Is it bad for the violin to play outdoors below or above certain temperatures? If so what are those?
I have gloves with finger cut outs (bike gloves are ok too if not padded much) and like to play outdoors. Today it was a brisk 56. 45 minutes was tolerable because I started warm and was well wrapped. Will it hurt the fiddle at those temps or slightly colder?
I wouldn’t worry too much about 56 degrees, but you will want to be careful as it starts to get colder. Be careful of quick transitions from one temperature to another. That can be hard on a wood instrument as delicate as a violin, viola, cello, etc. Also, the hide glue used in violins can get brittle at cold temperatures. You probably already know, excessively dry/damp air can be bad for wood contraction/expansion. Never, ever leave your instrument in a car, other than to transport it.
I bought a Venta Air Washer (humidifier) to help keep the humidity up now that the colder weather is here and the heat is on (15 degrees outside this morning!).
Last year I tried an ultra-sonic humidifier, but since we have so many minerals in our well water, it left a fine white dust on furniture. It also was not big enough to keep the humidity level in the 40’s. Often the humidity level fell to low 20’s or even high teens. I did use a Dampit in my fiddle to help keep it humidified.
This humidifier is rated for 800 square feet, so I have it outside my office (where I practice) in the hallway so it can also humidify my bedroom and den. The humidity level has been pretty steady at about 40. Not ideal, but much better than last year. I’ll keep an eye on it as we get further into the winter. I may have to buy a smaller unit just for my office, especially now since I have two fiddles.