28 ways to escape the winter doldrums

Get outta that rut!
By DENA RIEGEL  |  February 1, 2011

I know, I know. When winter rolls around, most of us want be eating comfort food with cheese in it and watching 30 Rock on a cozy lap-warming computer. But, c'mon! "Vacationland" residents certainly know how to razz people who only visit when the weather is warm — so why do our endeavors obey the same "summer-season" nonsense? I'm not saying it's a bad time to snuggle. It's a tops time to snuggle. But it's also a great time to focus on something that you might just let slip away if it were a beautiful June day. For folks who live with our gorgeous and complex state through the thick and thin of the year, February is an awfully nice occasion to go on an adventure, hear some music, or learn something cool before the warmer winds pull us toward beers on the beach and barbecues three nights a week.

This is a month's worth of ideas centered around yanking you out of winter ho-hum. It's a Red Bull for your social life and cheaper than Xanax. We have purposely focused on the free-willed individual and not "the couple" — you need a safe space! Doesn't matter how much free time you have, either — we have ideas for your lunch break, the whole afternoon, a day, or a weekend. Either way, this list — one item for every day in the year's shortest month — should have you pretty well covered. Let YouTube know you guys are on a break.

One-Time Events

SEEK OUT URBAN FAUNA | It's those daisies in the pavement cracks that bring a smile to your face. Eric Hynes's guided "Nature in your Neighborhood" trip brings us to Falmouth's River Point Conservation Area this month. | Rte 100/Auburn Street, Falmouth | February 22 @ 8 am | $15 | 207.781.2230

HOIST A FEW On February 28 (A party on a Monday? Don't question it!), disappointments and/or planning stresses of Valenlonely are out of the way. The Maine Bartender's Bash is time to focus on what matters in life: vodka and gin. That's fancy-fabulous drinks with Cold River vodka and gin, made by Maine's best bartenders. | Ocean Gateway Terminal, 14 Ocean Gateway Pier, Portland | February 28 @ 5-8:30 pm | $35 | 207.865.4828 | mainedistilleries.com

HEAD DOWNHILL The Toboggan National Championships are held at the Camden Snow Bowl ski area, with pre-reserved and open sledding times (and a pancake breakfast!) making for healthy competitive fun. | Camden Snow Bowl, Camden | February 11-13 | $2 | 207.230.0490 | winter.camdensnowbowl.com

HEAD DOWNHILL FASTER The Runner-Sledding Championships is a week-long family-friendly event, fulla potlucks, ice-fishing, and timed sledding runs (as well as lots of free-hill time for the non-competitive) leading up to Race Day on February 26. | Runner Sledding Course Landing, Bragdon Rd, Montville | February 19-26 | noumbrella.com/runnersled

TAKE IN A PLAY You know you need a little Darcy in your month of Love. Pride and Prejudice's fine and fetching cast of Regency-era men and women will make you swoon and cheer on homegirl Elizabeth all over again. | Theater Project, 14 School St, Brunswick | Through February 28 | by donation; $18 suggested | 207.729.8584 | theaterproject.com

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  Topics: Lifestyle Features , Mount Holyoke College, Maine Historical Society, Maine Historical Society,  More more >
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 See all articles by: DENA RIEGEL