Are you lethargic, irritable? Unable to get out from under the warm covers and deal with reality? Feeling trapped? Cranky? Congratulation:. You have cabin fever! And we're here to offer the cure. Turn off the TV; cut out the booze, coffee and high carb/high sugar foods; and gt out and do something! Here are eight ideas.
8. Visit the parks
Although Denver doesn't really have those fabled 300 days of sunshine per year, it's still remarkably sunny here in the Mile High, and the big, open skies are a sharp contrast to the wooded horizons of the East. A walk will help clear your mind and get some Vitamin D into your system. Denver maintains 5,000 acres of park space, half within city limits. You could visit four different parks a week and it would take a year to get through them all – doesn't it feel good to have a goal? Find out more here.
7. Be a tourist
This is the best time of year to be a tourist. There are few crowds, so you can really scope out museums and other facilities, and determine where to take your visitors next summer. The Museum of Outdoor Arts has collections all over town. Go on the tour at Hammond’s Candies, visit the Denver Firefighters Museum, or just stroll through LoDo. If you must stay indoors, visits to such walk-intensive places as the Denver Art Museum, the Botanic Gardens and the Museum of Nature & Science are recommended.
6. Winter activities outside . . .
You do not have to slave away in some depressing, pastel 24-hour gym to get exercise. Neither do you have to be Lindsey Vonn or Ingemar Stenmark. Go have fun! Snowshoeing, sledding and tubing opportunities abound around here — if the snow doesn’t melt too quickly. You can find an excellent list of hills here, with a plethora of winter events, ranging from serious competitions to fun runs and walks.
5. ...and inside
Denver Sports Center has year-round indoor soccer leagues; most city rec departments have expanded facilities and an inventive list of activities. Of course, yoga devotees will continue to pose; newbies can find studios in almost every neighborhood. There are also quirky ways to work out. While your buff frenemies are tearing it up on the indoor climbing walls, you can do indoor skydiving at iFly Denver. Bowling is a Ralph Kramden-like option at the Punch Bowl or Lucky Strike. Interested in Indoor glow-in-the-dark miniature golf? Try Monster or Putting Edge. And there’s nothing that says you are too old for children's games; fortunately, there's a proliferation of “trampoline parks” in the area right now. You can also push the kids out of your way at Boondocks, Dave & Buster’s, JungleQuest or Mid-Air Adventures.
4. Board Games
How do you meet people to snuggle with on cold winter nights? Try a board game. Many bars, coffeehouses used bookstores and the like carry a stack of games with which to while away the time — and test your wiles. Try Wyman’s No. 5, Diebolt Brewing Co., the 1Up, the Whiskey Bar and the Vine Street Pub.
3. Escape rooms
Another great way to make friends quickly is to be locked in a room with a dozen strangers and a zombie, with only sixty minutes before that zombie killds all of you. That’s the premise of one of the popular new “escape rooms” run by Great Room Escape in Denver. Several other companies, including 13th Floor Haunted House, offer participatory locked-room puzzles, in which everyone works together to come up with the solution.
2. Arts and Crafts
There is nothing more stimulating to the nerve endings than the analog experience of being in the same room with someone practicing their art — whatever it might be. Winter is a great time to sample Denver’s wide-ranging theater scene, and our profile in the jazz world has never been higher. But you could also make art yourself: There are a number of venues that offer cocktails along with a session of painting or crafting, such as Upstairs Circus and Painting Soiree on Santa Fe. The Swallow Hill Music Center is a fine place to match yourself to an instrument and learn to play it; and some local choirs welcome new members. Bovine Metropolis is the number-one training center for aspiring improv performers in the region, and its classes accommodate every level of expertise.
When in doubt, get active through activism and/or volunteer work. Warm Cookies of the Revolution is constantly introducing innovative events that exercise this city's “civic health” – everything from the Stompin’ Ground Games to Sunday School for Atheists. And online clearinghouses such as VolunteerMatch, Metro Volunteers and the Mile High United Way could all point you in a direction where your talents could be used to help others: It takes your mind off your own troubles to help others with theirs.