During the cold winter months, starting a version of hibernating where you stay indoors is easy. While attending the Danish feeling of hygge, or coziness, might be appealing, it isn’t always healthy.
You need to exercise just as much in winter as you do during the warm parts of the year. We’re always fans of getting outdoors. However, sometimes you might want to give wild places a miss. When the weather is unpredictable, it’s much safer to stay close to people where you won’t risk being injured.
Local parks are lovely. But if you want something breathtaking, head to a botanical garden. Botanical gardens don’t shut down for the winter. They are decorated for the holidays with gorgeous displays and sculptures.
In addition to beautiful outdoor spaces, botanical gardens have heated greenhouses and conservatories. At this time of year, they are stuffed with poinsettias, Christmas trees and stunning displays.
In warmer areas of the country, winter doesn’t mean frigid weather. Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden has 8,000 Luminaria bags scattered among the cacti and poinsettia outdoors for people to enjoy nighttime walks. There are also people playing handbells and singing carols in Dickensian costumes. It might not be cold, but that doesn’t stop them from getting into the Christmas spirit!
Some botanic gardens, like Denver’s, have synchronized light shows set to holiday music. It’s fun for the whole family. While others, like the botanical gardens in Washington D.C. and New York City, make massive miniature train landscapes to celebrate the holidays.
When you dress for a botanical garden at this time of year, it’s important to wear layers. You might duck in and out of buildings and change activities that alter how warm you are. If you have layers, you can adjust. A hat is also useful as it keeps the sun off your face — think of it as though you were dressing for a day in your own garden. Then factor in the fact that you can’t just walk back into your house if you forgot something.
One of the nicest things about going to botanical gardens at this time of year is that many people think they are closed. They’re quieter. You get a huge garden with tons of elbow room. If you are a gardener or plant enthusiast, take advantage of this slow time of year — you can talk to the gardening crew without interruptions and learn lots of skills as well as information about plants and the history of the garden you visit.
Now is the perfect time to visit the botanical garden in your area. It’s decorated for the holidays and quieter than usual!