Now that the initial excitement of the new semester has worn off and the reality of winter life in Indiana has set in, many of us are searching for activities to look forward to. Some Goshen College students have found that it only takes a little creativity to find interesting things to do.

Ice-skating is one activity that students have discovered.  NIBCO Water and Ice Park in Elkhart offers ice skating on a lazy river and costs $5 for admission and skate rental.  “They have great jams to skate/dance to, which is pretty entertaining to watch, I’m sure,” said Summer Hasan. “Make sure to layer up though—if you don’t get the hang of it you could be spending a lot of time on the ice!”

If the cold air doesn’t bother you, another outdoor pastime is sledding.  Although Goshen is not known for its hills, Ox Bow County Park does offer a sledding hill, and all you need is a sled to enjoy the slope.  “I had lots of fun sledding at Ox Bow; the hill gave me more of a rush than the one at Abshire,” said Daisy Gaspar. “I also liked that they had a warm cabin where we could take a break.”  Sledding isn’t the only winter activity at Ox Bow: if you bring your own skis, there are cross-country ski paths at the park as well.

Maple City Bowl in Goshen offers an indoor sport that you can play with a large group of friends.  Bowling at Maple City Bowl is best on Tuesday or Thursday nights when games and shoes are $0.75 and $1.00, respectively.

For those of us who are stuck on campus, consider outdoor fun like a snowball fight—the bigger the group, the better the fight.  Billy Funk reported that 20 people were involved in a snowball fight with him last week.  If you’re wondering the best way to start a snowball fight, “just throw a snowball into a crowd and let the fun begin,” said Funk.

An indoor activity that anybody can try with friends is playing a game.  “Playing games is a great way to sit down and enjoy your friends’ company,” said Clara Sears.  “The best games are those that are unique and involve strategy.”  Games like Alhambra, Settlers of Catan, and Canasta are just a few of the plethora of games out there.  Choose your favorites, but also learn some new games to keep things fresh.

Other ways that students have entertained themselves this winter are knitting, playing summer sports outside (who cares if it is cold), taking advantage of the Recreation-Fitness Center for indoor sports like racquetball and basketball, and watching a new television show with friends.

The most important thing to remember is not to get bored this winter.  Check the websites of the places mentioned for more details and get your group together.  Plan activities that help to strengthen your community and keep your spirits high as the gray winter marches on.