Some years ago we realized that the best way to shake off the dreary midwinter doldrums is to force yourself to do something you haven’t done before. Even something small, something silly. Apparently, there’s science behind this: A change of scenery — even if the new scenery is just eating lunch in the cab of your truck at the beach, rather than at your desk — can knock the cobwebs out and deliver a modest jolt of serotonin. So, with this in mind and the deepest depths of midwinter arriving this week, we offer some seasonal suggestions. Here are a dozen modest, doable activities to beat the blues.
One: Go to Buckskill Winter Club in Wainscott for ice-skating; there’s public skating seven days a week. Can’t skate? Go anyway. There’s no shame in availing yourself of one of those push-frame skating-assistant thingies. Two: Choose a night spot with a roaring fireplace, like the Clubhouse in Wainscott or Baron’s Cove in Sag Harbor, and tuck into a weeknight burger or hot toddy beside the roaring fire. Three: Birding. January is actually a fantastic time to roam the woods with binoculars. Beginner? Check out the South Fork Natural History Museum’s guided walks. Four: Parlor games night. Dust off the Risk board and deck of cards for hearts. Five: Seed catalogs. Request online, set yourself up with a stack on a Sunday morning, coffee mug in hand, and dream of eggplant and aster season.
Six: Go in with a bestie on an off-season rate for a staycation overnight at a Montauk motel. Walk Camp Hero in your winter coat, then have a seafood supper at Shagwong. Seven: Edify yourself with lectures on local history, courtesy of the East Hampton Historical Society (free, four Fridays this winter). Eight: Go full-on granny style and hop aboard a bus excursion on the Hampton Jitney. Did you know the Jitney offers one-day and multi-day tours to Broadway, ski destinations, and more? Nine: Try out a new restaurant, like Kumiso, the adorable new Japanese spot off Park Place in East Hampton, or the new Rowdy Hall in Amagansett. Ten: Karaoke night! Brave the microphone at Almond restaurant in Bridgehampton, the North Sea Tavern, or the Clubhouse. Eleven: Roller skating for grown-ups, every Wednesday over in Greenport at the American Legion rink. Twelve: Foreign films. There’s an international film festival at the East Hampton Library, Sundays in January and February. Free Fellini? We’re in!