It’s January in North Dakota, and that means two things: the spring semester is starting at NDSU and it’s downright cold outside.
Even though our bank accounts are still reeling from tuition and textbooks, and there may not appear to be many options with the weather, when you’re ready for a break from homework, there are plenty of opportunities for a good time.
Here are five of my favorite ways to survive the frozen North Dakota winter on a budget.
1. Go sledding
Sledding is a Midwestern classic and it’s a great way to take advantage of the recent snowfall and icy temps.
Fargo has a couple of good sledding hills and both locations offer sleds for checkout. Edgewood Golf Course is a couple minutes from campus, and they have a decent sledding hill that isn’t too steep. They also offer free sleigh rides on Saturday afternoons.
Mickelson Park is another good option in Fargo, with a new sledding hill steeper than Edgewood’s. Both locations have a warming hut available during the day if you need to take a break from the cold.
2. Catch a movie at the Union
The return of the semester means the return of weekly movie nights at Century Theater in the Memorial Union. Campus Attractions features a different movie each week, and show times are Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights. The selections for January include “Suicide Squad,” as well as the classic “Legally Blonde,” with more to come throughout the semester.
3. Warm up in the hot tub and sauna in the Wellness Center
What’s a better way to combat -30° with wind chill than the steamy 100°+ temperatures in the brand-new hot tub and sauna in the Wellness Center? Take advantage of your student membership and hop over to the Wellness Center to warm up, relax and unwind after a stressful day of classes.
Both are open all week with time available in the morning, evening and some afternoons. You can check their hours on the Wellness Center’s website at ndsu.edu/wellness.
4. Have a game night
If you’ve never heard what a hula-hoop, a treehouse and Frankenstein sound like, you’re about to find out. While game nights all depend on what you and your friends are up for, classics like Monopoly and Scrabble, and party favorites like Catchphrase or Charades, are always good picks.
If you’re more into video games than board games, set up a friendly MarioKart battle or see what the local libraries have available. You can get anything from PlayStation to Xbox on a one-week loan.
My friends and I love to play a game called Fishbowl. It’s a mash-up of Catchphrase and Charades with a lot of sound effects that usually leaves us laughing so hard, we’re crying.
Whatever you pick, game nights are easy and a ton of fun.
5. Check out the Frostival
If you’re getting a little cabin fever, bundle up and head downtown for some low-cost fun.
Downtown Fargo is hosting the Frostival January 27 and 28. There’s no cost to attend, but some of the activities have a small fee. The Frostival has a wide variety of activities, including ice skating, a volleyball tournament and Snowga, a free yoga class held outdoors in Island Park.
You can find more information and the schedule for the weekend on the event website, frostival.com.