So we thought we’re going to hop on a free museum on the first Sunday of the month, but the government has a whole new other plan. Lockdown was imposed on November 22, and will be so until December 12 (hopefully no extensions). All museums and other event facilities closed, even shopping stores, we can only visit open parks, grocery stores, the doctors, school, and work places.
And because it’s autumn cold, there’s only very little we can do for recreation (Vienna had its first snow on November 26). While school and office hours are still on, time used for eating out, visiting museums are instead spent at home. Here are some activities you can do, and then other “legal” things you can enjoy while out in the city.
Staying at home means a lot of time to bond with the family and a lot of “me time” too. Take the extra hours to care for yourself and your family, clean up, cook with them, or even bake. This includes spiritual health as well, use the extra time to refresh your Bible knowledge.
Board Games and Cards
There’s no better way to enjoy a cool night than board games with the family. Classic scrabble, chess, Sushi go, Blokus, and Pictionary are always on top of the best games list…and they are because they’ve been enjoyed for decades.
If you enjoy playing cards, then that’s for sure going to be a good round, have consequences to losing parties to add some challenge.
Online Matches With Friends and Solo Games
While indoor courts are closed and it’s too cold to play out, you can arrange Tennis matches with friends through apps like Tennis Crash and then practice tennis online in preparation. There’s also online chess, which really is a good brain exercise as other games : online Sudoku (a number game), and Wordoku (word game).
If no friend is available online, one can also play Solitaire and its many variations. This classic card game has so many twists that ‘ve only learned about online. I’ve often played Klondike and Pyramid as a child, and am now trying to learn the others too.
Cook Out and Chill
It’s the best time to bond over food. Start with the Austrian national dish Wiener Schnitzel, among other yummy Viennese dishes. You can also look for films which features food in them, and cook that dish then enjoy it while watching the film itself. It’s like travelling through movies and food without actually stepping out of your home. Have Bibimbap and Samgyupsal while watching a Korean film, Chasu Ramen while watching a season of a new anime series, or just snack on macarons you made with the kids while watching a random movie.
You can also join online tours of the museums you had plan on visiting before lockdown. The Belvedere museum always presents an online tour of their displays on facebook. The National Library Prunksaal also has an online tour, which we recommend, being one of the most beautiful library in the world. There are many virtual tours of other museums around the world, so go and explore them while in the comforts of your home.
Do the 100-a-day squat challenge to keep yourself from being stagnant. It can be difficult to do some exercise, what with the restrictions and the weather, you’d only just want to lie down. Do the 100-a-day squat challenge with the family, and see how it could change your mood, and your body by the end of the lcokdown.
Lock down rules say vaccinated people are allowed to be out for leisure, but of course one needs to observe safety protocols, wear masks, and not gather in large numbers. With many events postponed there’s just a limit to what families can do. Here’s some.
Explore All the Parks
There are a lot of open parks and playgrounds around Vienna (say 20,000 hectares or half of Vienna is green and most of these are parks open to the public). Every neighborhood has a piece of playground the kids can enjoy. The bigger ones have ponds where those seeking inspiration from winged creatures can sit by all day (given the weather is warm enough). We’ve featured some of those parks here, but there are a handful other also worth visiting.
Walking out in nature lifts up one’s mood, getting fresh air is also beneficial. You can even bike around for some muscle toning, just gear up properly to protect yourself against cold winds.
There are many hiking paths and routes in Vienna, with Kahlenberg as the most known and famous. It’s an uphill vineyard and woodland course and you get to see Vienna once you reach the top. There’s also the hiking path at Wienerberg, Bisamberg, Leopoldsberg to explore.
Do note that it takes a minimum of 2 hours (some routed take longer) to hike and can be more than 4 hours so make sure that you are geared properly. If you are a beginner, it is best to go a flatter area to walk and run around in like the Old Danube trail, which goes around Upper and Lower Old Danube. This is also a biking trail.
Check Out that New Restaurant and Order To Go
If cooking is not your forte, but you still enjoy trying out different cuisines, order online or visit the newly opened restaurant around the corner and order to go. Many restaurants still offer food to go or for delivery.
Have Coffee To Go
We chanced upon this Kaffee Station while out walking at Mariahilferstrasse. It’s basically vending machines of diverse coffee from around the world.
There are also Fenster Café, the smallest café around Vienna situated at the oldest street!
Some cafés also offer to-go orders, so you can just have your coffee while walking out, warms your hands in this cool weather too.
Take Night Photos
Or afternoon photos, even dusk photos…just take photos. Vienna is always beautiful no matter what time of day (We say this with bias, sorry).
Play in the Snow, Go Ice Skating
We get some snow on November and December, so look forward to making snowmen, snow angels, and have snowball play with the kids. Ski resorts are open but with strict 2-G rules, so please look into the restrictions before booking.
Fortunately, outdoor ice skating rinks are open, so you can go and enjoy some gliding and skating even now. The Wiener Eistraum is set to open in January, so hopefully, we can enjoy it again like we used to before the pandemic.
Things To Do in Vienna on a Lockdown : Stay Safe
Staying at home even when not on a lockdown is a good thing for people like us, homebuddies. But our body also needs some time out, with the lockdown in place, there is a limit to what we can see and do. Nevertheless, it is best to be careful while out.
Follow safety protocols, and be considerate of others when outside. If you haven’t yet, learn more about the vaccines and have yours to have an extra layer of protection for yourself and your family.