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Just about now, the winter blahs have taken over and cabin fever has us yearning to get out of the house to do something fun.
Actually, it's a good time to try something new, whether a painting class or road rally, or something old, like bowling -- but with an updated twist.
PAINT-AND-SIP (OR SNACK)
If it's Friday, then it must be a Paint-and-Sip evening at The Painted Canvas.
By paint, it means painting your own original acrylic on canvas artwork under the tutelage of owner and artist Linda Sperruzzi. By sip, it means BYOB. And no painting experience necessary.
"Any level can do our paints and sips," says Sperruzzi. "Everyone's work is frameworthy."
Some recent artworks done by the Paint-and-Sip crowd are on the company's website. "Winter on the Farm" will be the theme for the Jan. 31 class.
Karen Kaplan is hooked. She attends almost every week, and says it's such a great way to spend a Friday evening.
"It taps into your creative soul," says the 62-year-old Shoreham resident. "I never took an art class. Never did anything art-related before ... And in one sitting, you can paint a whole painting."
The art studio supplies snacks as well as cups -- and corkscrews.
If it's the kids who need to get out of the house and shut off the video games, there are Paint-and-Snack sessions from 1-3:30 p.m. Saturdays, where they, too, can hone their artistic talents.
Sperruzzi says she offers private Paint-and-Sip parties as well, as long as there are at least 10 attendees.
WHEN | WHERE 7-10 p.m. Fridays, 6278 Rte. 25A, Wading River. Must register online.
INFO 631-886-2444, thepaintedcanvas.org
COST $45 (bring your own wine)
You don't need a pricey car to participate in the Snowflake 58 road rally. But you do need a driver and navigator.
What's a car rally? It's a prescribed route taken by a car with both a driver and navigator to arrive at the final destination at an exact time, with checkpoints along the way.
This one, now in its 58th year, is organized by the Metro New York Porsche Club of America.
"It's open to any registered vehicle," says co-chair Don Coburn. "Bring a stop watch, pencil and paper and maybe a calculator." The exact route and time of point checks are given at day of race. No one younger than 18 is allowed in the car, according to Porsche Club of America rules, he adds.
Since getting caught in traffic is a problem not found in rural areas where road rallies often take place, but is not unusual on Long Island, there may be times where riders have to play some catch-up, according to the co-chair.
Coburn promises the route will end somewhere pleasant for the participants to have some well-deserved refreshments.
What are the prizes for winners? "A cheap $2 trophy," quips Coburn.
WHEN | WHERE Registration 9 a.m. Sunday. Starts at Hauppauge Palace Diner, corner of Route 347 and Route 111, Hauppauge
INFO 516-804-2562, metronypca.org
COST $50 early registration; $65 day of event
It's not your parents' bowling, but you can bring them along for a day (or night) of strikes and spares. And the kids, too.
Bowlmor Lanes, formerly 300, has the ambience of a nightclub, with a full menu prepared by an in-house chef, wait service at the lanes and huge video screens above the pins.
There's a full bar in the center of the room, a pool table and couches and comfy cushiony club chairs.
If you want to get together a group, there are two private bowling rooms.
"It's a good place to get away to," says manager Henry Jimenez.
Bowl the lanes while watching the ultimate bowl, the Super Bowl. A $35 price per person includes watching the game, three hours of bowling, including shoe rental and up to 10 drinks of non-premium liquor. The included buffet features boneless wings, sliders, chicken tenders, fries and other snack-type foods. (Must make reservations, minimum of four people in a party, no one younger than 21 allowed during game.)
WHEN | WHERE 4-11 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays, noon-1 a.m. Fridays, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m.-midnight Sundays, 895 Walt Whitman Rd., Melville
INFO 631-271-1180, bowlmor.com
COST $6.25 a game or $16 all you can bowl Sundays-Thursdays; $8.25 per game Fridays-Saturdays; $5 shoe rental.