that! All 202 kilometers of the water are sparkling and iced over by the time winter comes, inviting you to partake in the fun!

3. Sledding - We are surrounded by glorious snowy hills come winter, so why not take advantage of that fact? It's most common for kids to be taking part in this particular activity, but that doesn't mean they're the only ones to enjoy it. Sliding down an icy slope on a rickety wood sled is just plain fun, no matter how old you are.

4. Participating in Winterlude - Every year, the first three weeks of February in the Ottawa region are dedicated to this notorious winter festival! The aforementioned Rideau Canal is available to skate on, and several snow slides and ice sculptures are scattered around the area to appreciate, as well. Not to mention there are many photo opportunities around the event, and the Canadian delicacy that is Beaver Tails is ever-present! There's something for everyone here, whether you're wanting to bring a little sibling in search of fun, a parent craving a break from work, or the entire family - entertainment is guaranteed! Plus, it all takes place outside, which will help limit the spread of Covid-19.

5. Walking With a Friend - When most think of who they'd like to spend the winter break with, "family" is usually the first word to jump to mind. While there is, of course, nothing wrong with that, they aren't the only people you depend on every day, so why should they be the only ones you share cozy stories with by the fire? If your schedules line up, I'd definitely suggest going on a walk to catch up with your friends, or even just if you're in need of a companion to admire the winter wonderland our city turns into every year. (I'd also personally recommend stopping by Bridgehead to get some hot chocolate to warm your hands as you're talking, but that's just me.)

6. Playing in the Snow - Our country is certainly known for our snow, but perhaps no other city is as fortunate regarding these fluffy tufts of white as we are! There are tons of activities to partake in when it comes to this section alone, such as building a snow fort, having a snowball fight, creating snow angels, or the classic snowman fabrication! Not to mention how great it is to escape outdoors for a while, pandemic recommendations withstanding or not.

7. Visiting Family - If you're able to visit family at this time, especially if it's by car instead of the enclosed compartments of planes (likely to lead to Covid cases), then I would absolutely recommend it! There's nothing like being near your extended family to brighten your mood, and there are plenty of ways to have a gathering outside, which only helps limit the spread of the virus.

8. Participating in Winter Sports - I'm aware that I mentioned skating before, but that isn't the only winter sport our city is famous for! Hockey, ringette, skiing, curling and snowboarding are all common practices around this time of year, and for a good reason! All invite you to exercise while enjoying yourself, and each one entices you to be outside during your free time. It's a win-win!

9. Playing Board Games and Card Games - There are many activities on this list that suggest the inclusion of family and friends, and this is yet another! I don't know about you, but nothing makes the break more entertaining to me than enjoying myself with the ones I'm closest with, and by bringing along a pack of cards or a classic board game, you're able to transport that fun to wherever you want!

10. Making Food (Other Than Cookies) - I, personally, am awful at cooking. It's an indisputable fact in my household, and I've made peace with it. But that doesn't render it any less joyful to be a part of the stirring, the cutting, the measuring. (Not to mention the eating!) It brings the family together and is known to fill people with cheer and content to be a part of something larger than themselves - even if it's just the making of a simple dish - so why not partake in it yourself?

Thanks for reading this to anyone who did (even those of you who just skimmed it), and have a wonderful winter break, everyone!