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2nd-chance New Year's resolutions give you option to get reacquainted with the city and attractions

Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 12:01 am

The temptation to etch “lose 30 pounds,” “exercise more,” and “get out of debt” onto the fresh canvas of a new year was irresistible, just as it was in 2012... and 2011... and 2010 ... .

But it is mid-January, and it's become increasingly obvious that those New Year's resolutions, while noble and well-intentioned, were neither inspired nor truly desired.

A dose of reality is needed, liberally seasoned with creativity, initiative and a sense of adventure. It's not too late to make 2013 a year to discard the yoke of predictability and plunge ahead with enthusiasm.

Revise those resolutions and infuse them with imagination and good clean fun. And who knows, somewhere along the line, a few pounds might make their unobtrusive exit.

Get reacquainted

Whether you are a transplant to Fort Wayne or your name is on the cradle roll of one of our beautiful churches, take the opportunity to get (re)acquainted with the city. Take a downtown walking tour (www.visitfortwayne.com), which includes stops at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Firefighter's Museum and the recently restored Allen County Courthouse.

Invest in a “Museum Dream Pass,” which saves on admission to Science Central, The History Center and Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory. The pass costs $14 for adults and $10 each for children ages 3-17, which saves a combined total of $3 per person off regular admission prices.

When hunger strikes, stop for lunch or snacks downtown at Cindy's Diner, 830 S. Harrison St.; Pfeiffer House, 434 W. Wayne St.; or the Dash-In, 814 S. Calhoun St.

Another option, the Lincoln Tower Soda Fountain, which is tucked into the northwest corner of the historic Art Deco structure at 116 E. Berry St., boasts an antique soda fountain and a plethora of creative concoctions such as phosphates and flavored root beers.

“People say, 'I've lived in Fort Wayne all my life, and I never knew you were here!'” says Vicki Statler, co-owner of this downtown landmark, which just drips with retro charm.

Embrace the cold

Winter weather doesn't have to signal a retreat to fuzzy slippers, fleece robes and a stack of DVDs night after night. Shake off cabin fever and embrace the chilly weather!

Pack sandwiches and a thermos of hot chocolate and visit Lawton, Shoaff or Headwaters parks for a winter picnic. Burn off the calories with a hike along some of the city's 68 miles of trails (www.FWTrails.org). Grab a sled and head for the hills at Metea, Franke or Reservoir parks. Dust off your skates or rent a pair at Canlan Ice Sports at Lutheran Health SportsCenter ( www.icesports.com), or the Headwaters Park ice rink ( www.fortwayneparks.org).

Take a carriage ride with one of the city's three services. Kolette Frazier, owner of Rosewood Carriage Rides (www.rosewoodcarriagerides.com), says they have special blankets to keep people warm, and the carriage can travel with top up or down — or completely enclosed.

“It's a unique way of spending a cozy time with a special someone,” says Frazier, “enjoying the sound of the horse's feet clip-clopping through the city streets.”

Explore the library

The Allen County Public Library's main branch is blessed to have the second-largest genealogy department in the country. Winter is a great time to delve into genealogical research with John Beatty, a reference librarian and principal bibliographer for the Genealogy Center. Before your visit, watch an orientation video (www.genealogycenter.org).

From today through Feb. 24, view the Teen Photography Contest exhibit held in the Jeffrey R. Krull Gallery. Area teens from grades 6 through 12 competed for awards in four categories.

A free Family Movie Night is held monthly in the theater at 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday. Attend the Jan. 22 showing of “The Bourne Legacy.” Monthly Craft Cafes are open to scrapbookers, bead artists, and crafters of every medium 6:30-8:30 p.m. on the second Thursday. For more information about both events, visit www.acpl.lib.in.us/amv/ events.html.

Experience a winter interval

On Jan. 26, Winterval takes over downtown with activities ranging from ice-carving demonstrations and snow crafts to Polar Bear Rugby.

Sponsored by the Downtown Improvement District and Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation, the event is held in several locations, including the Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun St.; Community Center, 233 W. Main St.; Science Central, 1950 N. Clinton St.; and the Historic Old Fort, on Spy Run north of Superior Street, where the “Nouvelle Annee: A French Garrison 1753” event will depict winter life on the frontier. ( www.fortwayneparks.org).

Freeze for a reason

The Polar Plunge to benefit local and state Special Olympics is scheduled for noon Feb. 16 at Parkview Field (www.soindiana.org/special-events/polar-plunge/2013-fort-wayne-polar-plunge).

Hundreds of hardy community volunteers — some in costume — will climb a ladder to a platform above a trash bin and prepare to dive into 8 feet of freezing water. The new bin, donated by Republic Services and filled by the Fort Wayne Fire Department, will be located near the Lincoln Financial Event Center to enable spectators to view the jumps.

“This fundraiser takes a lot of courage for our plungers,” says Julia Fiechter, organizer and co-chair of this year's event. “The water is ice cold, and jumping knowingly into it certainly takes some commitment.”

The fundraiser helps to defray the costs of sending athletes to summer games and to tournaments, she explains, and volunteers and spectators are encouraged.

Experiment with small steps

Forget losing 30 pounds and beginning a strenuous exercise program. Opt, instead, for small changes to a healthier lifestyle.

Wear comfortable shoes to encourage walking more, clip on a pedometer and get adventurous in the kitchen by introducing one new healthy dish to each week's menu. Start seeds indoors in the winter that can be transplanted in the spring for a nutritious vegetable garden. Check out tips to make “one healthy change” at www.fort4fitness.org/ 4yourhealth.asp.

Try something new: Begin a gratitude journal. Volunteer. Enroll in a class or seminar at IPFW or Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation and learn to belly dance, play bridge, control clutter or practice tai chi. Experiment with new styles and routines. Spend less time online.

Start a piggy bank or make a stranger smile every day.

Don't allow tedium, apathy and monotony to dictate your days. Think outside the box; color outside the lines.

Sounds like fun!