Exercise Your Body and Mind: Staying Active Safely in Marshall, Illinois

YES! We know our new normal hasn’t been fun. Some of the things we love to do haven’t been possible. Now, winter is upon us, and the cold weather means more indoor and fun activities. However, we still have to do things safely and show concern for ourselves and others.

One great thing about the winter months and being stuck in the house more than we have in the past is now is a great time to curl up with a good book. Make a pot of hot tea, settle in, and escape into a book.

Lucky for those who LOVE to read, Marshall, Illinois, has the Marshall Public Library (https://www.marshallillibrary.com/ ). The good folks at the library understand the cabin fever we have all been experiencing. They have created a program to encourage and reward the readers in the family.

The “Cabin Fever Reading Program” is open to all readers ages 14 and older. If you head down to the library, you can pick up a Cabin Fever bookmark, or you can get one from their website or Facebook pages. The idea is to keep track of all the books you read between January 11th and February 27th. There is even an app for this called the Read Squared app to make it easy for the more tech-savvy among us to enter and track all the books they have read.

Think of it as a reading game with prizes. Each bookmark allows you to list two books you’ve read. You can turn them in either online or at the library’s circulation desk and get new bookmarks to continue playing along. Each of these bookmarks is considered one entry for chances to win gift cards for our wonderful local restaurants, which are pulled weekly. As a bonus, you will get one more entry (bookmark) each time you read a book that discusses World War 11.

The reader/participant who turns in the highest number of bookmarks by February 27th will win the grand prize, a $40 gift card to a local restaurant. The Friends of the Library sponsors all prizes.

If you prefer to read books online or listen to books on tape rather than holding a gadget in your hands, note that the library has had many more eBooks added to its digital collection.

The Illinois Secretary of State awarded the Illinois Heartland Library System $125,000 to purchase e-resources for the cloud Library, which can be accessed at https://www.yourcloudlibrary.com/.

More than 2100 Juvenile and YA books have been added, so lots of reading material for the younger members of the family is now available. Remember the old saying, Reading is FUN-damental.


Take a Break from Reading – Bundle Up and Get Outside

Just because it’s winter, you can still don a warm coat, hat, and gloves and go for a walk or even a hike. Lincoln Trail State Park offers hiking paths for short or long hikes. The Beech Tree Trail is just 0.5 miles long and includes a series of stairways and footbridges to get that heart rate up. You will have an excellent view of the beech-maple forest in the park’s nature preserve.

For those seeking a longer hike, you can take the Sand Ford Nature Trail or the Airstrip Trail, which offers 2+-mile hikes through a forest filled with many mature native trees.

Monday is Martin Luthor King Day! Don’t forget that there is no school.  So, plan some fun activities for the kiddie’s day off.

How About Bowling if You’re Seeking Fun Activities for the Whole Family

The Marshall Bowling Alley is open to the public. Our bowling alley prides itself on exceptional cleanliness and is considered one of the best bowling alleys in the area. Bowling is a great way to enjoy some indoor activity and still social distance. Bring along extra cleaning wipes and hand sanitizers, and wear your masks to keep yourself and others safe. Bowling is fun and great exercise as well.  Marshall Bowling Alley is located at 308 S 8TH St. They are open evenings from 4 pm to 12. For more information about costs to bowl, Covid regulations, and more, you can call them at (217) 826-3433.


Whatever activity suits you best, don’t let the winter blues or Covid Cabin Fever get you down. Read a book, take a hike, do some yoga, take a stroll downtown. Marshall has much to offer, and we know better days are ahead!