By Alison Paylor | Photo by Robert Boag

Winter got you down? Don’t spend your time feeling blue. Check out these fun and local ways to combat your winter woes with just a little bit of sunshine.

Summer in winter
Party in UREC

UREC has some largely unknown services meant to help students relax. UREC contains a hot tub and sauna available for all gym users. Hot tubs are relaxing anytime of the year, but especially if the freezing temperatures have dulled your attitude.

The sauna, located to the left of the hot tub, can keep you warm during the winter months, but it can also help you unwind after a rough workout at the gym.

“I like to use the sauna because it helps my muscles stay loose and relaxed, which feels good because in the winter, the cold reduces the elasticity of your muscles,” said Joe Cady, a junior athletic training major, “and they feel much tighter and for me, I find it very uncomfortable.”

UREC also holds dive-in movies, which are a fun opportunity to watch movies while swimming and hanging out in the pool. All the organizers ask is for you to bring a bathing suit and towel. UREC provides floats and shows movies every Thursday at 9 p.m. (February’s showings: “Rudy,” “Almost Famous,” “Love Stinks” and “Road Trip”).

The Beach, Anyone?

Nothing says summer like the beach, so why not throw a beach party?

If you’re living on campus, suggest the idea to your resident adviser and make it a hall event. A relatively inexpensive party is possible when you have an entire hall or dorm to contribute to it.

“I think residents will really appreciate taking a study break and a break from the cold weather by getting into a warmer and brighter state of mind with a beach-themed program,” said junior Sam Rimkus, an RA in Chandler Hall.

Get Your Glow On

If you’re looking to go off campus during the winter for some summer vibes, there are plenty of options close by. Beach Bum Tanning & Airbrush Salon, located in the Harrisonburg Crossing shopping center off Reservoir Street, offers several levels of tanning packages depending on how much you are willing to spend. There are also several other salons near campus, like Caribbean Tan Inc. on Port Republic Road. Staying tan during the winter can keep your summer glow going all year long.

“I start tanning in the winter because I hate the way my darker winter clothes look on me when I’m pale,” said Tanya Tarnovsky, a junior English major. “I feel like they make me look like paper!”

Resort Retreat

If you have access to a car and you don’t mind a little drive, Massanutten Resort’s indoor water park could be the perfect weekend getaway. The facility, open year-round, is kept at 84 degrees Fahrenheit. The park features include pipeline surfing, a lazy river, tubes, slides and a hot tub.

Seasonal Mixing

Are these winter blues solutions still not warming you up? Try mixing the two seasons together.

“After a recent snowfall, we’d all get our snow gear on and go play volleyball in the snow,” said Alex Falciani, a senior history major. “It would be a good time, and volleyball is a lot of fun, anyway.”

Falciani also suggested an ice cream social around a fire pit. You could also make s’mores if you have all the ingredients.