Winter’s gone, or has it? Even if most of the cold months are behind us, it might be too early to take out our spring trench coats. On February 2, Groundhog Day was celebrated across the United States, but this year’s forecast was dire. Contrasting predictions between Pennsylvania’s famous Punxsutawney Phil and Staten Island’s very own Chuck left the case unsettled, so we might still have a few weeks of biting weather ahead of us. To play it safe, let’s look at some indoor entertainment options:
- Bake. This is your chance to ask your cute neighbor for a cup of sugar! There are billions of recipes online, which sometimes require an overwhelming amount of kitchen gear. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned baker, muffins are always a good idea. They’re just as delicious as they are simple to prepare, and once you master the “muffin technique” (see blogs like myrecipe.com or kitchn.com for easy recipes) you’ll be able to wow your loved ones with elaborate flavor combos. Think apple-cheddar or dark chocolate-bacon muffins. Next thing you know, you’ll learn how to frost and fight on “Cupcake Wars”. Pros: baking will make your apartment cozy and smell delicious. Cons: some clean up required.
- Join a wine club. Wine clubs are a good opportunity for many reasons. You like to experiment with different wines but don’t have much time to browse in local shops? Wine club. You dread inevitable conversations with the too well-meaning salesperson and want to get a good price on bottles? Wine club. Get a feeling for which subscription could work for you on websites like net. Also, you’ll have plenty of reasons to enjoy another fun indoor activity: throwing wine tasting parties. Pros: show off the cheese knife set you bought yourself at Pottery Barn a year ago. Cons: now your friends will know better if you show up with “2 bucks-a-bottle-with-pretentious-label” wine.
- Play board games. A great reason to put down our phones and computers, and actually socialize. If you’re asking yourself why you should try it, consider the many benefits associated with playing board games. Besides enhancing brain function, board games are known to help reduce stress, increase creativity and strengthen relationships. If the last board game you played was either Scrabble or Monopoly, then you’re in for a big surprise. Adult board game options are now countless. Just to name a few: Settlers of Catan, Cards Against Humanity, Exploding Kittens, and What Do You Meme? With updated options like these, you’re bound to have fun. If you’re looking for someone to play with, you should know that New York City is home to The Uncommons, a board game café with one of the largest library of games on the East Coast. Pros: the perfect occasion to spend time with friends and family while wrapped in a sleeved blanket. Cons: too much fun?
- Knit. Yes, I’m serious. I’ll argue that knitting is one of the very few mindfulness activities that actually results in something useful. You can choose to actively pay attention to every stich, or, much like doodling, simply keep your hands busy while your mind focuses on other things. Crafts can be very rewarding, crushingly cute (ex. baby hats. Enough said), and of all shapes and sizes. If you’re already comfortable with needles and infinity scarfs, challenge yourself with quirkier artwork, such as knitted cactus vases or faux taxidermy. Pros: you won’t ever have to worry about buying gifts again. Cons: the inevitable learning curve and your supplies may be bulky to carry around.
As much as we all hope Staten Island Chuck was right, winter time gives us a chance to get creative indoors. At the very least, we should be prepared in case a snow storm cuts out the WIFI.