Winter finally decided to show up last week with snow, ice, and wind wreaking havoc across the northeast. I had to travel to New York City in between the storm last week and during the storm this week. I didn’t have time to go do a bunch of fun things this trip, but it did get me thinking about what I would do if I had a bunch of free time in New York City in the winter.
Sip a Hot Beverage in an Igloo
Each winter, 230 Fifth sets up igloos on their rooftop. It’s first-come, first-serve, no reservations. Each igloo is big enough for ten people to enjoy all snuggled up by the electric fireplace. I spent a long, cozy evening there with three friends and we made five new friends by sharing our igloo. It’s easy to bond over the novelty of the igloo, the view of the Empire State Building, and the fluffy red bathrobes the bar provides.
Drinks are a tad expensive, but worth the price for the experience. My Pumpkin Pie Hot Chocolate was $14, but it was so rich and decadent that I only wanted the one drink for the nearly three hours we spent there. A non-alcoholic coffee costs $5 and a draft beer is $9.
Find it: 230 Fifth, 230 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10001
Pet Cats at Meow Parlour
Spending as little as fifteen minutes with a cat can make you feel happier and less stressed. Dark, stormy winter days make us all a little more prone to depression and some of us suffer from significant Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) so we all need to do a few extra things to boost our moods this time of year. When you spend time with cats, your cortisol levels go down and your serotonin levels go up. This combo makes you happier and less stressed. Doesn’t that sound nice?
Reservations are recommended, but not required. It’s a popular place and walk-in access is limited, so book ahead if you can, but if you need to pet a cat on a whim it’s worth trying to visit. When you book, you’ll reserve a thirty-minute time slot for $6. You may stay up to five hours. You’ll be charged for each half an hour you spend there at the end of your visit. I found an hour and a half to be a nice length of time to visit. You can also visit for special events like Yoga and Kitties or Drag Bingo. And, if you fall in love with a new feline friend, all of the cats are up for adoption.
Update! Meow Parlour has let me know that both of the gorgeous cats in the photos above have found their forever homes! Happy lives to you and your new families YenYang and Lenu.
Find it: Meow Parlour, 46 Hester St., New York, NY 10002
Dig into Nostalgia Candy at IT’SUGAR
Who else remembers Fruit Stripe chewing gum? How about Fun Dip? Or wishing you could get a giant bag of gummy bears in just your favorite flavor? All of these things are available at IT’SUGAR NoHo. There’s also giant candy, dirty candy, candy cereal, and funny t-shirts, pillows, and mugs. It’s a great place to go shopping for gifts to give your friends and family on a whim, just to make their winter a little bit better. And through the magic of laughter, nostalgia, gift-giving, and treating yourself to a little candy, you’ll be feeling better about winter, too.
Find it: IT’SUGAR NoHo, 665 Broadway, New York, NY 10012
Eat at Tacombi Fonda Nolita
It’s cold in New York City in the winter, but it’s warm in Mexico in the winter, so pretend you’re in warm, sunny Mexico for awhile with a meal at Tacombi Fonda Nolita. Tacombi started as a tiny operation in Mexico, it was simply a VW Kombi bus setup to sell tacos, tortas, and fresh fruit drinks in Playa del Carmen. After a few years, the owners decided to bring traditional taco culture to NYC and opened this location on Elizabeth Street with a VW Kombi bus inside that’s still used as part of the kitchen. Today, the menu is still small and simple. It’s tacos, tortas, fresh juices, cocktails, and just a few other items.
Don’t rush through your meal here. Start with a cocktail or a fresh juice. Indulge in the chips and guacamole because both are homemade. Then, mix and match from the menu so you can try the dishes that most call to you. Pictured below are the crispy fish taco and the avocado torta with pureed black beans.
Find it: Tacombi Fonda Nolita, 267 Elizabeth St., New York NY 10012
Enjoy a Hot Beverage and Buy Shoes at TOMS Roasting Co.
The wonderful company that has given one pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of shoes purchased since 2006 has no expanded into protecting and restoring eyesight through eye wear purchases, providing safer birth experiences through bag purchases, and giving clean water through their roasting company. Each coffee or tea purchase from TOMS Roasting Co. provides clean water to someone in need, continuing their promise of “One for One.” Their Elizabeth Street location in New York sells shoes, eye wear, and bags in addition to coffee, tea, and donuts from Dough. Pick yourself up from the winter blues with a hot beverage here and you’ll also pick up someone else’s life by giving them clean water just by doing something you like to do anyway. The coffee and tea are delicious and the cafe has a few tables where you can relax with a good book.
Find it: TOMS Roasting Co., 264 Elizabeth St., New York, NY 10012
What’s your favorite thing to do in New York City in the winter? Share in the comments!