Meriden bloggers offer advice on COVID-safe activities this winter

For so many of us anticipating a well-deserved vacation, another beautiful Christmas has passed. With the festive season technically continuing through the first week of January, many have already started putting away stockings and bows and are back to the daily routine.

If you’re looking to recapture the joy of the season in a fun, COVID-friendly way, check out these activities for a glow of winter cheer!

Beaumont Farm, a family business in Wallingford, transforms part of the farm into a bright, cartoonish wonderland every year during the holidays. Each year’s display features a traditional or well-known theme.

This year’s theme is the classic 1969 TV special – “Frosty the Snowman” – and features characters, quotes and artwork from the film. The exhibit, at the corner of South Airline Road and East Center Street, is free and can be enjoyed in the warmth of your vehicle or up close by families and individuals.

Another COVID-safe activity to enjoy this season is walking through one of Connecticut’s vibrant light displays. In East Hartford, experience the extraordinarily dazzling magic of lights with different themes along the way. For $22 per car, enjoy LED animations, light tunnels and more!

For an easier, more traditional experience, drive through Hubbard Park in Meriden and enjoy the Festival of Silver Lights.

Remember to take advantage of the great outdoors this winter to play COVID safe and be active! In central Connecticut, we have two lovely ski areas: Mount Southington Ski Area in Southington and Powder Ridge Mountain Park & ​​Resort in Middlefield. Both are within very reasonable driving distance and offer a plethora of options for skiers of all skill levels.

Personally, I spent most of my time in Powder Ridge in the igloos enjoying decadent hot chocolate and a meal from their Fire at the Ridge restaurant, but I also spent an exciting afternoon tubing at Mount Southington. . Needless to say, if you can’t ski or snowboard, never fear! There are ways to have an amazing time at both ski resorts, regardless of skill level.

One last way to add some warmth to those cold winter days is to heat things up in the kitchen! While last year DIY take-home kits were all the rage, these fun, family-friendly boxes have been a bit rarer this year. With some advance planning, online shopping, and a creative approach, you can recreate these iconic DIY kits yourself. Call a local bakery, like Sweet Mia’s Gourmet Cupcakes in Southington or Wallingford’s Mr. D’s, and ask for undecorated cupcakes to take away or gingerbread houses left over from the holidays. Then choose your favorite frosting and dusting options, or pre-order online for curbside pickup. (Yes, there are still stores that offer this COVID-savvy option!) Once you’ve collected all your pieces, all that’s left to do is enjoy decorating!

Another relatively simple but tasty route to explore is a DIY Pizza Party. Illiano’s of Meriden and Middletown may be able to help if this option is more ideal for your family.

As COVID cases climb again across the state, it can be easy to slip into a slump. Don’t be put off – it’s possible to play it safe and have a good time for those willing to get a little creative!

Francesca Fontánez is a journalist, educator and creative based in Meriden. A graduate of the University of New Haven and the University of Bridgeport, she is happy to be back in Meriden to write about the city she loves and its surroundings. When she’s not teaching ELA at Washington Middle School, she explores the East Coast for her lifestyle blog (@eastsidevibes on Instagram) or works on music for her band, Cessa and The Zach. Email Francesca at [email protected] with advice on what you want to read next, or just to say hello!

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