Celebrating National Hobby Month

January is U.S. National Hobby Month. Each January, thousands of people across America enjoy participating in their favorite hobbies. Have you been celebrating?

If you’ve been feeling stuck indoors, and who hasn’t; then January is the month to be outside in the fresh air. The winter season is well under way in both Denver and Bozeman and will continue into April. If you’re looking for a new outdoor hobby to try this winter (or spend time on an old favorite one), here are five to try:

1. Birdwatching – If you want to add enjoying wildlife to your outdoor hobby pursuits, winter is a good time for beginner birders. With the foliage cleared away and in contrast to the bright white of snow, birds are easily visible. Hike along one of Bozeman’s frosty rivers this winter, and you might be surprised by the diversity you’ll find.

While many birds leave Bozeman in the winter and return in the spring, 36 species of waterfowl, 13 birds of prey, 16 types of sparrows, and almost all of Montana’s owls tough the winter out. Some species, such as the Rough-legged Hawk, Northern Shrike, American Tree Sparrow, Lapland Longspur, Snow Bunting, and Redpoll migrate to Montana for its milder weather (yup, you read that right). The Gallatin Valley Land Trust lists some favorite hikes to consider.

2. Skiing and Snowboarding - There’s always a lot of things to do in Bozeman in the winter. Most people who take up snowboarding and skiing as a hobby can’t help but get a little addicted to it because they’re so much fun. While never cheap, there are ways to keep the cost down with Denver lift ticket deals or buying tickets early in Bozeman to save.

Want to go, but short on funds? Many people take on gig work to earn extra money to use toward skiing, snowboarding, and vacations.

3. Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing - For those who want to appreciate the wintry landscapes at a leisurely pace, both cross country skiing and snowshoeing are great choices. Many ski resorts and national parks will often let snowshoe and cross country skiing hobbyists hike their trails for free or at a low cost. Both are good ways to stay healthy and trim; one hour can easily burn over 800 calories.

Here are five places to go snowshoeing/cross country skiing in Bozeman, and here are six places near Denver.

4. Winter Stargazing - Night skies in the Northern Hemisphere always look clearer during the months of December, January and February. This winter learn about astronomy. You might see the Pirate Moon Cluster, the Crab Nebula, Milky Way, Northern Lights, or one of our neighboring planets.

Hyalite Canyon, just outside Bozeman, is secluded enough to view the night sky without having to drive hours into the wilderness. Here are five places to stargaze just outside of Denver.

5. Winter Photography - Winter provides opportunities to master photography skills that are often overlooked such as working with bright light, exposure techniques, filters, glare, manual settings, and using programmed presets (sunny day, rainy day) instead of automatic white balance. Here are some tips for winter photography that will keep you and your camera warm and safe and master some of winter photography challenges.

During this month, get out of your comfort zone and try a new hobby. Don’t just stick to the same-old, same-old. Exploring new hobbies is a great way to make new friends with similar interests. Want to, but don’t have the money for skiing equipment or lift tickets? You want to go all in with a new camera, binoculars or telescope, but lack the cash?

GigWorx can help you earn extra money to use toward your favorite hobby, whether it’s skiing, snowboarding, photography or whatever revs your excitement meter. When you take on gig work, you create a healthy work-life balance, allowing you time for your favorite hobby. Get started now!

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