Going a little stir-crazy during the winter is easy, especially when the skies have been gray and cold for a few months now.
Luckily, there are plenty of nearby activities for our readers to get excited about. Here is a quick guide for some fun ways to cure cabin fever this winter season in the western part of Lorain County:
Be an artist at the Allen Memorial Art Museum
87 North Main St., Oberlin
Give your legs a stretch and take a walk around Oberlin’s art museum. Audio guides are available at the front desk to lead you through nearly 15,000 works of art including paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, prints, drawings, and photographs.
The gallery is always free and open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 1-5 p.m. on Sundays.
Keep a New Year’s resolution at the Mercy Health and Recreation Center
47160 Hollstein Dr., Amherst
Whether you’re looking to punch, jab, and kick or squat, lunge, and plank, Mercy Rec offers 17 land and water aerobics classes daily. An eight-lane swimming pool with a slide is open year-round.
Go bird-watching at Findley State Park
25381 State Rt. 58, Wellington
Bird watching season doesn’t end in Ohio when the geese and robins head south for the winter. Snowbirds such as eagles, hawks, cardinals, and owls swoop in from as far away as the Arctic tundra to make their temporary home in Findley State Park, just south of Wellington. The park also has five miles of trails for cross-country skiing.
Bundle up and zoom down
Go sledding at the Vermilion River Reservation, 51211 North Ridge Rd., Vermilion, where there’s a semi-enclosed shelter nearby to warm up in. The Carlisle Reservation’s hill is smaller and a great place for children — find it at 12882 Diagonal Rd., Carlisle Township.
Stay active at the Splash Zone Aquatic Center
95 West Hamilton St., Oberlin
Start off 2018 by learning a new hobby at Oberlin’s recreation center. Pickleball clinics for beginners are held at 10 a.m. on Saturdays in January — you can learn a sport that combines many elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis at your own pace.
For variety in your workout, Splash Zone offers drop-in fitness classes for every level, whether you want aqua aerobics, yoga, high intensity, low impact, boxing, or dance. Toddlers can splish and splash during swimming lessons at 10 a.m. on Mondays and Fridays.
No matter the weather, you can walk year-round on an indoor three-lane track that circles two full-size basketball and volleyball courts. Members and non-members alike can take a free, one-hour walk at 5:30 p.m. on Mondays.
Give and gain knowledge at a library
Is there anything better than reading a nice book by the fireplace while sipping a mug of hot coffee? With a little help from your local library, you can catch up on all of those titles you’ve been meaning to read.
Amherst librarian Melanie Presler said author Fredrick Backman is all the rage right now. His book “Beartown” is flying off the shelves. “Strangers in Budapest” by Jessica Keener is another well-requested read along with anything by James Patterson. Popular young adult books include “The Cruel Prince” by Holly Black and “Turtles All the Way Down” by John Green. For children, the graphic novel “Dog Man” by Dav Pilkey is one to check out.
All ages are welcome to winter story times at 10:15 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays and 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays at the Amherst Public Library, 221 Spring St.
A winter reading program will run through March 1 at the Oberlin Public Library, 65 South Main St., where adults can read books and win prizes.
The Herrick Memorial Library, 101 Willard Memorial Sqare, Wellington, is celebrating the cold Ohio weather by encouraging patrons to wear crazy hats. Library users ages 11 and up who wear a silly, crazy, stylish, or unusual hat — not a knitted stocking hat or a baseball style cap — will be eligible to enter into a prize drawing when they check out library materials in January.
“We’re open so people have a warm place to be,” said Wellington library director Janet Hollingsworth. “I know several people in the area that are just making it. Their heat is down to a bare minimum in their homes. The library is a warm spot to be in during the day time with plenty of books to read.”
Take a history tour through the county
Guided tours of the Oberlin Heritage Center, 20 West Vine St., are offered at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Get the stories behind three historic Oberlin buildings that helped shape the community and college in its first 100 years, starting in 1833.
The Spirit of ‘76 Museum, 201 North Main St., Wellington, showcases more than 4,000 artifacts from the days of the Cheese Industry in Wellington to Archibald Willard’s painting of “The Spirit of ‘76.” Tours are by request.
Take a tour through the Amherst Sandstone Village, 763 Milan Ave., which displays several century-old buildings. The Quigley Museum, nearby at 113 South Lake St., is one of the earliest examples of hand-hewn sandstone architecture in the area.
Rule the lanes at a bowling alley
Practice a perfect strike or keep up your gutterball streak at open bowling at Strikeout Lanes, 48324 State Rt. 18, Wellington. For glow-in-the-dark fun, check out cosmic bowling at 10 p.m. on Saturdays.
You can also check out Oberlin College Lanes, 180 West Lorain St.; or bowl at Park Bar & Grille, 249 Park Ave., Amherst.
Whirl and twirl at a roller rink
For only $2, families can have unlimited roller-tainment at Country Skateland, 45841 State Rt. 303, Pittsfield Township. Open skate is on Sundays, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Laurie Hamame can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @HamameNews on Twitter.