Rec. Dept. offers ideas to stay active and have fun this winter

BRATTLEBORO — The Recreation & Parks Department shares some fun ways to stay active this winter, with or without snow.

“Most winters we are thrilled and excited for the opportunity to curl up on the couch and watch a movie or read a book,” department staff said in a news release, “but this year may call for some new and fun activities suitable for the whole family.”

• If there's snow: Go snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, build a snow fort or igloo, build a snowman, have a snowball fight, go sledding, make snow angels, go ice skating, make sugar on snow, fill a squirt bottle with water and liquid-gel food coloring and draw in the snow, try to identify animals tracks in the snow. Make color ice balls by filling balloons with water and food coloring, then put them outside to freeze and remove the balloon.

• If no snow has accumulated: Stargaze, make a homemade bird feeder and hang it outside your window, make homemade candles, go for hikes or long walks, have a movie night with hot chocolate and popcorn, do yoga for 30 minutes each morning as a family, exchange letters with friends and family as pen pals, make mini snowmen out of Play-Doh.

• Have fun with the Rec. Dept.: You can now purchase household facility-rental gift certificates for the Gibson-Aiken Center Gymnasium, the Gibson-Aiken Center Program Red Room, and the Nelson Withington Skating Facility.

At the gym, participants will have access to the basketballs, pickleball nets, Wiffle ball, kickball, toy cars, slides, and toddler playhouses, as well as the game room that has air hockey, pool, table tennis, and table football.

This large open space lets households play together and provides children enough room to burn off some energy. The fee is $25 an hour, payable in cash. Reservations must be made online at

The Gibson-Aiken Red Room offers a private space to play cornhole, set up a race car track, practice a dance routine, do yoga or Tai Chi, and more. The fee is $15 an hour, payable in cash. Reservations must be made online at

The Nelson Withington Skating Facility offers private ice time to skate or shoot some pucks. Participants will have access to nets, pucks, and the Shooter Tutor. The fee is $75 an hour, payable in cash. Reservations must be made online at

All reservations require a list of everyone attending from your household, including their full name and age. Everyone in the rental group is required to wear a mask and must live in the same household; no extended family or friends may enter.

These rules will be “strongly enforced,” according to a news release.

For all programs, events, facility information, online fillable registration forms, and more, visit the Recreation and Parks page (on from the “Sport and Recreation” tab on the blue horizontal bar) or call the office at 802-254-5808.

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