When the weather outside is literally frightful, the last thing you want to do is to be outside for an extended amount of time. This is why in the winter, it’s so easy to become a homebody. But, for some, being home all the time can become boring and suffocating. Well, at least this is the case for me. I love fresh air and being active, but in the winter the brutal cold defeats me and I end up staying home most weekends.
However, instead of hiding at home, you can seek refuge at one of the many indoor offerings the city’s got for you. There’s a myth that many people believe — that there’s nothing fun to do in the winter other than going to the movies or ice skating. But, lucky for us, NYC is full of fun indoor activities for adults to do even on the coldest days. So, stop watching Netflix all weekend and check out these cool indoor activities throughout the city.
117 Macdougal Street – Manhattan
I feel like the comedy scene in the city is so underrated. Sure, some shows are a hit or miss, but venues like Comedy Cellar are known for their shows always being awesome. Top comedians, like Dave Chapelle, Chris Rock, and Amy Schumer, are notoriously known for making “surprise” appearances to test out new material. The club is open until 2:30 am, every night. But, if you’re against their stance on Louis C.K., there are a ton of other stellar comedy clubs – like Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB Theatre) and Caroline’s.
Royal Palm Shuffleboard Club
514 Union Street – Brooklyn
If you’ve thought that shuffle boarding was only for the elderly on cruise ships or in retirement homes, then think again! The Royal Palm Shuffleboard Club in Gowanus is the city’s first and only bar with 10 bonafide sunken shuffleboard lanes. You’ll definitely feel like you’re on a tropical island, especially since they serve paradise-y cocktails out of mason jars. If shuffleboard is “so” not your thing, they also have “retirement” games like Uno and checkers. You can play them underneath one of the indoor cabanas and pretend you’re actually in paradise.
62 Chelsea Piers – Manhattan
Now, now, sex isn’t the only indoor sport you can do in the winter. Whether you’re a sports junkie or just a kid at heart, you can definitely find something rad to do at Chelsea Piers. They have every game you can think of, from batting cages and a gymnastics foam pit to soccer and indoor rock-climbing. Fun to do with friends, or just with your boo!
The Conservatory at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens
990 Washington Avenue – Brooklyn
In here, you’ll totally forget that it’s even winter! If you are a nature person, then you’ll absolutely LOVE this Brooklyn Conservatory. There are five separate garden rooms that are filled with waterfalls, orchids, and blooming greenery. This is also the perfect place to go on dates in the winter, a perfect substitute for the classic walk in the park.
The Museum of Interesting Things
60 East 8th Street – Manhattan
The museum is the brainchild of Denny Daniel, a filmmaker and photograph restorer. He wanted to show the world his vast collection of fascinating antique devices. He has opened this museum to inspire the next generation of innovators. The idea is to remind people of the current day that something like the iPhone didn’t come out of nowhere, but rather evolved over time from history’s innovations.
The Hidden Tropical Forest at the Ford Foundation Building
320 East 43rd Street – Manhattan
This is one of the most unexpected spots in the city, especially in an intensely busy area like Midtown East. This tropical oasis is open to the public all year long. There are lush giant trees, dwarf shrubs, and magnolias. There are also garden terraces that slope down to verdant water pools. The area is surrounded by two large glass walls and a ceiling that act like greenhouses and create tropical conditions for the plant life to thrive through all seasons.
Dreamland Roller Disco
274 36th Street – Brooklyn
Relive your middle schools days and roller skate this winter! Dreamland Roller Disco is opening a 15,000 square-foot indoor roller rink at the Industry City this Friday (Dec. 7) through April 2nd. This will be NYC’s first indoor roller rink since a decade ago. It will take over Prospect Park’s Lakeside rink. The new rink will be screaming the ‘70s with its retro glow-in-the-dark carpeting, black lights and a multicolor disco ball display, and a “Hula Hoopy” happy hour. You can partake in this classic summertime pastime now in the winter, warm and cozy.
Mehanata Bulgarian Bar
113 Ludlow Street – Manhattan
This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but definitely, a unique way to get warm. There is an “ice box” where, for $20, you can get dressed up in authentic Bulgarian army uniforms and drink up to five shots of vodka in two minutes — while everyone watches you. It’s only open on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 8 pm to 4 pm. And maybe when you come out of this the cold weather won’t bother you.
Dine Inside Yurts at The Standard
25 Cooper Square – Manhattan
The Standard East Village transforms its outdoor space into a special winter garden during the winter months. They have private yurts which you can reserve for you and your friends. You can order spiked holiday cocktails and different kinds of fondue. The area is surrounded by garlands and trees. This year they’ve partnered up with Crest Hardware to sell Christmas trees, so you can select your tree while sipping on a hot toddy!