When it's cold outside, turn to the great indoors

Posted: Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Although winter is only in its infancy, Kenai Peninsula residents will do well to plan now to combat the onset of cabin fever, a malady which can strike even the heartiest of Alaska Sourdoughs.

As the days grow shorter and colder, opportunities for recreation don't disappear although they may get harder to spot. That's why it's good to have lots of options for keeping active through the winter months.

Fortunately for central peninsula residents, the area is home to a host of indoor recreational activities that can be enjoyed no matter how cold and dark it gets this winter.

Here's a few suggestions to help fight the winter doldrums with a bit of indoor action:

For cheap, fun activity for the family, the Kenai Recreation Center is a great choice. Located on Caviar Street in Kenai, the center is home to a basketball court, three racquetball-wallyball courts, showers, a weight room and sauna. Call 283-3855 for information on hours of operation, winter basketball leagues or to rent a court.

There are two movie theaters in the Twin Cities area, offering area residents a host of new release Hollywood hits. Call Regal Cinemas Kambe Theater in Kenai at 283-4554 or the Orca Theater on Kalifornsky Beach Road at 262-7003 for show times and listings.

Alaska Lanes in Kenai (283-33l4) provides fun for the entire family, including bowling, video games and bingo.

The public libraries in Kenai and Soldotna offer more than just reading. Also available at both libraries are programs ranging from story time for kids to evening writers' groups for adults. Internet access is available at both libraries. Call the Kenai Community Library at 283-4378 or the Soldotna Public Library at 262-4227 for more information.

The Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center operates a museum, showcasing a host of Kenai Peninsula and Alaska historical items, as well as art displays. Call the center at 283-1991 for more information.

High school sporting events are one more way to both get out of the house and get involved in the community. The central peninsula is home to five high schools, which means there's almost always a basketball game, wrestling match or ice hockey game to catch. Call Kenai Central High School (283-7524), Soldotna High School, (262-7411), Nikiski Middle-Senior High School (776-3456), Cook Inlet Academy (262-5101) or Skyview High School (262-7675) for details.

Ice hockey is a popular spectator event, and Soldotna is home to one of the best venues for watching the sport in the state: the Soldotna Sports Center.

In addition to checking out a game, the center also has racquetball courts, as well as meeting rooms that are available for private events. Call 262-3150 for more information.

If none of these activities strike your fancy, the area also is home to a number of local bars that showcase live music late into the night. Check with individual establishments for more information, or check the Clarion's InSide section each Thursday for information on live entertainment available in the area.

Have fun!

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