Welcome to September! I cannot believe we are at the tail end of summer and beginning of fall. As I try to enjoy the last few days of summer I can’t help but notice the leaves turning and the sky mourning the end of the season.  As the weather starts to turn, I start making a mental list of indoor activities to do with the family.

Dimond Park Field House: The field house has a lot to offer from various sports, the indoor track and turf for tots. There seems to always be something going on at the field house and it’s a great place to burn some energy, even if it’s walking the track for a few minutes.

Pool: I just found a new love for swimming. I have a friend who swam competitively and also taught swimming and now she’s teaching me! I’ve had a great time learning new drills with her, and of course using the floaty kick board while having a chat when our heads are not underwater. Lucky for us there are two pools in town so no matter where you live they aren’t too far away.

Gym: We have a number of gyms and workout facilities in Southeast. I am guilty of not visiting the gym and I have been a member for quite a long time. My “excuse” is that it was summer and I was doing a lot of outdoor activities but deep down that excuse is mixed with laziness and the fact that I have a little one. Some of our local gyms even offer childcare which is great and takes that excuse out of my book.

Library/SLAM: We have two beautiful state of the art educational buildings both in the valley and downtown. They are great places to go check out on a rainy day. Read a book or explore and check out the various sections and exhibits!

Mall Walking: As a parent of a toddler we often “mall walk” while the other parent is eating or shopping. One of our favorite restaurants is Little Hong Kong in the valley. Our little one will eat two bites of wonton soup and is fully fueled and ready to explore.  We meander down the hallway, waving to other mall walkers and discover “exciting” things like the gumball machine or the fish tank in Bauer and Associates office.

Costco: And then there’s shopping. Who doesn’t love Costco any day of the week but especially on a rainy day. We love to go down every isle, check out what’s new and exciting, have a sample or three, and usually run into friends or family and have a chat. We always find something we “need” to have that we didn’t anticipate buying when we first entered and that is all part of the excitement and experience.

And of course when you exhaust all your resources indoors, throw on a coat, hat and some boots and hit the pavement or trails. I cannot express enough how getting outside for even twenty minutes, even if the weather is terrible, changes my mood. It’s easy to be gloom and doom while looking out the window but when you are out in it, it’s easier to gain an appreciation and see the beauty in it.

Happy Fall everyone, stay warm!

Anna Hoke is the graphic designer and owner of Southeast Living Magazine. She can be reached at anna@seakliving.com.