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10 Things To Do In January To Not Go Stir-Crazy

Jan 02, 2023 10:51AM ● By Rose Terami
Even though the hustle and bustle from the holidays has started to settle, winter has only just begun. Spring might seem like it’s just around the corner on the calendar, but the couple of months left until then somehow always seem longer and colder than the year before. Between winter breaks from work and school and sunsets that occur before the dinner table is even set, it can be easy to fall victim to cabin fever during the winter months. Luckily, the Upper Valley is rich with things to do, places to visit, and people to meet—all year-round. We’ve come up with a list of 10 ideas to keep you from going stir-crazy this January. Try them out on your own or with a friend, and warmer weather will be here before you know it!


Montshire Museum of Science

 The Montshire Museum of Science has been an ideal local year-round activity for families with children for more than 40 years. With over 150 hands-on scientific exhibits, the Montshire is sure to entertain for hours on end while also cultivating learning for your children. You can visit the Montshire seven days a week from 10 am to 5 pm. General admission during the winter for adults costs $18; for kids, $15; children under two are free. There are also several membership offerings for frequent visitors, which you can read more about here.


The Hood Museum of Art

The Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College is a great choice for art and history lovers or people who are curious to learn more about these things. You can spend as little or as much time as you want in this open-access, free museum in downtown Hanover. The gallery is open Wednesdays from 11 am to 5 pm, Thursdays and Fridays from 11 am to 8 pm, and Saturdays from 1 to 5 pm. View current gallery exhibitions here or check out the Hood’s upcoming special events and programs.


The Nugget Theater

The Nugget Theaters in Hanover has been around since the early 1900s. Historically and still today, it’s been a memorable place for families, couples, and friends to enjoy a motion picture and refreshments, whether admission cost 10 cents or 10 dollars. Check the Nugget’s website to see what’s playing and to buy your tickets in advance online.


AVA Gallery and Art Center

For another low-key activity that helps pass the time while you learn something new, check out the AVA Gallery and Art Center in Lebanon. Beginning January 13, a new exhibition featuring dogs and other pets will be installed at AVA, which will run through February 11. Admission to view the exhibition is always free, and the gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm. Along with the art displays in the gallery, AVA also hosts a variety of events and classes that are worth checking out. Events such as artist talks and “the Mudroom” are both educational and entertaining, and art classes offered for all different skill levels are an equally fun way to fill your spare time this winter.


Rail Trail

Spending some time outside and getting sunshine is still important in the winter, even though the weather’s less inviting. The Upper Valley is in luck! The Northern Lebanon Rail Trail, which runs from Lebanon to Concord, boasts 57.6 miles of a scenic and well-maintained multiuse trail perfect for walking, bicycling, and winter activities like cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Find an access point near you and enjoy some fresh air!


The Fourth Place

The Fourth Place, which recently opened up shop in Hanover, is a space dedicated to all things gamer, comic, and geek culture. Designed to feel like a home away from home, you can sit back and relax while indulging in some gaming or just hanging out. Weekly events are also hosted to help you discover games you’re interested in and meet new people. Memberships are available for access to exclusive game tables, arcade games, video game consoles, early access deals, and more. The Fourth Place is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 2 to 10 pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 2 to 11 pm, and Sundays from 2 to 9 pm.


King Arthur Baking Company Classes

Learning a new skill is one great way to help pass the time, and baking is the perfect activity to help curb that seasonal cabin fever that tends to crop up right about now. Frosting cookies sounds better than the frost outside! The Baking School at King Arthur Baking Company in Norwich is the best place to do just that. No matter your skill level or age, you can take a class at King Arthur and learn baking techniques from expert instructors, virtually or in person. View the calendar for classes in Norwich here, virtual options here, or purchase a gift card applicable toward a class voucher here.


Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS)

Year-round, Vermont Institute of Natural Science offers a top-notch educational experience to visitors through an environmental lens. You can visit the Nature Center at VINS seven days a week from 10 am to 4 pm and view exhibits featuring avian wildlife such as raptors and songbirds, or explore the nature trails or the Forest Canopy Walk. You can purchase tickets for general admission online. VINS has much else to offer, including special seasonal events like A Forest of Lights, daily education and demonstrations, and virtual resources to extend lessons into your own home.

Dartmouth Skiway

If you’re more for embracing the harsher winter weather, you’ll want to pay a visit to the Dartmouth Skiway in Lyme. Open for the season, the Skiway offers daily lift tickets, rentals and leases for equipment, weekly programs, season passes, and lessons. Daily tickets get you access to the lifts at the Skiway, which operate from 9am to 4pm daily, while season passes earn you this same access all season long with a few added perks like discounts on retail and rentals and discounts for your friends and family.


French’s Ledges Trails

Get outdoors and choose your own adventure by exploring a local trail system like French’s Ledges in Plainfield. You’ll enjoy eight miles of trails perfect for hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or mountain biking. At the top of the Ledges, you’ll find beautiful views of Croydon and Grantham Mountains, and Meriden and Mt. Ascutney!

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