Here we are in the beginning of a new year, yet it doesn’t feel like much has changed. We still have to maintain physical distance and currently living in lockdown. But there are things to do during the Covid 19 lockdowns, and social limitations that we can do here in Dufferin County to add some fun such as outdoor activities and creative new hobbies.
Dufferin County offers a few outdoor rinks that are free to use. You must comply with Covid-19 protocols of maintaining a physical distance of two meters unless you’re from the same household, wearing masks and the maximum number of participants is 5 skaters at any one time. No team sports, practices or games. Rinks around town include Idyllwyde Park, Alder Recreation Centre, Tony Rose Memorial Sports Centre, Princess of Wales Park and Orangeville Lions Sports Park. Visit Orangeville.ca to keep updated on which parks are open and the times available
If skating isn’t your idea of fun, we are surrounded by a number of trails for walking and biking. Here in Dufferin County we are fortunate to have parks like Island Lake Conservation which has an 8km path and Mono Cliffs, both are great for walking the dog and we also have the Bruce Trail filled with beautiful scenery. A great website to find the right trail for you is ontariotrails.on.ca. You can search by area and it tells you what the trail is for.
If you prefer to stay in town rather than visit a park, we have the ability to walk to so many amenities and small businesses that are offering curb side pickup or limited customers inside. We also have all those tree sculptures around town. If you visit Data Orangeville they have maps of the Sculptures, Utility Box Art, Monuments and Murals. Maybe plan a family scavenger hunt with a list of all these items.
Orangeville, Grand Valley, Shelburne all have local safe areas to go tobogganing, snowshoeing, cross country skiing. Maybe play a game of Snow Field Frisbee, ok I made that up; but, how fun to go outside and toss a frisbee on a mild snowy day? Yes, there are things we can’t do; but, there are a lot of things we can do safely and so far all of them are free!
Maybe now is the time to learn a new skill or try a hobby. Try visiting the website skillshare.com. They have a number of categories to explore and see what interests you. Or possibly find an online/zoom book club or start a blog on what you are doing to help get through all the world has thrown at us, someone will relate and enjoy your ideas.
There are also many things to do at home. You can have movie nights, do puzzles, and play board games, play outside. Pictionary is a fun family game that all you need is paper, a pencil/ marker and an imagination. You can build a snowman with your family, what a great way to make the neighbourhood walks fun for everyone! Why not make it a street/area challenge? Get everyone to build a snowman and dress it up. If you live in an area that allows you to have a fire pit, sit out and look at the stars. Who says fires can’t be as great in the winter as they are in the summer?
Things are not the same; but, there are so many things to do to make the best of what we have, at little or no cost. Until the world has regained our health and safety, explore your options, maintain your social distance, limit your contact outside your home, and do things that bring you joy. Dufferin County is beautiful and there is so much for you to explore.