Five activities ideal for winter

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Chase the winter blues away with these activities and events that are guaranteed to keep your mind and body active and your spirits up.

Head down to your local stadium or sports ground to watch a footy match with your mates.

Get your culture on

Winter is the perfect time for you to check out your local art gallery or museum to see what new collections are on display. For winter fun for the entire family, rug up and attend a winter festival near you, such as Dark Mofo in Tasmania or Sydney's Winter Festival. Watching ice skating performances, strolling over the winter markets, admiring art and light installations and snacking delicious food is certain to brighten up your nights with a sense of community spirit.

Watch a game

Head down to your local stadium or sports ground to watch a game of rugby or AFL during the winter season with your mates, and support your local footy team at any of the matches held around Australia until late September. If this doesn't suit you, rally round some friends and head to the pub to watch the game live on the big screen - with a hearty meal and that loud pub atmosphere - what could be a better way to spend a winter night?

Try a new sport

Sick of climbing the walls at home during winter? Head to your nearest rock climbing centre and climb the walls there instead! Indoor rock climbing is challenging and rewarding way to keep fit in winter, as it builds on partner work and gives your body a proper work out. In the same unconventional vein, hot yoga is as great for the body as it is for the mind. Best suited for those with previous yoga experience, you'll be sweating and stretching like never before in the heated rooms, perfect for shedding those extra kilos put on during the winter months. While hot yoga is great for detoxing and can help improve the lymphatic system, it's no easy feat, and you should be aware that the hot conditions might have adverse effects on your body. Remember to go at your own pace, stay hydrated, and avoid pushing yourself too hardi.

Ideal for kids and the young at heart, your local ice skating rink is the perfect winter destination. Put on some warm clothes, strap your skates on and off you go to an afternoon or evening full of family fun.

Taking a cooking class with a friend can prove to be not only fun and educational but also delicious.

Take a class

While the nights are cold and the days are short, why not brush up on your life skills? Taking a cooking class with a friend can prove to be not only fun and educational, but also delicious. After you've perfected the recipes, you can throw a dinner party at home - a sure fire way to bring your friends together... and impress them!

The fun doesn't have to stop there - check out your local community centre, library or pub to discover what classes and activities are offered. Life drawing, trivia, creative writing and how-to workshops are just some of the social activities that could be held in a venue near you.

Treat yourself

If the darkness of winter becomes too much and seasonal affective disorder begins to take hold, it might be time for a weekend of pure relaxation. There are retreats and spas in the mountains or coastal regions close to many Australian capital cities, where you can find peace and tranquillity in a massage, sauna or natural hot spring. Go alone or with friends to soak up the warm water and fresh air out of town. If you can't afford to get away from town, make your own rejuvenation spot at home! Fill up your bathtub with sweet smelling bath crystals and let the aromas wash over you in your own personal escape.

iGiuffrida M. 2013, 'The health benefits of practicing hot yoga', She Knows, 2 September, viewed 27 May 2014,