Fun Ways to Get Active in New York City This Winter

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Fun Ways to Get Active in New York City This Winter
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The Coney Island Polar Bear Club goes for a swim. (Photo courtesy of flickr.com/photos/thegirlsny.)

The holidays are over, and if they've left you feeling far too much like St. Nick's holly jolly twin, it's time to take action. Read on to find some unique and fun ways to get active this winter around New York City.

How about a nice, refreshing dip at Coney Island? The Coney Island Polar Bear Club is looking for you. While it is too late for the January 1 swim, join them each Sunday through April as a guest swimmer. There is no charge to participate, but the club asks that you brighten the lives of some very ill children through a donation to Camp Sunshine. This club has also taken a leading role in rebuilding Coney Island since Sandy.

Get into shape with the New York Road Runners. The 4-mile Al Gordon Classic race held in Brooklyn's flagship Prospect Park may be just your speed. See you bright and early at 8 a.m. on February 23 for the race, which is a qualifier for the New York Marathon.

Perhaps the kids need a little air, too. In that case, Coogan's Salsa, Blues, and Shamrocks 5K on March 3 at 9 a.m. is for you. This race is held each year in Fort Tryon Park and the Cloisters. It celebrates the heroism of Captain Frederick Ill Jr., who gave his life for the people of New York on 9/11. Runners as young as 2 are welcome, and all are serenaded by salsa, blues, and Irish music as they run. The whole thing winds up with a traditional Irish breakfast at Coogan's.

Want a little snow to go with that fresh air? It is, after all, winter. In New York, we always have snow in February, even if we have to make it ourselves. The New York City Parks Department hosts its annual Winter Jam on Saturday, January 26, in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. Snowshoeing, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, and snowboarding are featured. Participants receive basic instruction and free access to equipment.

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