Hopefully you enjoyed the summer spending time on a boat or bicycle, holding fishing poles, tennis racquets and softball bats. But now it's dark and cold when you get off work. How will you fill your time? The average American spends more than half their free time in front of a television. Social Media (a la phones, laptops and tablets) is the second most-common use of free time). Here are suggestions to help you better yourself and get to know more people during the fall and winter months:

  • 1

    Take up Scuba Diving

    To get certified (or keep certification) you must complete several different types of dives every few years. Clubs usually schedule these throughout the year. It's a unique hobby and a fantastic way to meet people and do a little traveling around the Northwest.

  • 2

    Rent a cabin or yurt at a Washington State Park

    State Park and National Park cabins are rustic. Bathrooms are often outhouses or shared units surrounded by other cabins. Showers are sometimes non-existent. But light the wood stove, turn on a lantern and get cozy. They're usually the same price as a super cheap hotel room.

  • 3

    Learn rock climbing

    Get the basics under your belt in an indoor gym and improve your strength. Then you'll be ready for a real adventure when the weather warms. If you're single, I've never met a rock climber (male or female) who wasn't incredibly attractive.

  • 4

    Attend Karaoke and Pub Trivia nights

    No matter where you live there is likely a bar/club/tavern nearby with karaoke nights and/or trivia competitions. These are a GREAT place to make new friends. They're so common you may even find one or two within walking distance (then you won't have to worry about having one too many).

  • 5

    Take up a shooting sport

    I find archery to be more physical, challenging and affordable, but all shooting sports are a fantastic way to spend free time in the fall and winter.

  • 6

    Join an adult hockey league

    The Three Rivers Adult Hockey League accepts new members and women are invited to join as well. My friend's wife is on an all-women team (not locally) and loves it.

  • 7

    Board game nights at Adventures Underground

    Nearly every night of the week there are games taking place somewhere in Tri-Cities. A new business devoted to games just opened up behind Safeway on George Washington Way. Adventures Underground in The Uptown Center coordinates a lot of gaming so I recommend starting there.

  • 8

    Take dance lessons

    Salsa, ballroom, swing and clogging are the most popular. All over Tri-Cities there are studios offering dance classes for adults.

  • 9

    Join a group at "MeetUp.com"

    Visit the website "MeetUp" and type in Kennewick. You'll find a dozen cool groups getting together for outdoors activities, art projects and more.

  • 10

    Martial Arts

    From what I understand, Jiujitsu is what you want for "real" self defense. It's what MMA athletes, soldiers and female cops study. Tai-Kwon-Do allows you to progress quickly and join tournaments. Many karate dojos let you train with multiple weapons styles (as do Korean-style gyms). Judo is where Ronda Rousey got her start and is considered less violent. Krav Maga is supposed to be great exercise.

  • 11

    Build some models!

    Adventures Underground and Hobby Lobby both sell airplane, warship, tank and car model kits to assemble. Remember loving that as a kid? If you're more into miniatures for doll houses or fairy villages try any craft store.

  • 12


    I know, I know, you think if you take up baking you'll get fat. Here's the secret: promise people a pie, or cookies, or tarts and then you're obligated to give it away once done! Seriously though, people get a ton of fulfillment out of baking.