As the weather gets colder in Milwaukee and the spooky season starts to dwindle, activities can become limited when it comes to socially distanced group meetings. Although it is possible to bundle up and head outside for a socially distant gathering, the upcoming winter provides an opportunity to try things on your own. There are a few late fall and winter activities to take a look at right in the city.
Going for a run — running routes other than lakefront because of wind
Though the weather in Wisconsin tends to get cold and can turn people away from wanting to exercise outside, starting a running challenge could be a fun, new activity to do in the month of November, even as it starts to get colder. A few areas in the city that may be good for running include a mile around the Washington Park Urban Ecology Center, which isn’t too far from campus. Another spot is the Milwaukee RiverWalk, bringing you directly into the city. If there is a desire to go elsewhere, a run at Hoyt Park in Wauwatosa’s forested loop could satisfy the need for a setting with more nature.
Grab some hot chocolate or coffee and read a book/study
Though some coffee shops may not allow sit-in dining, students can still take some time off campus to grab a coffee or drink of choice and find a spot to sit or bring it back home to study or read a good book. At places like Fairgrounds Coffee, which is located about two miles off campus on state street, unique drinks like Vosges Hot Chocolate are sure to be good to try. Another coffee shop like Hawthorne Coffee Roasters about five miles away on S Howell Ave. is family owned and perfect for taking a cup of joe to go.
With the turn of the Halloween season comes the anticipation of the Christmas season. Starting Nov. 19, there is a Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival in which Cathedral Square Park, Zeidler Union Square and Pere Marquette Park are decorated with lights and displays in celebration of the holiday season. In Cathedral Square, located just a few blocks from campus, there are multiple trees set up with different ornament themes as well as one large Christmas tree in the middle of the park. It is perfect for a stroll to clear one’s mind and get into the holiday spirit. Do not forget to bundle up!
Check out the night sky
Though it will begin to get colder and snow is on the horizon, this is still an opportunity for a relaxing evening outdoors. Though there were two full moons in the month of October, there are still some fun night-sky occurrences coming up. For example, there are two upcoming meteor showers, the Northern Taurids on the night of Nov. 11 into 12, and the Leonids on the night of Nov. 16 into 17. Grab a blanket, coat, hat and mittens and find a place to take some time to yourself while watching the stars. Due to air pollution in Milwaukee, there are some places outside of the city in the Milwaukee area that are good for stargazing, such as Harrington Beach State Park which is about 35 miles north of Milwaukee and Whitnall Park in Franklin.
Bake/try out new recipes
With the holiday season approaching, this is the perfect opportunity to try out seasonal recipes. For example, it is the perfect time to hone your skills at the perfect hot chocolate recipe or make Christmas cookies for your friends with fun frosting decorations. You could even bake cookies that still have the fall/November vibe, such as big soft ginger cookies. With cinnamon and ginger, the flavors of an ending fall are still present. Now is the perfect time to take some time to yourself and listen to your favorite playlist while baking.
Though it is nice to have a socially distanced hangout with friends, it’s also nice to take some time to yourself, especially with finals slowly approaching. These are just some activities to take a mental break.
This story was written by Ariana Madson. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.