4 activities to do during winter recess

Posted 15 December 2016


The exams are over! Now it is finally the time to enjoy the holiday season, catch up with your family and friends after a busy finals period, and do something you couldn’t do during your school months. If you’re staying at James Madison University during your winter break here are the top four activities you can do without breaking a bank or travelling too far.

Try winter sports

The gorgeous Shenandoah Valley, located in close proximity to Harrisonburg, is a perfect place for a getaway all year round. However it is especially beautiful in the winter time, and is perfect for all winter activities: skiing, snowboarding and tubing. A short 35 minute drive from Harrisonburg will bring you to Massanutten Ski Resort, surrounded by beautiful mountains, where you can enjoy a day (or more!) of fun in the snow.

Go underground

If you’ve never visited the Grand Caverns, it’s a must! After a short 30-minute drive from Harrisonburg you will get to the oldest continually opened caves in North America. The average year round temperature inside the caves is 54F (12C) degrees, so this can be a perfect activity on a cold winter day. Keep in mind that during winter months the Grand Caverns are open from 10am to 4pm every day, and closed on December 24-25 and January 1.

Experience history

Take a trip to Colonial Williamsburg – a 301-acre historic site where you can experience American history of 17th-19th centuries. It’s a living museum with gardens, four taverns reconstructed for use as restaurants, two inns and other historical structures. It is especially pretty during the holiday season. Take advantage of the Christmas time to see the Busch Gardens Christmas Town, dazzling with lights, go ice-skating at Liberty’s Ice Pavilion, or make a wish under Yorktown’s Christmas Tree. Whatever you do, it’ll surely be a memorable trip!

Indulge with food

Some activities can be done at home, and in fact they are oftentimes the best! Put on your coziest holiday outfit (pajama, ugly sweaters, or anything else) and organize a holiday potluck. Holidays is the perfect time to indulge in delicious food and drinks (think: chocolate chip cookies, warm apple cider, gingerbread, and so much more) so why don’t you invite your friends over and enjoy the food and the fun.

These are just some of the ideas for your winter break, but there’s so much more to do and see around. Don’t stop exploring and have a wonderful winter break!


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