Winter is probably the least enticing time of year for venturing outdoors, yet it’s important for your physical and mental health to keep some kind of outdoor activity going through the winter. The good news is that the Front Royal area is a great place to get outdoors all year long. Whether you made a New Year’s resolution to spend more time outdoors, or are simply looking for a breath of fresh air to clear your head this winter, read on. We have six great tips for enjoying being outside around Front Royal all year long.
1. Plan Ahead
If it’s hard for you to take that first step out of your door on a cold day, planning specific outdoor adventure that you’ll enjoy is a good way to overcome this mental block. Whether you decide to take a ten minute walk around your neighborhood, or head to Shenandoah National Park for an afternoon of adventure, you’re more likely to get out there if you know what you’re going to do, and how long (or short!) it’s going to take.
2. Find a Buddy
Having some accountability can make all the difference if you’re on the fence about whether to leave your cozy home on a winter’s day. Find a friend (furry friend is good too!) who’s also committed to getting more outdoor time and make them your winter buddy. If you’ve set a time to meet up, you’re much more likely to go. Or make it a date and have your accountability partner be your spouse or significant other.
3. Be realistic about what you’ll enjoy
The beginning of a New Year is a classic time for making unachievable resolutions and ending up frustrated and depressed. If you’re excited about a resolution to get outdoors more, make sure it’s a realistic one. You’re more likely to succeed at something you genuinely enjoy. If you’re not much of an outdoor adventurer during the rest of the year, don’t plan on a five mile hike once a week in the winter. The good news is there a lots of ways to get outdoors in the winter. Just step outside and look around! Front Royal has some amazing views! A window-shopping walk down Front Royal’s Main Street could be a great option. Or if you have kids, plan a trip to one of Front Royal’s fantastic parks. On the other hand, if you already love to hike, planning some winter adventures might be a great way to keep enjoying the outdoors during the cold season.
4. Dress Appropriately
Having warm enough clothes can make a huge difference to your enjoyment of a winter outing. Warm socks, a hat, and gloves, are all key items to help retain body heat. And you’ll need a good warm coat too, of course. For all your winter clothing needs, check out Mountain Trails on Front Royal’s Main Street.
5. Make the most of winter weather conditions
If the weather’s snowy, it may be unsafe to drive, but you have a great chance to try some winter sports that can’t be enjoyed under any other conditions. Enjoy the stillness and the sights of a snowy walk around your neighborhood, build snowmen in your backyard, or venture a little further to find a sledding hill (Front Royal’s Skyline Middle School has one that’s a local favorite!). If the roads are clear, you could head to Shenandoah National Park and try snowboarding, snowshoeing, or cross country skiing for even more snowy excitement.
6. Reward Yourself with a Treat
Once the chill wears off, we hope you’ll find that the outdoors in winter is so enjoyable that you don’t need any other special treats to help get yourself outside. But if you’re in the camp of those who still aren’t excited about it, reward the extra effort you’re making with a little treat. You could buy (or make) yourself a cup of your favorite hot drink to sip on while you walk or watch your kids at the park. You could enjoy your favorite baked goods when you get home. Or promise yourself a beer and burger as you warm up and refuel from that epic winter hike. Getting outdoors in the winter isn’t always easy. If you’ve risen to the challenge you deserve a reward!
Getting outside in the winter can be more difficult than in any other season. Use these tips to make sure you keep on getting outside this winter. You’ll enjoy the benefits of better health and a better mood all winter long.
Many people would rank winter as their least favorite season, and with cold temperatures, shorter hours of daylight, and long stretches of time cooped up at home, it’s not hard to see why. It may take more effort to get everyone out the door, but winter can still be a great time for family adventures and creating memories with your kids. Read on for five ideas for keeping winter fun around Front Royal with your kids this year. You’ll find suggestions for kids of all ages, and ideas for outdoor and indoor activities you can enjoy in the winter.
1. Go on a Winter Outdoor Adventure
Getting outside can be less appealing in the winter than any other time of year. But if it’s not too cold, an outdoor adventure can be the boost everyone needs. In fact, getting outdoors in the winter has been proven to help combat seasonal depression. An adventure when it’s chilly leaves a great sense of accomplishment. Older kids will enjoy less crowded hiking conditions and the stark beauty of the winter landscape at some of the Front Royal area’s fantastic hikingl ocations like Shenandoah National Park. For little kids, a less demanding walk will still be an adventure. Try heading to Eastham Park for a walk along the stroller-friendly riverside trail. Little ones can enjoy the playgrounds here too. Kids will be having so much fun they’ll for get to feel cold.
2. Enjoy a Winter Sport Together
If it’s snowy, the Front Royal area is a great location for bigger kids to try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Don’t be deterred if you’ve never tried these sports yourself. Snowshoeing is not that much harder than walking, and kids will be tickled at the idea of learning something new alongside an adult they love. Sledding is a favorite winter pastime for kids of all ages and adults too. Front Royal’s Skyline Middle School has a sledding hill that’s a local favorite. Walking back up the hill is a great way to get a work out in.
3. Go on a Hot Chocolate Run
Add some warm and sugary fun to your kid’s winter day by grabbing a hot chocolate together at one of Front Royal’s fantastic coffee shops. DL Campus Coffee on Main and The Daily Grind are two local favorites on Main Street. Or head about a block further to find Manor Line’s Back 40. You’ll find friendly and welcoming environments at all. Manor Line’s Back 40 has board games available, as well as a designated kids area with toys for little ones.
4. Learn New Skills Indoors
If it’s really too cold and wintry to be outside for long, there’s lots to do indoors in Front Royal, and some fantastic opportunities for kids to pick up new skills. Head to Explore Art and Clay for a chance to paint your own pottery. Check out Code Ninjas if your kids are interested in learning about computers and coding skills. Or for exercise and indoor fun wrapped into one, head to Battlegrounds Fitness. Kids can enjoy moving around and getting active while avoiding winter weather conditions.
5. Play Games at Home or in Town!
Playing a game as a family is a great way to enjoy some time with your kids in the winter. If you’re looking for a new game in Front Royal, head to Play Favorites and pick out something to bring home from a fantastic range of games and toys. Make your family game night even more fun by playing a game while you’re still out and about. Play Favorites has a game room where you can try out many of the games in the store, as well as check out some arcade games. Or grab your hot chocolate at Manor Line’s Back 40, and enjoy one of their stash of board games while you’re there.
If winter weather is turning “cozy” into “cabin fever,” don’t feel like you have to stay cooped up at home! Front Royal is a great place to enjoy a variety of indoor and outdoor winter activities. Say goodbye to those cold weather blues and come cheer up in Front Royal this winter!
With the holidays over and a brand New Year getting started, there can be something refreshing about getting back into the normal routine of life. But after the whirlwind and excitement of the holidays, January can also feel a bit… dull… There’s no need to get down in the dumps in Front Royal, though. Of course, Front Royal is a great location for enjoying the great outdoors even in winter. But if the thought of going outside in the cold just makes you more depressed, fear not! There’s lots of indoor fun to be found in our town too.
Today we’ve rounded up our top ten fun activities you can enjoy in Front Royal, all without venturing into winter’s cold! So read on for some ideas for keeping life interesting this winter. You could even ward of the January blues by picking four and planning a fun outing for each week of the month. That way you’ll still have plenty to look forward to.
1. Get your Gaming Fix at Fireball Arcade
Head to Front Royal’s Main Street and immerse yourself in the world of a retro arcade at Fireball Arcade. There’s no more counting quarters here! All games are on freeplay, so pay your entry fee and enjoy them all for as long as you want. It’s a great way to plan a change of scene that the whole family can enjoy!
2. Go to the Movies
Cross Main Street and lift your spirits with some classic entertainment at Front Royal’s Royal Cinemas. Find friendly service, great movies, and everything you’d expect at a small town movie theater. Popcorn is a must!
3. Sculpt and Paint Your Own Pottery
Whether you’re a practiced sculptor or someone who rarely looks at a paintbrush, using the creative side of your brain is always a refreshing change of pace. At Front Royal’s Explore Art and Clay, you get all of the fun and none of the clean up! Drop in alone or with friends to purchase and paint one of their wide selection of unfinished clay pieces such as plates, mugs, and statuettes. They’ll give your masterpiece a professional finish in their kiln. Or attend a clay workshop if pottery is more up your alley.
4. Throw an Axe
Get your blood pumping and the fun flowing by throwing some axes at Shenandoah Valley Axe Co. Enjoy this brand new trendy sport, hone your aim, and enjoy a fun menu of drinks and snacks.
5. Mac’s Roller Rink
Roller skating is another great way to get moving without getting cold in the winter! If you want to break a sweat roller skating, look no further than Mac’s Roller Rink. Stop in on the weekend to enjoy everything you’d expect to find at a small-town America roller skating rink! Round out the outing with Melting Pot Pizza before or after!
6. Winter Wine Tasting
When you think of wine tasting, you might imagine a vineyard in summer, but winter is a great season for wine tasting too. Get cozy at one of Front Royal’s wineries and enjoy some delicious Virginia Wines.
7. Discover (and make!) Beer History
While we’re on the subject of alcoholic beverages, we mustn’t forget another indoor Front Royal favorite, the Virginia Beer Museum. There’s plenty to see and drink here! Explore the history of Virginia Beer, and then relax with a drink yourself. You can add to your own personal beer history!
8. Get Cozy at the Library
Winter is a great time to curl up with a book, and Front Royal’s Samuels Public Library is a local treasure that can be a wonderful change of scene and a place to expand your horizons. Spend a morning in the cozy reading areas, sign up for the winter reading challenge, or check out the range of fun events planned.
9. Get your Kids into Coding
Coding is a skill that will help kids get ahead in today’s tech-driven world. And in Front Royal, they can have fun and learn about it at the same time. If your kids are getting cabin fever, bring them to Code Ninjas after school or on a weekend and let them take off! Be sure to check out the Parent’s Night Out. You can drop the kids off and go on to find some fun of your own!
10. Buy and Play Games and Toys!
Play Favorites is a toy shop like no other, and great addition to Front Royal’s shopping scene. This exciting toy shop stocks a wide range of toys, games and puzzles, and features a fun arcade/game room where you can try out a variety of their most fun products. Come by to shop or play! It’s another great option for indoor fun in Front Royal.
With games to play, wine to sip, axes to throw, and much more, there’s plenty of indoor fun to help keep the cold months going by in Front Royal. Make your plans today and see how much fun winter can be in a friendly, happening town!
Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. If you’ve only heard them mentioned once or twice, you’re not alone. And yet these underappreciated snow sports deserve a lot more popularity. Their famous cousins, skiing and snowboarding, tend to steal the spotlight. But both essentially require travel to expensive resorts, and demand a reasonably high level of physical fitness. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are much more widely accessible. If you like to hike (or even walk!), and live in an area where there’s snow, chances are you’ll be able to enjoy one or the other with only minimal upfront investment.
A snowy day in the Front Royal area is a great setting for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Whether you’re new to these snow sports, or an old hand, we’ll hope you’ll adventure out this winter and enjoy them. Read on for more information about these sports, as well as some suggestions of where to go in the Front Royal area.
Snowshoeing – the Basics
Snowshoeing can be as simple as hiking in the snow . . . but using specially designed snowshoes to make your life easier. Snowshoes work by providing a wider base for your feet than normal shoes. With your weight distributed over the wider area of the snowshoe, you can walk on top of the snow, without your feet sinking fully into it.
It’s possible to take a deep dive into various specialized techniques for snowshoeing. However, it really can be as simple as slipping snowshoes over your boots and taking a walk (in snow, of course!). “If you can walk, you can snowshoe” is a common mantra among snowshoeing enthusiasts. Snowshoeing is a great way to continue to enjoy your favorite hiking trails through the winter months. To get started, simply buy or rent a pair of snowshoes and head out. Poles are also worth considering if you plan to tackle steep slopes or tricky terrain.
Cross-country skiing is both more expensive and more challenging than snowshoeing. Nevertheless, it’s still more accessible than downhill skiing. It’s a great sport to try if you’re looking for a bit more excitement than snowshoeing.
Cross-country skiing involves a pair of skies similar to those used for downhill skiing. Poles are also essential. Cross-country skis allow the skier to traverse flat and even uphill terrain in addition to downhill runs. Because of the speed involved, downhill slopes are the most challenging to navigate in cross-country skiing, and should be approached with caution.
To get started cross-country skiing, it’s helpful to do some research into techniques. Check out videos such as this one, which give beginners a good introduction to the sport. You can also possible to look into instruction and guided trips, but since you can take cross-country skiing at your own pace, it’s also possible to try it out on your own.
Locations for Snowshoeing and Cross-Country Skiing in the Front Royal Area
With snowshoeing’s similarities to hiking, it is possible to snowshoe on many of the great hiking trails around Front Royal. In fact, there are so many beautiful places to hike around Front Royal, that it’s a great place to give snowshoeing a try. When Skyline Drive is closed to traffic because of snowy conditions, remember you can access the park on foot from any boundary access point.
To find a great cross-country skiing trail, you’ll need to be a little more selective. You’ll want to find smooth trails, with gentle slopes. However, there’s still plenty to enjoy in the Front Royal area. Check out some of the trails in Sky Meadows State Park where the terrain is less mountainous. In Shenandoah National Park, the Limberlost Trail is a top pick for beginner cross-country skiers. The Big Meadows area is another part of the park that is particularly popular, with its gentle slopes and open fields. Finally, the iconic Skyline Drive itself might be an option. Before the road is plowed after a snowfall, while it’s still closed to traffic, it can provide an ideal surface for cross-country skiing, complete with stunning views and overlooks. Of course, you’ll need to keep a close eye out for the snowplow if you take this option. It’s also suggested that skiers access Skyline Drive at the Thornton Gap entrance station, rather than in Front Royal. A long, steep climb is the first thing you face after the Front Royal entrance station.
Though they are accessible to a wide variety of people, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing do involve some risk. As with any sport, especially those involving snowy and icy conditions, it is possible to suffer serious injury while snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Don’t be discouraged from giving these sports a try, but remember that it is important to exercise caution and stay within your limits. Ideally, you should bring a buddy if you are heading out onto the trails. At least be sure to let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. If you feel uncertain about your proficiency, it is much better to obtain professional training than to risk injury.
Don’t let the fantastic hiking trails in the Front Royal area lie silent and unused this winter.
A snowfall in the Front Royal area is a great opportunity to get out and give one of these snow sports a try. It’s not too hard to get started, and you may discover a new favorite way to exercise in the winter.
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