As 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)!
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’.
First time visiting the Newport, RI legendary mansions all decorated for the holidays! #MarbleHouse 😲 teaser of review to follow next week! 😍 Plus our first Christmas tree, kidding it was the one in the mansion lobby. 😆 Perfect day trip concluded by a delicious meal of tuna tartare and flounder @mooringrestaurant 🍽🐟🐟.
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.
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
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!
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!