10 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

Has the snow and cold got you down? Cheer up: Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun. From snowshoeing and swing dancing to bargain shopping, we’ve got ideas on how to defend yourself against the winter doldrums


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3. [Feed Your Brain]



It’s said that the foods you eat can affect your mood. It stands to reason, then, that what you feed your brain can do the same. Give your cranium some calories at your local bookstore or library. Many host special events during the winter months; what follows is simply a sampling.

Want to start your own book club? The Mid-Hudson Library System has a Book Club in a Bag kit: a tote bag filled with 10 copies of a particular title, and a list of potential discussion questions. If you live in Dutchess, Ulster, Columbia, Greene, or Putnam County, ask your local library for more info.

Many libraries offer more than books. The Middletown Thrall Library hosts an ongoing film series. This month, they screen the British flick Somers Town (Jan. 7 at 7 p.m.), while Afternoon Movies for Grown-ups features a different flick on the third Wednesday of each month at 2 p.m.

World-class chamber music can be found at the Olive Free Library. The Trail Mix Music Festival hosts a series of concerts in the library’s music room; this month, two pianists tickle the ivories (Jan. 17 at 2:30 p.m.). The Palenville Branch of the Catskill Library offers yoga classes and a photography club, both of which welcome beginners. And chess players looking for a challenge can head to the Newburgh Barnes & Noble, which holds matches every Tuesday night in the café.

Take a quick trip to Hollywood at the Chatham Bookstore for a reading and book signing by Spencertown resident Peter Biskind, author of Star: How Warren Beatty Seduced America (Jan. 16 from 1-3 p.m.). Still trying to figure out why our economy’s in crisis? Rhinebeck’s Oblong Books & Music hosts a launch party for Money for Nothing: How the Failure of Corporate Boards is Ruining American Business and Costing Us Trillions, by Pine Plains resident John Gillespie and David Zweig (Jan. 16 at 7:30 p.m.). Kids can meet Michael Buckley, author of Nerds and the Sisters Grimm series, on Jan. 9 at noon. The Kingston Barnes & Noble welcomes local author Steve Hamilton, who discusses his new novel, The Lock Artist. His first book, A Cold Day in Paradise, won both the Edgar and Shamus Awards for best first novel (Jan. 5 at 7 p.m.).

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