Reader submission by Patricia Flint

So the weather is getting colder. We’re starting to pull out our winter jackets, boots, gloves and scarves. The skies are grayer, the mornings darker, the evenings shorter. Already, the days of jumping off Whatcom Falls and hanging out by the waterfront are distant memories. Even if the weather outside is getting rather gloomy and chill, here’s a list of fun activities and adventures that will keep you smiling through these long, dark winter months.

Mindport is a hands-on museum located in downtown Bellingham, right on Holly Street. It focuses on investigation, observation, creativity and play. The emphasis on human creativity and inventiveness makes it an absolute delight to discover and participate in the wonders inside its walls. Best of all, the cost of attendance is low enough that even the poorest college student can easily make the trip.

The Woods Coffee
With locations all over Whatcom County, including Boulevard Park and downtown Bellingham, The Woods Coffee is the ideal place to relax, study, catch up with old friends and even just people watch. Order your favorite drink, grab a comfy chair and enjoy the cozy, warm atmosphere that makes any blustery winter day seem just a little more cheerful.

CreativiTea is a cozy little shop tucked into a corner of Fairhaven. It offers delicious hot drinks, snacks and the unique opportunity of painting a piece of pottery or assembling your own glassware. After you finish a piece, you can pick it up three to five days to enjoy in your own home for years to come. Also, take the opportunity to use your blue book coupon to get three dollars off a pottery or glass piece!

Bellingham has a surprisingly large amount of museums. The America Museum of Radio and Electricity offers over four centuries worth of history in exciting, interactive exhibits. Interestingly enough, they also run their own radio station (KMRE 102.3-FM) that broadcasts some of the most culturally and historically significant recordings ever heard. The Whatcom Museum is currently exhibiting a Smithsonian American Art Museum display titled, “1934: A New Deal for Artists.” Whatcom Museum is a great place to view art from all over the Northwest, and a great inspiration for the creative.

Idiom or Pickford Theater
If you’re looking to enjoy the arts of theater and film, the Idiom and the Pickford are the places to do it. The Idiom Theater at 1418 Cornwall Ave. is a great place to view performances by local and international artists that are showcasing never before seen plays as well as the more traditional ones. Even if you think you’ve seen a play, you’ve never really seen it till you’ve seen the amazing actors and actresses at the Idiom perform it. The Pickford on the other hand strives to celebrate the art of film by providing a vast array of classic, eclectic, foreign and independent cinema that is appealing to everyone, whether or not you consider yourself a film buff. Check out their website,, for a schedule of the movies showing this month.

What’s more traditional than Friday or Saturday night bowling? If it’s raining out, be sure to check out 20th Century Bowl right in downtown. It doesn’t matter if you can bowl like Fred Flintstone or you’re all thumbs, as long as you can laugh at yourself, this is the place to be.

Okay, so I know this one is a little bit of a cheat because it is still cold, but at least it doesn’t rain at the ice skating rink right off Lakeway Drive at the Sportsplex. Grab a cute scarf, some mittens, legwarmers, the hand of that special someone and hit the rink. Better yet, with the blue book coupon, admission is free for the second person you bring along.