Winter is coming, which means it’s time to dive deep into sweater season and start looking for fun indoors. Whether you’re a fan of curling up with a good book and a cozy cocktail or finding adventure wherever you can, here are some of our favorite indoor activities in NYC to look forward to this winter.
Find Your Way Out of an Escape Room
First-timers can think of escape rooms as tactile, high-stakes puzzles for grown-ups. If you love a good mystery, problem-solving or role-playing games, then you’re bound to find a new favorite activity with escape rooms. Depending on your area of interest (and your skill level), NYC has several options to choose from that are sure to keep you on your toes. If you’re a beginner, consider testing the waters with The Experiment, an award-winning escape room from Escape Games NYC. This private game takes place in an unfamiliar room with stark white walls and a single chain hanging from the ceiling. Your mission—as always—is to find your way out. This beginner-level game is suited for 2-7 players aged 14 years or older. Or, if you’re a more moderate player, try the Haunted Hotel escape room by BrainXcape. Designed by the same artists who worked on “Sleep No More,” the intricate sets help provide a unique atmosphere to help you uncover layer upon layer of surprising and themed clues. Looking for the ultimate challenge? Try your luck at Mission Escape Games’ Escape the Nemesis. Winner of the 2015 Golden Lock-In Award, this sci-fi themed game takes place aboard a spaceship that is headed for a crash-landing on earth. Your team’s goal is to find a way to divert the shuttle’s landing and save everyone on board. Regardless of which room you venture into, you’re guaranteed to discover a new—and completely indoors—adventure.
Sip and Play at a Pet Café
If you’ve traveled or lived in cities like Tokyo, Seoul, or Singapore, then you’re probably familiar with the concept of a pet café. Typically designed to cater to animal lovers who long to pet a kitten, puppy, rabbit, or, in some cases, a bearded dragon, while sipping on coffee and specialty teas, pet cafés are particularly popular in Asia. While the craze is still making its way to the States, cat lovers can get a taste for the experience at Koneko, America’s first Japanese cat café and sake bar. If cuddling with cute kittens during your visit isn’t enough of an incentive to visit, know that all of the cats featured at Koneko have been pulled from at-risk rescue shelters and are available for adoption. And although no rabbit or puppy cafés have yet been opened in NYC, dog lovers can check out Boris & Horton, NYC’s first dog-friendly coffee shop. Just keep in mind that if you want to pet any of the cute pups you find at the cafe, you’ll have to ask their owners first.
Sign Up for a Cooking Class
There’s no shortage of great food in NYC, but sometimes it’s hard to beat the satisfaction of cooking (and shortly afterward, eating) a fantastic meal from scratch. When the weather outside is less than lovely, take advantage of the city’s impeccable chefs and sign-up for a once-in-a-lifetime cooking class. Those with a sweet-tooth can learn to bake professional-looking French pastries at one of Mille-feuille’s private or group baking classes. Or, if you prefer Italian, practice making pasta, Neopolitan pizza or pillowy gnocchi at Eataly’s La Scuola.
Grab a Cocktail and a Game (or two)
Indoor drinking is nothing new when it comes to winter pastimes. But a few bars in NYC have upped the ante for their entertainment. Get involved in a game of indoor bocce ball at Union Hall in Park Slope, whose library-themed decor adds an extra element of cozy to the boozy fun. Or, if arcade games are more your speed, visit one of Barcade’s many locations throughout the city and try to beat your last high score.