Photo Credit: Jewish Press

To those of you who have booked flights to warm destinations for their winter vacation, kol hakovod and enjoy. For those of you who are staying home, all is not lost. There are plenty of things to enjoy in our hometowns, especially if you live in a major metropolitan city.

While hibernating at home may feel like the best thing to do during the winter, there are plenty of outside activities to take advantage of, the most popular being ice skating. If you or your children don’t know how to ice skate, don’t worry. There is handy rail around the rink that you can hold onto and many locations offer lessons at reasonable rates. Then, before you know it, you will be warm and enjoying the beautiful winter scenery. Tip: ice-skating uses the same balance skills as rollerblading, so if you know how to do one sport, you know how to do the other.


As a woman who dresses in a tznius fashion, January and February is the ideal time to go shopping. Brand name stores are trying to get rid of their winter items before the Spring/Summer season, and prices tend to be low. Winter items don’t only mean bulky sweaters, you can find long sleeve shirts and knee length skirts as well. Shop correctly and your closets will be full of stuff for the remaining season and next winter as well.

While you are shopping, don’t forget to stop for a moment and admire the innovative window dressings at the big department stores. Many of the stores create lively scenes from popular fairy tales and children’s stories. It’s a sight you won’t forget, and best of all, it’s free!

If you live in New York, take advantage of a host of shows performed on ice, a fun spectacle for family members of all ages. Many of these shows run for a limited time during the winter, so act quickly. Don’t forget to bundle up for these shows, as the arenas tend to be cold.

Going to the zoo in the winter is a unique experience. You won’t have to fight the summer crowds, and as many of the animals are used to the winter season, they tend to be more active and more entertaining to watch.

However, if the weather outside is just too horrible to even attempt a trip outdoors, declare a movie day for the family. Let everyone snuggle up in their pajamas and blankets and make a list of all the movies everyone wants to see. Decide in advance which movies will be played and in what order to avoid the inevitable fights over which movie to watch first.

Finally, a major activity we always do when we are on vacation is going out to eat. Don’t think expensive and take advantage of coupons and lunch specials. If you opt to eat at home, create a fun evening — fancy plates, a special dish everyone likes or a picnic on the living room floor. Hopefully you can find something that everyone will enjoy and beautiful memories will be made by all.


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Pnina Baim is the author of the Young Adult novels, Choices, A Life Worth Living (featured on Dansdeals and Jew In The City) and a how-to book for the Orthodox homemaker, Sing While You Work. The books are available at Pnina is available for speaking engagements and personal consulting. Contact her at [email protected].