Snowbirds aplenty appeared for the two opportunities to register their membership before the start of the new year and now can scrutinize the activity sheets to see how many of the more than three dozen snowbird activities they can squeeze in between now and when the snow begins to melt back home. Whether it is card games, sports, exercise, handcrafts, the arts, or intellectual stimulation, it is all on tap at the Walton County Snowbirds. Other than a modest membership fee of $10, activities, excepting some sports, are without cost. “Best of all," once said now retired club president, Nancy Gehrke, “you have some new friends eager to meet you.” Those seeking more detail can view activity sheets online at

The next registrations will occur on Jan. 2 and Jan. 4 at Faith Assembly Fellowship Hall, 306 South Geronimo Street in Miramar Beach between the hours of 8:30 and 10:30 a.m.

Holiday gatherings of our friends, new and old, surely rest high on our list of blessings. We may even forget for a moment or two that the bathroom scale is recording with deadly accuracy each parfait, chocolate éclair, or other mouthwatering delight we accept because, well, it would be rude, would it not, to decline such a treat? Go ahead and enjoy because Sarah Vaillancourt has a solution — she leads Senior Aerobics on Wednesdays, beginning Jan. 2, at 1 p.m. for one hour and on Mondays, beginning Jan. 7, at 11 a.m. also for one hour.

There are other ways to chase away holiday calories such as showing up at the Hurricane Lanes bowling alley at 4876 Emerald Coast Parkway in Destin where hosts Mike and Joan Dougal and John McIntosh will help you get into the swing of things starting Jan. 4 at 11:30 a.m. If it is a smaller ball that interests you, there is tennis (a sport that has been around for more than 800 years) every Thursday at 9 a.m. at the Mainsail tennis courts. If you prefer a newer sport, try golf, that has been frustrating us for only slightly more than 500 years. If it is something different you have in mind, say something that combines badminton, tennis, and table tennis, then show up for a newcomer — pickleball. The sport edges just over 50 years of age. You can catch it at the Destin Community Center, 101 Stahlman Avenue, every Wednesday starting Jan. 9 from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

Tom Mahar writes for the Walton County Snowbirds. He can be reached at