Got a case of the winter blues? Studies show that you're probably not alone! In the winter months when daylight hours are limited and the temperatures a low, many people find it difficult to leave their homes, stay motivated, and get the proper amount of vitamin D. If the cold is too drastic during your winter stay in Eau Claire, we recommend finding places around the area to get your sunlight fix, indoors, and soak up the natural light to keep your serotonin levels and mood high. Beat the winter blues, and check out the best places to get natural light while staying in Eau Claire!

Kids learning at Beaver Creek Reserve in Fall Creek, WI

Beaver Creek Reserve

Get your nature fix at Beaver Creek Reserve this winter! The Wise Nature Center overlooks the wilderness of the reserve with big windows and an observation deck. Look for birds, squirrels, and other animals that inhabit Beaver Creek Reserve, or meet the animals inside the nature center including snakes, turtles, frogs, and more animals under their care. Learn all about the nature and wildlife that calls Wisconsin home, and if you're feeling brave enough, take on the hiking, snowshoe, and cross-country ski trails throughout the campus to see some of the wildlife for yourself! Click here to see all the ways to explore Beaver Creek Reserve.

A young boy descending the stairs at the newly rennovated Children's Museum of Eau Claire

Children's Museum of Eau Claire

The brand new Children's Museum of Eau Claire is the ultimate place to ensure that your kids are getting their fair share of sunlight while stuck inside in Eau Claire. This two-story facility is lined with floor-to-ceiling windows casting light onto the various kid-friendly play exhibits in the museum. Not only will your kids be able to run off energy at the Children's Museum, but they'll be guaranteed to immense light exposure while exploring the museum. Check out all the ways to enjoy the Children's Museum of Eau Claire this winter here!

a couple having cocktails at Dive bar in Eau Claire


Bask in the sunlight while trying seasonal drinks at Dive in downtown Eau Claire. This bar is located on the 2nd floor of the Lismore Hotel and offers indoor seating next to sliding glass doors. The bar is surrounded by windows looking at downtown Eau Claire, and there is even a patio to enjoy in the warmer months. But don't worry, you can still get the patio experience at Dive by reserving an igloo in the winter! Sip on craft cocktails in style in heated igloos with couches, speakers, and full waiting service. After your evening drinks, head upstairs to your room at the Lismore Hotel for more naturally lit rooms with big windows overlooking Eau Claire! See more reasons to try out Dive and the Lismore Hotel here.

two girls sitting at a table drinking coffee in the greenhouse at Down to Earth Garden Center

Down to Earth Garden Center

If there's one place to go in Eau Claire for a serotonin boost in the midst of the winter blues, it's Down to Earth Garden Center. This attraction has everything you'll need for a positive day in Eau Claire! Think plant shopping, coffee sipping, a picking out new home decor and outfits at the Mustard Seed Boutique... What more could you ask for?! Grab a drink and brunch at Five & Two Cafe and take it to the cafe corner inside Down to Earth's greenhouse to dine amongst the plants. It's the perfect tropical escape to enjoy on a winter day in Eau Claire!

Two women grabbing coffee and a bite to eat for brunch in River Prairie in Altoona, WI


Hop over to Helix in River Prairie for craft cocktails, wine, charcuterie boards, coffee, and lovely camaraderie this winter season. This stunning lounge bar has a cozy fireplace, couches, and bar seating next to walls filled with windows. When the sunlight bounces off the fresh snow in River Prairie Park, the bright natural light in Helix is unbeatable! Meet up at Helix for drinks with friends, business meetings, and enticing events throughout the year!

a photo inside the bright LE Phillips Library in Eau Claire showing a kid-friendly play area

L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library

The new L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library is a sanctuary for escaping the winter cold, yet still experiencing natural light! Not only can you browse through countless books at the library, but this facility holds children's play areas, workspaces for professionals visiting Eau Claire, art galleries to walk through, and various featured events for the community. Venture through 3 floors of inspirational spaces with large windows that let in bright, natural light throughout the cold season in Eau Claire!

A group in the lobby at Pablo Center at the Confluence

Pablo Center at the Confluence

Not only can you catch incredible shows and entertainment on the stages at the Pablo Center, but there are also stunning art galleries worth visiting while in Eau Claire. And they're free! The Pablo Center's iconic colorful windows face the confluence of the Chippewa River and Eau Claire River and let light shine in on galleries throughout the event center. Browse through the James W Hansen Gallery, the Laurie Bieze Gallery, and the Brady & Jeanne Foust Gallery at the Pablo Center to see some of the best regional and national artists across various art forms. Book events at other venues like the lobby, the Richard & Marcia Larson Performance Gallery, or the Market & Johnson Clearwater Recital Hall for more stunning views of the confluence.

two girls sitting at a high table by the window drinking coffee at Shift Coffee Bar

SHIFT Cyclery & Coffee Shop

Stop in at SHIFT Cyclery & Coffee Shop in downtown Eau Claire where delicious coffee drinks meet a wall full of windows. Step into this bright, rustic, and inviting coffee shop for your morning cup of joe while studying, working, or meeting up with an old friend. This coffee house doubles as a bicycle shop where the SHIFT team can get your winter bikes in gear for the snowy trails. Start the morning off right with a seasonal latte at SHIFT, and sip in front of the street-view windows to take in some morning light!

Get into a sunshine state of mind in Eau Claire! #CaptureEC

More Ways to Winter