Port Washington has so much to do, but come winter, it's challenging to find something fun that's also socially distanced. Here are 10 ideas to get you going, and if you come up with something else, I'd love to hear it!
Take a winter walk at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve
My husband and I love to go for walks, and this year we found a new beautiful spot to explore. If you love being outside and you haven't checked out the Forest Beach Migratory Preserve, you need to check it out. You won't run across too many people. It's peaceful, and it's very pretty. If you're into bird watching, there's ample opportunity for that, as well.
Order Local Takeout using Door Dash
Maybe I'm late to the party, but I just realized Port Washington finally has Door Dash. You don't have to leave your home for carryout on the nights you don't feel like cooking. In addition to chain restaurants, there are a few local, small biz restaurants, too. Order Door Dash, find your favorite movie on Netflix, and chill with your family under a blanket fort. If you want to mix things up, order something for your spouse and let them order for you, and when the food arrives, see how much you really know each other's favorite foods.
Take the 36 Questions with Your Partner
No matter how long you've known your partner, there's likely some things you still don't know. I took the 36 Questions with my husband, and we learned a lot about each other. I loved the whole process, except the final question. You'll see when you get there. Light a few candles, pour yourself something to drink, and explore your closeness and intimacy.
Go on a Deer Scavenger Hunt
Before the sun fully sets, head to the Interurban Bike Trail off of E Jackson Street. The stretch of trail between Jackson Street and Hales Trail is full of deer. Humans don't bother them much, so they get pretty close to the trail. You can either stay on the paved path or take the dirt trails that cut through the forest. Try to spot as many whitetail as possible. My record is 17.
Head Out to the Lighthouse
The Breakwater Lighthouse is one of the prettiest ways to enjoy Lake Michigan. During the winter, fewer people make the chilly trek out to the lighthouse. Grab a coffee from Smith Bros and then head down to the water and enjoy a stroll out to the lighthouse. If the waves are too high, enjoy the view from the shoreline.
Check Out Pleasant Valley Trails
Pleasant Valley Trails is another walking spot I didn't know about before this year. There are several trails you can take from beginner to advance in the woods, or you can walk through the prairie around a pond. Dogs are welcome, so it's a great spot to bring the whole family, fur babies and all.
Make a Charcuterie Board with Groceries You Curbside Ordered and Watch Disney Classics
I'm obsessed with charcuterie boards. They are fun to build and more fun to eat. If you virtually shop at your fav grocery store, you can get all the necessary fixings without dealing with other shoppers. Various cheeses, sausages, nuts, fruits, honey and jam are all great. Don't forget the brie - that's my absolute favorite part of a charcuterie board. Then, log into Disney Plus (or use their free 7 day trial) and rewatch Disney classics like Little Mermaid or Aladdin.
Build a Snow Fort
We're in Wisconsin. Snow is inevitable, but that doesn't need to be grimaced at. I know shoveling and snow blowing comes to mind, but once, a long time ago, we all had fun in the snow, too! Slip into those snow pants, don your mittens and wool hat, and get going on that igloo! Build a massive fort that can withstand any snowball fight. Do the things you once loved as a child. It doesn't matter how old you are now. Your inner child wants to come out and play sometimes!
Host a Virtual Game Night
I know...I know...you're over Zoom calls BUT you can actually host a game night without video calling. You can set up a Zoom call if you want, but it's not necessary in order to game with your family. Among Us is a free game that you can play with friends and family, which lets you methodically and sneakily kill them off on a spaceship. As a group, you'll need to figure out who is doing the killing. You'll need a way to talk as a group or you can use the game's chat feature to type out who you think the imposter is. You can also use playingcards.io to play cribbage, 500, backgammon, and a whole lot more with anyone in the world who has an internet connection. This is a great way to keep in touch and have fun with folks you can't physically see.
Compete in Chopped Cooking at Home
In the show Chopped, chefs compete to create a 3 course meal using mystery ingredients. You can do the same thing at home, and this will easily take up half the day. First, head to the supermarket with your competition. Choose 5 ingredients that your competitor must use in their dish. When I did this with my husband, we chose a few items that could be incorporated relatively easily and one or two items that would be tough. Neither of us are all-star home cooks, though, so if you're awesome in the kitchen, you can be as devious as you'd like with the mystery ingredients. We had to use whatever 5 ingredients were chosen, and we were allowed to use anything in our kitchen already. The end results were creative and delicious! Since neither of us are experts, we decided to give each other a 24 hour heads up on the basket ingredients so we had time to research ideas. My husband chose lamb for me, and I have never cooked lamb before, so a few hours to research proper lamb cooking came in handy. This was a super fun way to spend the day with my husband. I'm sure kids would love to get involved with something like this, too! Chopped at Home is a competition everyone in the household could enjoy.
I hope that gave you a few ideas on how to spend this winter without going too stir crazy! Stay warm, stay healthy, and remember to love yourself!