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Indoor ☕ New England Winter Ideas


#IndoorActivities #NewEngland #Winter Ideas, Brewery, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, MaineAs expected with my Outdoors Winter post, several readers also wanted suggestions for Indoor activities too! One of the best ways to enjoy winter is to enjoy the warmth of indoor activities rather than braving the cold weather! Trust me, I just checked our most recent heating bill and with the money we are spending on that utility we’d want to fully enjoy our “cozy” apartment at a balmy 65°F/18°C… OR find another location to escape from the brutal freezing temperatures.

I don’t want to jinx the recent bout of mild weather and rain, but I hope you enjoy the list of indoor activities you can enjoy all year round. Perhaps even to escape from future rainy days and heat waves (aside from the last two suggestions)!

VT Breweries, TwoDrifters.us for RatedbyHanna.com

When the temperatures fall, you can still stay warm inside. Our favorite way to raise the heat is to imbibe in some amazing local craft brews. Nowhere may be better for this than New England, and Burlington, Vermont definitely rates among the best beer destinations in the US.

Burlington is a city we’ve spent a lot of time in, and we’ve had the chance to drink at many a local watering hole. This hip small city has a large number of breweries and even a cidery: Citizen Cider, which is one of our faves. From the wacky Magic Hat Brewery with its fun merchandise and informative brewery tour to the laid back Foam Brewery on the waterfront, there’s a ton of places to head indoors and get drinkin’.

❆ Amy & Nathan, Two Drifters (read more about VT breweries). See more ideas on their Facebook.

Just recently, I discovered the glory of the Newport Mansions! They amazingly preserved opulent “summer cottages” of the ultra wealthy socialites. The only one I visited was called the “Marble House”, and it’s not even the largest one along the Newport mansion properties. Visiting the Mansions is a perfect cold day activity to catch a glimpse of the unimaginable luxury.

I loved how the tour includes a tablet and headphones to provide you an immersive experience at your own pace to explore each of the rooms. You won’t get lost in this gigantic building since the tablet includes a photo and directions of how to move from room to room. The narrators even go into great detail divulging the history of the family, dramas and the servants’ lives.

❆ Yours truly, read more in Marble House Mansion & Dining Guide

This is my indoor activity with my toddler from the first blizzard snow day. My husband and I like to repurpose our Honest Company diaper boxes and Amazon boxes into toys for our toddler. The one linked above is a hybrid sink-stove (though toddler ripped off the “faucet” where he cooks using Penzeys spice samples and “food” made from magazine cutouts on cardboard.

❆ Kristina, Appetite for Instruction, see more on her Twitter.

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I’m sure many people expect that hanging out at a local cafe would be on the list! Yes it is in some way, but with a twist. Believe it or not, one of my favorite activities is playing board games with family and friends. Much to my husband’s chagrin, that includes the rotation of our tattered Monopoly Deal card game (a bastardization of the original game). One of the best ways to TRY OUT NEW GAMES is at a Board Games Cafe! My pile of unloved board games speak for itself as some of the games simply just are not as replayable.

At the cafe you can pay an entrance fee and gain access to their HUNDREDS of games. If you don’t know how to play the game, one of the staff members might also be available to help assist in starting off your group with recommendations. We spent several hours at the board games cafe not knowing that we could have brought our own food and drinks for a nominal fee. I’m sure we would have stayed much longer if the hunger didn’t get the better of us as we had a blast trying 4 games with a group of 6!

❆ Yours truly, read more in Knight Moves Cafe Review on Yelp.

Although I cook year round, I find that the winter is an especially good time to experiment with new recipes or to make old favorites that help warm you up! Hot chocolate is a staple here in the colder months and can be made with either water or milk, but I’ve consistently found that milk gives it a richer flavor and fuller texture. If you’re lactose intolerant, lactose-free milk works just as well without losing any of the taste. Another fun drink to share for couples is warm spiced mead, in particular Chaucer’s mead which comes with its own packet of spices and instructions! Finally, if you want to make enough food for leftovers, get a turkey (or a few if you have a large freezer, they’re marked down after Thanksgiving) and roast it in the oven, you’ll have enough to make lunches for more than a week and can try using the meat to make other dishes!

❆ Dana aka Hanna’s Other Half

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Perfect for friends and date night (or double dates), paint night at Muse Paintbar in Norwalk, Connecticut is one of my favorite winter indoor activities.

As you learn how to paint a winter scene, nibble on snacks and sip on a glass of wine or pint. Yet my favorite part of the entire experience is that at the end of the night, you’ll get to take your masterpiece home with you! Muse Paintbar has multiple locations throughout New England, find a studio near you!

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Do you love puzzles, hanging out with friends, family and/or “Escape Rooms”? Well combine all of those elements and voila we have Boda Borg Quests! (It’s a shame that I can’t say the name itself without having to delve into a long-winded explanation of what this place offers. It’s the ONLY location in North America thus far too.) I’ve indoctrinated most of my friends in this fun experience where I created a double birthday party event with one of my friends to create competitive teams for our first times tackling the quests.

Arm yourself with 2-4 other teammates to tackle a series of puzzles involving mental, physical or a combination of both to succeed! I’d say even children ages 7+ can participate in the activities. Even though most of the time you “fail” part of the appeal is retrying and working as a team to “pass” each level and progress through the series of rooms. One of the most satisfying moments was actually RETURNING another time with a new mix of friends to tackle a quest we had failed 20+ times and dominate (…well after failing some more and figuring out the pattern).

❆ Yours truly, read more in Boda Borg Boston Review & Quest Guide.

Have you tried any of the indoor (winter) activities listed above? Apologies that this post is a bit late! Unfortunately some of the suggestions I had received from others fell through so they are mostly from me!

Got any ideas we might have missed? Please share in comments below!

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26 comments

  1. As someone who lives somewhere with 6+ months of winter (4 of them where you can end up with frostbite in 5 minutes of less), I think winter is all about balance! I love the cozy and cuddling up inside (our fireplace is the BEST for that), but bundling up and getting outside is fantastic for you as well! For anyone suffering from SAD, huddling inside usually only “helps” for so long. I like getting outside (even if it is literally -47°C) and then relaxing inside after ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  2. thanks for sharing this article with us Hanna! I am always so cold in winter and those winter indoor activities seem to be the perfect solution for this! I have to try it!
    Brigitte

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Board games and playing scrabble with friends helps keep things interesting and warm. My absolute favorite activity is soaking in a warm bath and snuggling up with a good book! I do love the painting idea..will look into that this winter!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Ooooh warm baths with scented oils or bath bombs are awesome. Any good books lately? One of my resolutions was to read more 12 for the year haha only finished 1 so far. Hope you get a chance to try painting too! I still have a couple vouchers so I’ve been checking out paintings.

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  4. I haven’t been to New England and can’t imagine how cold it is over there right now. Glad that you have choices for what to do during winter days. I personally prefer to stay at home and play lots of board games or work on the puzzle.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve never been in New England during the winter, but I can’t imagine it’s much worse than what I get over here in Michigan. I do love all the warm, indoor activities you’ve listed. Not everyone wants to ski and be outside all winter!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ah, ah, such a great list of indoor activities to brave freezing temperatures 🙂 I would love to learn how to paint a winter scene at Muse Paintbar… and of course sip on a glass of wine or pint !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I have so many of these paintings and they are all so much fun. Just recently I did a scene of Paris. Hoping to go back to redeem my other vouchers! Make sure you don’t dip your paint brush in your water/wine though!

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  7. Oh, there are so many good ideas in here! Thankfully, I live in California and do not have to brave freezing temperatures. However, I think that if a city has a nice food scenes, museums and other institutions, the weather does not really matter that much. I once saw an episode where Montreal was visited during winter and the host spent most of the time indoors eating (sound like fun to me).

    Liked by 1 person

  8. New England in the winter. Hmmm. I think I will visit in the summer or spring, when you can get outdoors a bit more. Great ideas though on what you can do during those bitter cold New England winters.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. These look like so much fun! I got to see the mansions in Newport once, but it was in the evening after work so they were closed. I’d love to go back sometime and get to explore inside. The board game cafe sounds really cool too. Where is it located? I’ll have to keep it in mind the next time I head east for work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Kris! Do you remember which mansions you visited? Yes hope you get a chance to go and see the inside, which are even more ridiculously opulent than outside. Board games cafe Knight Moves in particular has 2 locations (I went to the one in Brookline, the other is Somerville). There’s other brands too in Boston. Hope you get a chance to try it out!

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  10. Great indoor activities! I’m intrigued by Boda Board…now I have to go googling around and learn more about it. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Meg! Yes there’s lots of information about the Boda Borg concept but I think people are prohibited from giving away clues or telling others how to solve the quests since that takes away the fun. Hope you get a chance to try it perhaps here or in Sweden!

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  11. These are great ideas. But one will have to still brave the cold and go out which i find to be too much hassle.. haha.. But totally agree on saving the electricity and doing some fun and creative activities is always better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha even if it’s for a short moment? One thing I’ve decided is the next car we get I want to get a remote starter so we don’t have to sit in the cold or boiling heat! Yeah I think there’s always different places to explore any time of the year.

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  12. Can I organise a trip to Boston just for the Boda Borg Quests?? It sounds super challenging, I love it! Many great ideas in this post. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Eloise! Haha yes of course the original one is also in Sweden. That’s on my list to try if iI ever go there too. It’s definitely challenging and very fun! My favorite quest was Escape from Alcatraz (jailbreak props and room were so cool!)

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  13. These are all great ideas Hanna! Way better than driving through crazy snow to Niagara! 😉

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