Every year, health and wellness goals top Marylanders’ lists of New Year’s resolutions. But sticking to those resolutions, especially if you have kids, is notoriously tough.
Thanks to a handful of engaging, family-oriented programs, Howard County families have a fighting chance at achieving those goals.
1. Explore nature indoors.
When life gets hectic, one of the best ways to regain sanity and reaffirm your family bond is to explore the natural world.
That can be tough during the chilly winter months, but on Jan. 22, Robinson Nature Center in Columbia will celebrate all things cold with Frozen Fest.
Explore the trails around the center and do fun experiments, like making your own ice cream, then head inside the center to warm up with a movie in the NatureSphere dome theater (which also functions as a planetarium).
On days when it’s too cold to head outdoors, you can still explore the wild world around us from the comfort of Robinson’s heated interior.
“In the winter, people spend a lot of time in the Discovery Room. It’s a place where families can go to explore in a hands-on way,” says program manager Meagan Downey. The room is home to interactive exhibits and live animals that can be observed and, in some cases, touched.
Sunday, Jan. 22. (snow day Jan. 29); noon
$10 general admission, $7 members, under 3 years free
Robinson Nature Center
6692 Cedar Lane, Columbia
2. Get active.
Get a jump-start on the spring season by signing up with Get Active Howard County, a local initiative that promotes physical activity, health education, screenings and nutrition.
Get Active organizes a family-friendly boot camp, held in Centennial Park every Saturday morning from early-to-mid-March through mid-November, and a 10-week initiative featuring a variety of classes, programs, workshops and Family Wellness Day, a free event on the first Sunday of June.
To get involved in the Get Active programs, sign up online to join an existing team or gather family and friends to start a team of your own. Then get moving.
Get Active Howard County
Most Get Active workshops, programs and activities, including the boot camp, are free.
3. Go meatless.
Along with its health benefits, meat-free dining can be an adventure, even for the most carnivorous of families.
At the Clarksville vegetarian restaurant Great Sage, Tuesdays are for pizza — and it’s a hit with the kids, says general manager Scott Carberry. “Let’s face it, kids like pizza,” he said. “Tuesday night is a great night to bring the family out and we have a salad and pizza special for $15.”
If cooking at home is more your speed, Whole Foods in Columbia can help you put a healthier spin on home meal prep. On Jan. 7, Whole Foods will host a healthy eating workshop at the Mall in Columbia. The workshop, which will feature local nutritionists and focus on eating for a healthy and balanced lifestyle, will take place all day.
5809 Clarksville Square Drive, Clarksville
10257 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia
Healthy eating workshop all day Jan. 7
The Mall in Columbia
10300 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia