Winter activities with less restrictions

Emily Vayda, staff writer

As we are all well aware, the Covid-19 era that we are living in has made it difficult for fun group activities, especially during the holidays.  Region 7, which includes Will County, recently moved out of Tier 3 restrictions.  Activities are still limited but much more is now available.    

Popular winter activities such as bowling and ice skating have not been allowed most of the season.  Bowling alleys have just started opening up as of Friday, January 22.  Inwood Ice Arena is still closed for indoor ice skating at this time.  However, if you are interested in taking a small day trip you can check out these activities allowed outside our region for this season. If interested, you could even travel for some fun in Chicago at Maggie Daley Park which is still allowing guests at their outdoor ice skating rink.  Reservations are required as they are only allowing so many skaters at a time, along with  following other social distancing protocols.     

You could also visit your local fitness center as they are still open, but under strict guidelines. Masks are still being required in buildings, but small gyms, and big chain gyms like Planet Fitness are still operating.  Fitness classes, which had been cancelled for some time due to Covid, have also started up again with a maximum number of guests allowed.  

 Another fun activity for those looking for something that is open during this time is  axe throwing and escape rooms. Axe Factor Throwing in Plainfield is open through reservations only, and Escape the Room in Oak Brook and  Legendary Escape Rooms and Axe Throwing in Aurora are all open.  Each facility is operating under private bookings only, meaning if you book an escape room, then your party is the only group in that room.  Each room is completely cleaned and disinfected between each game for your safety as well.  

Most restaurants have only been able to operate for takeout or outdoor dining for months.  Now with the lesser Covid restrictions, dining indoors is available.  Restaurants are allowed indoor dining at 25% capacity with a 4 person limit per table. Given the winter months, restaurants had to come up with unique ways to turn the outdoors into individual indoor facilities. There are quite a few restaurants that are offering igloo dining. This ensures that your party’s dining is isolated from other guests.  The igloos are heated, although most restaurants encourage guests to bring their own blankets. This is quite a popular substitute to eating indoors as not only are you separated from others but it also makes for great photo opportunities.  Even though indoor dining is available now, restaurants will still keep the igloo dining option due to its popularity.  

Even though this winter looked a lot different than years before due to Covid-19 restrictions, there are still some fun, safe activities that can be enjoyed.  This winter may be hard and bring on the winter blues, however, knowing these options are available may bring some smiles to our faces.