Winter Fun Survival Guide

It always sounds fun at first. Your date (who else is under the pressure to get this creative) wants to do an outdoor activity in this winter wonderland that Mother Nature dumped on us yesterday. Or your kids can’t take one more day of being cooped up outside, so you’ve got to get their energy out somehow. And that’s why you ended up outside in the freezing cold, hoping that moving around a little bit will warm your frozen toes.

If you’re taking advantage of today’s CoupMe Deal for skating and rentals at the Kendall Square rink (a pretty fun thing to do in the middle of the city!), you’ll need to keep warm. And so we present to you, the winter warmer survival guide.

Our first suggestion is to make some hot drinks to bring along with you on any cold winter’s day. Anything will do–a big thermos full of Swiss Miss is a welcome warm-up after a few rounds on the rink–but if you want to get a little more creative, try Ellie Krieger’s Ginger-Spiced Hot Chocolate. A healthier spin on the traditional hot cocoa, this won’t totally destroy any calorie burn you got doing double-axels. If you don’t have ginger on hand, add some cinnamon instead–it’ll spice it right up. And for those of you on dates (or those of you with the kids, if you want to pack a “Mom’s thermos”), you’ll get a big thumbs-up if you add a helping of Kahlua, Bailey’s, or whatever you have on hand to add a little extra warmth.

Beyond the obvious bundling up (don’t forget your hat!), there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First of all, socks do matter. Get the thick wool ones, and don’t be ashamed. Secondly, while they may make you feel like a second-grader, mittens are better than gloves (your fingers can, in fact, warm one another). And third, don’t be ashamed to take a little bit of help from technology. Look around the convenience stores and hardware stores for Hand Warmers and throw them into your gloves. If you have a little time, try getting some reusable hand warmers (the environment will thank you).

Then of course, there are the post-winter activities that are key to warming up. I’ve never been the type that could swig a beer right out of the cold, but if you can, more power to you. For the rest of us, here are some cozy spots in Kendall to warm up after skating:

  • The Friendly Toast: A great spot for the kids, this spot is open for breakfast and all the way through to late-night eats and drinks. Grab some pumpkin pancakes to get you into the season spirit, or a Caribbean Waffle to make you forget that this winter is even happening.
  • aThe Blue Room: If you’re looking for something a little more upscale, try The Blue Room. It has a great bar with modern twists on classic drinks. If you, like me, don’t think a cold drink can warm you up, a drink called the Smoke Monster is probably a good thing to try! Pull up a chair and have some drinks while you warm up on spicy snacks like fried plantains with chipotle ketchup, chili-marinated olives, or a cardamom creme brulee.
  • Cambridge Brewing Company: If you’re up for something a little more causal, try the local beers at the Cambridge Brewing Country. They brew all their own ales, and always have some special seasonal stuff. Try the 2010 Blunderbuss Barleywine, the Snow Day IPA, or the Harvey Milk Stout for something a little different, yet familiar. And don’t forget to give the food a try too–it’s delicious!

    Happy skating, and stay warm out there!


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