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Rainy days can feel endless, especially when your favorite outdoor activities are put on hold. While you wait for warmer days, consider focusing your attention indoors with a new, creative outlet.

Purple basil, parsley rosemary, mint, basil thyme, and fennel ready to be planted. Photo – Getty Images

Start (or expand!) an indoor garden

Cold weather outside doesn’t mean you can’t cultivate a luscious garden inside. If you don’t have much experience with indoor gardening, start with a beginner’s guide to learn the basics— everything from materials needed to types of gardens (food, flowers, etc.). The best part about indoor gardens is their versatility; you can use any size space and make it portable or permanent to fit your individual needs. Plus, the burst of greenery and color will boost your mood during the gray winter months.

Travel the world through puzzles

Puzzles are a wonderful indoor activity—you can complete them alone or with friends, all in one session or over time. For a creative twist on traditional puzzles, choose pictures that feature landscapes, buildings, or people from around the world. You’ll be able to glimpse life beyond your four walls while challenging your brain with the intricate patterns.

Learn a new language

A new year is the perfect time to learn a new language! With many platforms available, from free to paid, you can find the program that works best for you. Popular options like DuoLingo and Rosetta Stone offer comprehensive classes designed to take you from zero to fluent in a few short months. For something more casual, try YouTube channels dedicated to learning your target language.

Work your way through the Oscars

Something about being warm and cozy inside (while it’s freezing outside) inspires movie marathons. Instead of watching new releases, consider catching up on past Oscar winners. You can choose to focus on Best Picture winners and nominees or branch out into more obscure categories like Achievement in Cinematography or Costume Design for a look at the hidden skills behind blockbuster hits. With so many streaming services available, you can easily find these movies for free or a small rental fee on various platforms. Pop some popcorn and enjoy!

Photo- Getty Images

Master a new cooking craze

Sometimes our cooking skills need a refresh, especially when new techniques and dishes gain popularity. Use the time indoors to master current trends like making the perfect charcuterie board, fancy hot chocolate bombs, or meals with a new gadget like an air fryer. Invite your friends and family to taste the delicious results!

Be a (virtual) volunteer

Youth and community organizations need volunteers year-round to share their expertise and stories with kids and special populations. Many organizations are using virtual volunteers to give online classes, send video clips, or chat with people one-on-one. To find an opportunity that fits with your talents and background, try searching on VolunteerMatch for available openings.

Transcribe historical documents

If you’re interested in history and making it more accessible to future generations, consider volunteering as a transcriber! From the comfort of home, you can review historical documents and work with a team to transform them into digital archives. Everything from personal diaries to newspaper announcements, ledgers to photograph captions are waiting to be transcribed. You can find a comprehensive list of these opportunities from AARP. Search for the projects that interest you, or sign up with a friend to work together!

Whether you’d like to learn a new skill or challenge friends to a puzzle party, these activities are sure to keep your creative wheels spinning throughout the rainy season.

The Active Aging Series is brought to you by our partner, Cambrian Homecare. Cambrian Homecare has been assisting individuals to stay independent in their homes for 27 years. Flexible experience you can trust, when the best place is still at home.