Happy February! (Even if it’s my least favorite month of the year) It’s the final stretch of winter before the warmth of spring returns and I am counting down the days until the first day of spring. Punxsutawney Phil told the world that spring will come early and boy, I can’t wait for warmer weather. I am the kind of person who will find any reason to stay home if the temperature dips into the teens. What can I say? ~Thar’s warm blood in them veins~
Not to insult the legendary Pennsylvanian groundhog, but winter is still alive and kicking in Boston. Seasonal depression is real and many days I miss blue skies and the warmth and how the city comes back to life just like the trees shaking off the chill. But in my two Bostonian winters, I’ve learned how to keep warm and entertained in the long chilly winter days. If you know where to look, there’s plenty of activities to do in Boston.
Here are some of my favorites:
1. Explore the Museum of Fine Arts
I know that I’ve talked about the Museum of Fine Arts before, but I truly believe the MFA is one of the best winter activities for a Northeastern student. Not only is it within walking distance from campus (it’s 2 minutes from both my first-year and second-year dorm), but admission is free so it’s a low-cost, high-entertainment option. (Not to mention there is a free coat check)
There are constantly new exhibits to explore and the permanent exhibits are so numerous and variable that I could spend hours wandering through the halls without growing bored. Everything from Ancient Greek and Nubian artifacts to contemporary abstract art and social justice exhibits, there is something for everyone!
This seems like a cop-out answer, but I love food so I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about it. Nothing warms me up faster than a good meal. Whether it’s hot pot, lobster rolls, Indian food, or a burger, there’s so many options available to a hungry college student. Along Huntington Avenue, which runs straight through campus, there’s a plethora of delicious meals just waiting to be eaten. (Goodness, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.) Mumbai Spice, Pho and I, Amelia’s Taqueria, Sweetgreen, Lucy Ethiopian Cafe, Boston Burger Company, Thornton’s brunch, Sweet Cheeks BBQ, Oakleaf Bake Shop, the list goes on.
As an added bonus, many of the restaurants around campus accept Dining Dollars, which are pre-paid dollars included in Northeastern meal plans. All you have to do is use your Husky student ID and voilà!
Beyond campus, we’re located close to Newbury Street, Fenway, and Massachusetts Avenue. All of these places have so many restaurants to choose from (many also deliver on Postmates, UberEats, DoorDash, etc).
3. Shop til you drop at the Garment District
The Garment District has become one of my favorite hidden treasures of Cambridge. I’ve always loved thrift shopping and I adore discounts, so the Garment District is the best of both worlds. I visited the store on “Student Free Friday,” when you can buy 15 pounds of clothes for free if you have a school ID. Not to mention, they have a “by the pound” section where the clothes are in a massive pile on the floor. Digging through a mountain of clothes and finding the worst of fashion of the 80s is such a wonderful experience to have with friends.
I included the Garment District on this list because it’s a cheap and wonderful option for stocking up on winter clothes. Being from Georgia, I owned a total of 4 sweaters before starting at Northeastern. The Garment District helped me drastically supplement my collection while saving money.
4. Grab a bowl of clam chowder
Surprise, surprise. Another point about food. But this one is different, I promise, because it’s ~clam chowder~ a.k.a New England’s specialty. You can’t call yourself a Bostonian until you’ve had a piping hot bowl of “chowda!” It’s creamy and delicious and a perfect way to combat the cold.
Legal Sea Foods is a well-known name in Boston and I will confess they have a good bowl of chowder (you can even find it at grocery stores – it’s THAT popular). But I have a goal to try the 4 award-winning clam chowders at the restaurants in this Food Insider video that I saw last year. After watching the producers work their way through the mouth-watering chowders, I have been obsessed with trying them myself.
5. Movie then Chinatown
I love catching a movie anytime of the year, but there’s something so satisfying about running into the theater from the cold and feeling yourself defrost as you are enraptured by the film. My favorite theater to go to in Boston is the AMC Boston Commons. Mostly for nostalgic reasons. During Welcome Week in my first year (which occurs the week before classes start), one event was going to the movies to see Crazy Rich Asians. I went with a few friends from Orientation and we meandered into the theater right as it was starting. I always think back to that day whenever I go to that AMC. 🙂
On top of the nostalgia, it’s also located right next to Chinatown, which means moo shi, lo mein noodles, bubble tea, and taro buns. (Maybe I should stop writing while hungry.) Regardless, Chinatown is a colorful and beautiful part of Boston and I always love people watching and wandering along the streets (with a honey milk tea in hand).
6. Ice skating at the Frog Pond
HA! You thought I was finished, didn’t you? >:)
On the (rare) occasion I want to brave the cold and do something, there’s one thing I really like to do: ice skating! Granted, I am very bad at ice skating; I have fallen more often than I’ve completed a lap around the rink. I will admit that I have been tempted to use Bobby the Skating Aid Seal (look him up). But I love the Boston Commons and the Frog Pond is such a staple of Boston winters. You get to see so many people having fun and laugh at your friends as they flop across the ice. We get to dance (poorly because we’re on skates, remember?) to oldies but goodies that they play over the speakers. Once it gets darker, the trees light up with lights of all colors. Finally, after we stumble off the rink, we grab a hot chocolate and relax. What a great way to spend the day, right?
I’m slowly getting better about the cold and learning how to enjoy winter as much as I do summer. What’s your favorite way to combat the winter chill? Leave your comments below!