Safe Activities For A COVID-19 Winter


Graphic by Marissa Xu

Take in the holiday lights this season. Stop by downtown Allen St. to see the big Christmas tree, as well as the Light Up Downtown displays on various downtown streets (Fraser St., Locust Ln).

Quinn Colburn, Staff Writer

Now that fall of 2020 is a thing of the past, the time has come for cold weather, holiday activities, and an abundance of baked goods. However, with COVID-19 precautions and a potential second wave looming over everyone’s heads, many may struggle to find normalcy as they look for fun and safe winter activities. While a 2020 winter may not be as traditional as past winters, there are several COVID-19 safe activities that may make this winter a little more bearable. 


Take in the holiday lights: As the temperatures drop and the holiday season approaches, many families decorate their homes with festive lights and other various decorations. An interesting but simple alternative to staying in and watching TV is to take a drive around State College to look at the lights. Stop by downtown Allen St. to see the big Christmas tree, as well as the Light Up Downtown displays on various downtown streets (Fraser St., Locust Ln). Face masks will be required during visits to Light Up Downtown. 


Bake cookies or decorate gingerbread houses: Another popular activity for around the holidays is decorating Christmas cookies, gingerbread houses, or making other baked goods. Using tools like curbside pickup or delivery for ingredients, this can be a safe stay-at-home activity. You can choose to make cookies or gingerbread from scratch, but for those who would prefer to go a simpler route, premade cookie dough, gingerbread, and other mixes can be found in most of State College’s grocery stores. 


Watch something new (or rewatch something old): Although some may not be as interested in baking or being in the kitchen any more than necessary this winter, most would still prefer to stay inside. A classic winter activity that, luckily enough, is not affected by COVID-19 is simply lounging around and watching a good movie. Fortunately, streaming services such as Netflix and Disney + are adding several new titles to their selection this month & season for the viewing pleasure of their users. Check out the new article on what’s coming to Netflix this December for ideas on the Lions’ Digest Website. 


Volunteer for Meals on Wheels: Looking to give back this holiday season? The State College Meals on Wheels organization has continued to deliver meals to older individuals or those with disabilities throughout the pandemic. If you are interested in helping out this non-profit organization this winter, contact Mary Lemmon at [email protected] with your driver’s license, insurance card, and your current PA State Police background check. For more information visit the Meals on Wheels website at


Take a winter hike: For the outdoorsy folk who are anxious to get outside despite the bitter weather, there are several ideal destinations in State College for a winter hike. These include Mount Nittany, Shingletown Gap, Thompson Woods Preserve, Musser Gap Short Loop, and many more. Make a day out of it- bring family or friends (try to maintain distance if you do not live with them). If needed, do some research to find the best hike for you (difficulty/time-wise) and check the weather forecast as well. Always bring a mask in case of close run-ins with other people. 


Support small businesses this holiday season: This year has been a tough one for small businesses worldwide, and it is no different with State College. Kill two birds with one stone and get some holiday shopping done or something to eat while supporting some local businesses. Lion’s Pride, The Makery, Kitchen Kaboodle, The Art Alliance of Central Pennsylvania, and Connections Clothing are just a few great places for those looking for holiday gifts. If you’re in need of a snack, there’s Sweet Tooth Bakery, Crust & Crumb Cafe, Irving’s Bagels, Kamrai Thai&Sushi House, and Cozy Thai Bistro, plus many other great options. Support a few of them by shopping small this holiday season. 


Ski, snowboard, and more at Tussey Mountain: Lucky for skiers and snowboarders, their sport makes it a little easier for them to follow COVID-19 precautions during their season. Tussey Mountain is planning on being open for business this winter season (however this is subject to change). Make sure to check out their website at, for ski/snowboard prices and rates, hours, and COVID-19 precautions. Most importantly, face coverings will be required for access to the Mountain and all buildings. 


With the drop in temperatures and change in seasons, many people have begun to stress over how they’ll handle winter in the midst of a pandemic. Hopefully, everyone can make this winter a little easier by looking into some safe activities they can partake in despite the difficult combination of COVID-19 and cold weather this winter season.