(NC) Most of us have spent the winter cooped up indoors and are waiting for the slightest hint of warmer weather to head outside. Whether you’re dreaming of sunnier days, or it’s warm enough to start going outdoors where you live, here are some activities to consider:

Hiking
This classic activity has experienced a bit of renaissance during the pandemic, with many people trying it out for the first time as a way to safely spend time outside of the home. Check out local parks for a budget-friendly way to explore nature. There are groups on social media where you can trade tips, find suggestions for new places and share selfies.

Gardening
Another hobby that’s grown in popularity recently, gardening is a low-impact way for people of all age groups and abilities to do something active outdoors. If you’re just starting out, you can plant a flower bed or nurture potted plants from a nursery. If you’re up for a bigger challenge, try growing some herbs or produce to use in your cooking — you can get the kids involved to teach them about agriculture and nutrition.

Park events
Neighbourhood parks have become thriving community spaces, playing host to farmers’ markets, fitness classes and book clubs. There’s always something to do, so check your local newspaper or community social media groups to see what’s coming up. Nothing on the calendar? Create your own fun by inviting some friends for a charcuterie party or bring a book or even your laptop to enjoy the nicer weather solo.

Before heading outside, be sure to check the weather forecast so that you’re prepared for whatever conditions are in store. A handy way to do this is with Environment and Climate Change Canada’s new automated phone weather service, Hello Weather. This free service replaces the previous one and now offers up-to-date local forecasts for more than 800 locations across Canada. Simply call the toll-free number at 1-833-79HELLO (1-833-794-3556) and select any location from a directory listed by province and region.

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