While this winter will be different than in the past, there are lots of ways we can enjoy the season safely and responsibly close to or at home.

The good news about not being able to gather in groups is that there are more opportunities to watch culture online, which includes performances or events you may not have had access to before the pandemic. On rainy days or nights, indulge in a foreign film, a Shakespeare play, or a symphony recital. Here are a few ideas: 2021 Italian Film Festival, A Brimful of AshaEarly Music, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and Sleeping Beauty by the Royal Canadian Theatre Company.

Visit Maple Ridge’s ACT Arts Centre for information on a variety of virtual and in-person events. The City of Surrey is hosting online youth nights, a series of dance parties, book clubs, and brain breaks. There are ways you can stretch your learning muscle too — try out a lesson from the Stanley Park Ecology Society.

We’re lucky in the Lower Mainland that our temperatures don’t dip too far below 0 and we’re still able to play outdoors in the winter. If you usually head up to Whistler for the ski season, now’s your chance to appreciate the mountains in your backyard — Seymour, Grouse, and Cypress have many ski and snowboard runs for you to explore. At Cypress Mountain, you can participate in an evening snowshoe adventure to Hollyburn Lodge, and at Grouse Mountain, you can skate around an 8,000 square foot frozen lake. Check each mountain’s websites for information on tickets. You can also go for a hike in one of our many forests, from Chilliwack to Surrey to Maple Ridge to Coquitlam. Have you heard of geocaching? It’s a modern scavenger hunt. Take a look at how you can get started.

There are more ideas at Real Simple — like candlelight dinners, virtual game nights, pillow forts, and more. And if you’re looking for activities with your kids, head over to Alicia Fashionista for tips.

Spring will be here in no time.