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Get Inside: Three Cozy Walks for Frigid Days

As the days turn colder, one 5280 staffer went in search of warm places to take a stroll (outside of the gym). Here's what she found. 

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In a perfect world, I’d walk, hike, or run outside every day of the year. Fortunately, Colorado’s weather is nearly perfect—except for last week.

I grew up in the tundra North Dakota, so I can handle plunging temps, but even I know when it’s best to stay indoors. There are certain temperatures (say, below 20) that are too dangerous for me to venture out in. Sure, I worry about exposed skin, but I stress out more about the drivers who aren’t expecting pedestrians and Check out the five best fall city walks)

So, I started to quiz people: Where could I walk indoors to clock some mileage but also have something to look at? One editor told me about naptime at Centennial’s IKEA, where tired parents can be found wheeling around their sleeping babes. Another suggested the Butterfly Pavilion, which is on the small side, but would offer plenty to stare at. I compiled a list, set my odometer, and tested three Denver-area locations. Here’s what I found.

1. Denver Museum of Nature & Science: The $13 entrance fee is comparable to a gym’s day use fee, but instead of looking at juice heads lifting weights, I got to stare at stuffed animal panoramas.

The Workout: After wandering through all the exhibits, I clocked a measly .88 miles.

2. Costco: While not scenic, rolling a cart up and down every single aisle was tiring. The good news? I handled some holiday shopping as I walked.

The Workout: I easily logged 1.45 miles, but disliked navigating the traffic jams around the free food sample carts.

3. Denver Art Museum: As I walked quickly, not reading placards or stopping to admire paintings, I collected a good number of stares from art patrons. But by cruising, I also managed to see—and appreciate—the museum’s expansive collection in a new way.

The Workout: The clear winner. With just a $10 admission fee, I managed to log 1.64 miles in one complete lap. DAM, I’ll see you again when the mercury drops.

Follow senior editor Natasha Gardner on Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.

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