Perhaps you don’t mind a walk or jog in the chilly rain, but for many, as the weather gets cooler, staying active gets a little bit tougher. Why go out in the cold when you can sit on the couch with some cookies and watch a movie?
The answer is: because there is much to do in the Tacoma area that offers either a mild workout or at least a way to get up on your feet for a few hours. From holiday happenings to indoor activities open all year round, here’s a list of ideas on how to stay active when the weather gets cooler.
Go Ice Skating
Pierce County offers up a few opportunities to go ice skating both during the holiday season as well as all year round. Any time of year, you can go to Sprinker Recreation Center, which has a full-size, NHL regulation ice skating rink where you can ice skate for fun or join in a hockey game. Not sure what you’re doing with a set of skates on? There are lessons for that whether you want to learn to do a triple lux or pass a puck.
Usually you can go to Polar Plaza at Tollefson Plaza in downtown Tacoma for seasonal skating, but Polar Plaza will not open in 2017. Instead, the Frozen Fountain rink at Point Ruston is the place to be for frozen fun this year. From November 10 until New Year’s Day, the fountain at Point Ruston will transform into a rink complete with lighting effects, seasonal decor, hot drinks and live events throughout the season.
Both rinks have ice skate rentals if you don’t have your own.
Go Bowling or Play Mini Golf
Bowling isn’t always the first thing to come to mind when you think of exercise, but it’s a great way to get the family out of the house or perfect for a low-key night out or date. Bowling alleys are located throughout Pierce County, including the adorable Chalet Bowl in Proctor and Tower Lanes on 6th Avenue. If you just want to bowl a game or two, then any bowling alley near you will do. If you want to spend a few hours enjoying some indoor activities, Tower Lanes is the place to be. It’s open 24 hours a day, has a restaurant with a full menu, billiards tables, an arcade and even has a full indoor mini golf course.
Take a Hike or a Bike Ride
Of course, not every winter day is worth staying indoors all day. If you peep out your window and see clear blue skies, then bundle up and head out for a wintery walk. While many of Pierce County’s trails do get muddy in our wet winters, many others are paved or have paved sections. Obvious paved walking paths include the Ruston Way Waterfront and Point Ruston. Point Defiance’s Five Mile Drive has – you guessed it – a five-mile stretch of paved walking, biking and driving path that meanders through the forest, as well as a paved boardwalk at Owen Beach. While not nearly as picturesque, the Scott Pierson bike trail is also entirely paved and can be a fine path for a walk if you don’t mind road noise. The Foothills Trail is paved if you’re entering on one of the trailheads from Puyallup and goes for miles with views of meadows and Mount Rainier on clear days.
Take a Class
You don’t have to belong to a gym to take a fitness class. Tacoma and other Pierce County cities are filled with studios that offer classes galore. Metro Parks offers a full range of classes, from ballroom dance to ballet to martial arts to swimming classes (some held at indoor pools such as the People’s Pool or Eastside Pool). Options for classes also include kickboxing at I Love Kickboxing, or yoga at studios like Source Yoga on I Street, or a pilates class at any number of studios in town. The options are many.
Go Mall Walking
If you don’t want to spend money on a class, and you don’t like going for walks outside when the weather is cold whether it’s sunny or not, there’s always mall walking. Yes, it’s true, you’ll have to contend with some holiday shoppers if you go in November or December, but the environment is temperature controlled and dry. Also in most of November and December, local malls have extended hours so you can go walking later in the evening if you prefer.