10 cheap ways to have fun in the winter months

Caitlyn Berman

For many, winter in Colorado means ample time to hit the slopes. However, if you find yourself sans ski pass and confined to a limited budget, this handy list will offer alternative ideas to help combat the winter blues.

1. Outdoor sports 

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Lack of a ski pass doesn’t necessarily mean lack of outdoor activity. Horsetooth Reservoir offers a variety of trails for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and hiking. In particular, the hike up to Horsetooth Falls is a scenic stroll to the falls at the end of the trail. For outdoor gear, the CSU Rec Center has cheap student pricing for equipment rentals, including snowshoes and trekking poles.

2. Local art galleries

Fort Collins has a plethora of local art outlets for little to no cost. The Center for Fine Art Photography, the Lincoln Center galleries and the University Art Museum at the UCA are just a few of the creative options around town.

3. Potlucks or cooking competitions

Get your friends together for a night of eclectic food and fun competition. With everyone bringing or cooking a separate dish, judges can determine whose tasty treat is the best while enjoying a night of delicious food.

4. Ice skate 

Ice skating is a fun outdoor activity for those who opt out of mountain sports. City Park’s lake in winter is often busy with groups playing ice hockey, parents teaching their kids to skate and individuals just out for some fresh air. Bring along a thermos of hot cocoa to keep warm out on the ice.

5. Free morning cartoons

The Lyric Cinema Café hosts Cartoon Weekends filled with free fun from 10 a.m.- 12 p.m., during which time the theatre plays classic cartoons. They also offer an all-you-can-eat cereal bar for only $5.

6. Crafting

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A cheap and easy way to fill empty time is by creating something unique. Local arts and craft stores like Hobby Lobby offer supplies for any seasonal décor, like a winter-themed door hanger or cinnamon potpourri. Get together with friends and have a wine and craft night.

7. Music shows  

The Aggie Theatre and Hodi’s Half Note are a couple venues in town offering a wide variety of musical genres. Ticket prices range from free to around $30, depending on the show.

8. Snow slushies 

Homemade lemonade snow slushies are a delicious winter treat. Mix together lemonade powder with fresh snow for a tasty drink at a minimal price. For those who want a harder drink, mix in a little vodka to warm up the experience.

9. Yoga

Practiced at home or at a studio, yoga is a stress-relieving, health-aiding practice that can serve as a social or personal activity. Local studios often offer discounts for students or free classes for new members. At home, all you need to buy is enough time to breathe out the stress of the day.

10. Take up a new hobby 

Whether it’s photography, woodworking or building snowmen (we all want to build a snowman), factor in something new to your daily routine. This little spice of difference can keep you feeling inspired while breaking up the monotony of lowlight winter days.

 Collegian A&E Writer Caitlyn Berman can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @CaitlynBerman.