If no one has noticed yet, it’s really cold outside and I for one couldn’t be more excited. The winter and its frigid weather seem dreary and sad to some, but all it means for me is a myriad of indoor wonderment. I’ve compiled a list of things you should do in the cold months that are creative, brain-provoking, and best of all, pleasantly time consuming. Unless there’s a fresh pile of snow outside, because then you should immediately down some whiskey and begin an epic snowball fight or two.

One activity that’s rather easy is watching TV. Sitting in front of the boob tube is an excellent way to spend cold months, but after a while it can be monotonous and repetitive. Commercials are terrible, and most channels have very little to offer. So that’s why you should find some series you missed (for me The Wire and Breaking Bad) and just charge through the whole thing with homemade nachos, microbrewed beers, and an embarrassingly huge mug of coffee. Or, you could find the trashiest TV and make it into a drinking game (or watch the Discovery Channel with a comforting vaporizer or bong at your side).


But if you think you’re too intelligent for the TV and its hypnotic powers, then read a book dammit! There are so many of them! I’ve written a couple different articles highlighting books you should read, but if sci-fi ain’t your game, then dig into something like The Brothers Karamazov or The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay or Gravity’s Rainbow. Thoroughly smashing a book feels five times as awesome as getting through a TV series, and once you read one book the rest come easy.

And yes, I know, books and TV are by no means original ideas. But they’re better than cruising Facebook, especially if you choose an object of media that has a narrative to it. Those aside, there are other things you can do indoors that are awesome.

Here’s a challenge for you. For Christmas (or whichever holiday), ask for a canvas or a guitar or some object that takes a good deal of practice in order to derive its ultimate utility. An art artifact is always a good investment, and it’ll sit in a corner mocking you until you pick it up and start toying with it. The winter cold forces one inside, so you may as well use that time to either start sketching nudes (awesome) or learning the bass line to your favorite Red Hot Chili Peppers song. Even better if you get a drum kit and try to play along to Led Zeppelin IV.

Also, the holidays are sweet because family is in town. Another challenge would be to stuff that smartphone of yours under your pillow or somewhere out of reach and build forts and tell stories with your youngest nephews, nieces, and cousins. In all likelihood those poor lil’ children are learning life via a touch screen, so it’s up to you to explode their imagination. Play hide and seek to the (metaphorical) death!

Really, being forced inside is a blessing. There’s no excuse not to get anything done when the couch and blankets beckon. Write a novel. Learn an instrument. Invent a fantasy world with your youngest family member. Don’t waste this chilly time (climate change, you guys!). And as a reward, turn any of your favorite classic films into drinking games (Forrest Gump) and spike your cocoa with said booze to your heart’s content.

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