15 Cures for Cabin Fever During Winter Break & Beyond

It can be difficult sometimes to fight the urge to become a bit of a hermit during the cold and snowy winter months. But, we have some great ideas for indoor and outdoor activities to keep you and your family happy and busy (even if snow isn’t in the immediate forecast).

And the best part? It’s free from the Library with your library card!

  1. Attend a Kid Zone Program

Register your kiddo for one or more of the upcoming Kid Zones programs held during Winter Break in December and January. We have fun (and messy) plans for glow-in-the-dark science projects, pirate parties, and so much more. Details and registration is available on our online event calendar or by calling 970-221-6740. For kids in grades K-3.


  1. Go Snowshoeing/Hiking (with a Colorado State Parks Pass)

Grab your pair of snowshoes or pull out your hiking boots to explore some a favorite state park or try out a new one. The Library has Colorado State Parks passes available to check out along with an adventure backpack. We also have tons of useful trail guides.

  1. Enjoy a Hobby

Been too busy lately to get back to your knitting project? Maybe you’ve been meaning to give woodworking a try? We have amazing books and magazines to inspire you! Everything from Outdoor Photographer Magazine to Do It Yourself and from Bead Style to Guitar Player is available to reconnect you to your passions, or spark a new one.

  1. Have a Board Game Party

Gather up your friends and family and sit down for some fun with board games and card games. We even have an entire day dedicated to game play at Old Town Library each month. Join us for Game Day @ Your Library on Sunday, 12/17 from noon to 5:00PM. Bring your own games or play one of ours.


  1. Plan a Movie Night

Reconnect with old favorites (ahem, The Goonies and E.T.) or enjoy more recent releases. Either way, you can check out DVDs and download movies from the Library. Use our hoopla, Films on Demand, and Odilo services for streaming and downloading videos. You can also check out a portable projector from our Gadgets & Things Collection to project your movie from your digital device, laptop, DVD player, and more.

  1. Visit Local Museums and Theaters

Did you know that many local museums and theaters take part in our Flash Your Card program, offering discounts on admission when you show your library card? See all of the participating “arts and culture” organizations on our Flash Your Card website including the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery and the Global Village Museum.

  1. Build a Reading Fort

Grab the pillows, blankets, and bedsheets. It’s time to build an indoor fort perfect for escaping with a good book. Be sure to stock up on books from the Library before you dig in for the day. Perhaps you can host an at-home storytime for the kids (or stuffed animal friends). Bring plenty of snacks!

Photo: Seamus McCauley
  1. Go Birding

We’re fortunate to live in an area where birds reside year-round. Why not take advantage and check out a bird watching kit from the Library, complete with binoculars and field guides! Be sure to also check out the many other resources for your birding adventure like National Geographic Kids Bird Guide of North America or Watch Me Make a Bird Feeder.

  1. Binge Watch TV Shows

Westworld. Game of Thrones. American Gods. Outlander. Orange is the New Black.

Whatever television series you’re looking for, chances are the Library has it available for check out or download! Peruse the DVD selection at our library locations or use hoopla to stream and download your shows.

  1. Be a Scientist

There’s more to science than slime! Have fun exploring, discovering, and running science experiments this winter. Many of the Library’s STREAM programs offer exciting hands-on projects or take out a guide to at-home science experiments like Science Experiments You Can Eat and Naked Eggs and Flying Potatoes by Colorado’s own Steve Spangler.


  1. Organize Your Home

Whether you want to organize your home a bit or go full feng shui on it, take a look at some of the useful resources available to get you started. Our collection includes titles like HGTV Magazine, Feng Shui Simply, and Organize Your Way: Simple Strategies for Every Personality.

  1. Get Crafty

Do you have a favorite craft project like scrapbooking or sewing? Get inspired with new project ideas and techniques by checking out popular Library resources like the eMagazine Cloth, Paper, Scissors or books on origami and doll making. Or, find something totally new like projects made from paracord or the art of pyrography (it’s drawing with fire on leather, paper, and other materials).

  1. Start Cooking

You probably have heard you can borrow cake pans from our Gadgets & Things Collection, but did you know we also have tons of cookbooks to help you get back into the kitchen and enjoy cooking again?  Whether you’re looking for tips on vegan or paleo recipes or you’re just out to have fun cooking with the kids (um, The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook and The Disney Princess Cookbook are great fun!), we’ve got you covered.

Photo: Alan Wat


  1. Get Psyched for Skiing

Okay, we don’t have ski equipment available at the library, but we do offer free access to the digital and print versions of Ski Magazine as well as great books and videos like Lost Ski Areas of Colorado’s Front Range and Northern Mountains, Ski! A Century of Colorado Skiing, and many of the Warren Miller movies.

  1. Learn Something

Yes, even though school is not in session, you can still learn something.