Local ways to beat the winter blues

After the rush of the holiday season has died down and the new year faithfully marches on, these late January into early February days can feel like kind of a drag; the cold lingers, nature is gray, and the sun still sets earlier than most would prefer. Instead of succumbing to the winter blues, fight back by looking into some of these winter-worthy activities.

Support your local independent bookstore

There’s nothing like cozying up with a good book on a chilly winter day. If you feel like getting out of the house, but aren’t looking for a high-energy activity, exploring local bookstores is a great way to treat yourself. If you’ve grown accustomed to the local bookshop in your town, try to branch out and explore surrounding areas to change things up. Local highlights include Reread Books and More in Cheshire, an incredible integrated work setting for workers of all abilities, and Connecticut’s two R.J. Julia Booksellers stores, a family business that’s found great success here in the nutmeg state.   

Check out a one-night class

Don’t let your learning stop after your schooling ends – Connecticut has dozens of fun classes and workshop opportunities popping up, and the content is getting more diverse. From woodworking and home decor classes to cooking and sip and paints, there truly is something out there for everyone. Local highlights to look into include The Art Bar, a new family-owned art studio located inside the Meriden Mall, and Woodcraft of Manchester, a hands-on woodworking school that offers classes for all levels of crafters.

Dine fireside

For an ambiance that can’t be beat, snuggle up to some fiery heat. Besides setting the mood, most flames serve a purpose when it comes to keeping a place comfortably toasty – many establishments with fireside dining also have an interesting, sometimes historical backstory, so don’t be shy. Ask your server if there’s any wholesome lore surrounding your lovely surroundings, and you might be enlightened. Fire at the Ridge in Middlefield is a must when it comes to fireside dining due to their signature open flames found both indoors and mountainside. If you’re looking to hold an event or celebration, check out the Aqua Turf Club in Southington or The Inn at Middletown; these spaces can accommodate larger groups, but maintain a cozy atmosphere due to their rustic decor and of course those roaring fireplaces.  

Visit a museum 

While it may seem obvious, it should be reinforced that in the winter, museums are an excellent escape from the bitter cold. It should also be reinforced that museums across the region are constantly cycling out pieces to make room for new artists and exhibits to be featured, so if you think you’ve seen all a place has to offer, you should think again. The Bicycle Game is a fabulous new exhibit that the Connecticut Historical Society has up until now through fall, and the Wadsworth Atheneum is currently highlighting female-focused art and flamework via glass art. For a ride on the cultural side, explore Connecticut’s museums this winter.


More From This Section