Fred's Faves: 5 activities to conquer cabin fever
We’re smack dab in the middle of winter, folks. It’s a season that can throw us quite a few curve balls, from weekends when we can do little other than watch cold rain from indoors to surprise free days when the schools close for weather that is…well, not exactly a blizzard.
When the walls of your house start to feel like they’re closing in on you, don’t forget about these great ways to make the most of this season in the Fredericksburg area.
Attend a UMW Eagles basketball game. If you haven’t been to an event in the William M. Anderson Center on the University of Mary Washington campus, then make plans to attend a men’s or women’s basketball game this winter. Regular season games run through mid-February, and you can find schedules for both teams here. This is a great family activity on winter weekends. The games have just enough going on to be exciting for young children without being overwhelming, and the comfortable seats and other amenities at this brand-new 2,000-seat arena make it enjoyable for fans of all ages. Enjoy a winter walk around campus before or after the game, or use the pedestrian bridge over U.S. 1 to connect you with great food and drink, and terrific coffee, in the Eagle Village shopping center.
Keep your entire family entertained at Paragon Village 12 and Splitsville. This place has to be in your winter fun arsenal. It’s not your typical bowling alley, and not your typical movie theater. Bowl in the luxury lanes at Splitsville, where you can order pizza, sushi or sliders to your lane, along with the beverages of your choice, and enjoy plush seating, pool tables and cozy spots to gather with your party when you’re finished with your games. Try them out on a Tuesday night, when you can play for $2 per person per game, and shoe rental is only $2. On the other side of the building is the Paragon Village 12. Choose general seating or, if you’re 21 and over, the theater’s “premier” level, where you’ll find comfy love seats and can have dinner and drinks while you enjoy your film. Or dine before the show at the Chatterbox lounge, open only to those with premier tickets or a Chatterbox membership. You could have an entire weekend of fun in just one building.
Learn about engineering at “Discover Tech.” Stafford County’s England Run Library is one of only 13 libraries in the country to host “Discover Tech,” a museum-quality exhibit that demonstrates how engineering provides solutions to the problems of human life. You’ll learn how engineers create new technologies to solve problems through games, challenges and inspirational videos. At the “Inventor’s Lab,” you can build electrical circuits and participate in an exciting activity called “Game Changers” through a state-of-the-art interactive touch table. Check out the calendar of events at the library and make plans to participate in one of the many technology-themed classes and events planned throughout the winter. The exhibit will be on display at England Run through March 15. Learn more here.
Get outside. Winter hiking opportunities abound in the Fredericksburg region. There’s no reason you can’t bundle up and enjoy a walk around Lake Anna State Park, or the new Virginia Central Railway Trail in Fredericksburg. You also might consider wandering the grounds of Chatham Manor in Stafford, recently named one of Virginia’s top 15 destinations for history lovers in 2015. The iconic view of Fredericksburg from the grounds of Chatham has recently been cleared of overgrowth and is more spectacular than ever. I wrote about my love of winter walks last year, and you can find even more suggestions for winter wanderings here.
Take a class. The Fredericksburg region offers almost endless ways to learn something new. Foodies should check out class schedules at The Kitchen at Whittingham, Kickshaws Downtown Market or Spotsylvania’s kid- and family-focused Doctor Yum. Aspiring artists should look at schedules at Stafford’s Bluebird Glass Studio, Liberty Town Arts Workshop, or Ponshop Studio. Check out Water Street Studio for unique classes on crafts for the home, journaling, paper arts and other forms of expression. Find musical inspiration and instruction at Picker’s Supply. These indoor winter days are a great opportunity to hone new skills.