Everybody's got a breaking point when it comes to being cold. Not that we're not a hardy quorum in the Treasure State; many of our longtime residents can handle an average winter just fine (it's amazing what the body can get used to!) but as we welcome more new neighbors from out of state, I can forgive them for not immediately acclimating to going on day-long hunting trips and hikes when it's 10° outside.

In the spirit of being as welcoming as a Montanan can be, here's some indoor things that a family can collectively do in Missoula until they're ready to take on the cold with the heartiest of outdoor excursionists. Enjoy the warm indoors!

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Go For A Walk Around Southgate Mall

Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
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This activity has been unfairly categorized in the language of tropes as being exclusively for senior citizens who do it for the daily exercise. I walk around the mall during my lunch break at least a couple times a week, just to get the blood flowing. You never know what might catch your eye while you're there, or remember what used to be there as well.

According to their website, Southgate Mall closes at 8pm every night. Hey, speaking of the mall...

Big Sky Arcadia

Just outside of Scheels in the Southgate Mall is Big Sky Arcadia. You can find arcade games for kids and adults. According to their website, a new VR room featuring laser tag and free-roam gaming is available for groups, and walk-on single players can get paired with a larger group (just like at the golf course.)

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Currents Aquatics

It's a good thing that our local water park is indoors! Whether you're there to just relax in the hot tubs, take laps, or splish splash all the way down both of the 2-story high waterslides, it's easy to lose track of time at Currents. If I had kids, the party room would be a likely candidate for their birthday parties. I haven't taken any of the many Aquacize classes yet but they sound fun. Actually, anything indoors sounds fun to me when it's freezing outside.

I couldn't find anything on the Currents website which suggest that they would close for the winter at some point, but their holiday hours are posted HERE.

Missoula Public Library

Credit: Benny Edwin
Credit: Benny Edwin
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Named as the best (yes, THE best) public library in the world of 2022, the library has come a long way since its remodel in 2021. Longtime readers may remember the Missoula library as a classic example of a "third place" from this earlier article, as it's free to come in and enjoy the company of your neighbors without too much pressure to spend money.

There's a Learning Lab, a Discovery area, and the library offers plenty of classes to the public as well. You can even stop by and check out a book I donated to the library from a famous radio host:

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