Winter on The Main Line

Lauren Piro

Ah,winter …

A time to stay inside with a cup of hot cocoa, cozying up on your couch watching the snow fall outside and indulging in reality TV marathons. The wind may blow cold and icy, but all you need is your bunny slippers and a remote control with fresh batteries. Little do you know that while you’re forming a permanent indentation on your sofa, there is actually a plethora of winter activities going on outside your small bedroom. Staying inside until April may sound enticing at first, but when cozy turns to cramped and “I Love New York” starts to drive you stir crazy, know that there’s more to the Philadelphia area this winter than frostbitten noses and limited sunlight.

Embrace It

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Sure freezing temperatures mean it is indeed freezing, but let’s not forget what awesome things can only occur in the cold. Step beyond your usual snowball fights and snow angels this season and take an afternoon or evening to glide across, or maybe smack your face on, the Blue Cross River Rink at Penn’s Landing. Lace up your ice skates and pretend you’re Kristi Yamaguchi as you take in the Philadelphia waterfront while having a blast with your friends. The rink offers DJ-ed music on weekend nights and on Jan. 20 kicked off Sunday Night Live, a series during which skaters are serenaded by local bands every Sunday evening through Feb. 24. When you can finally make it completely around the rink, all the bruises your rear end has incurred will definitely seem worth it – and the music and atmosphere certainly don’t hurt.

Indulge In It

Nothing can make the winter blues brighten like a great meal at a fancy restaurant – for cheap! Philadelphia’s winter Restaurant Week is coming up from Jan. 27 – Feb. 1. Dozens of high-caliber eateries in Center City will offer a minimum of 3 courses for just $35 dollars. The complete, mouth-watering list can be found online; the hardest part of your evening will be choosing at where to eat. Be sure to make a reservation – and order the lobster.

Observe It

Too often does the chill of winter overshadow the beauty of nature during the season. While one may think that winter nature is only dead and barren, those at the Tyler Arboretum in Media, Pa., think otherwise. Aside from simply spending a day admiring the winter landscape, the arboretum provides a list of winter activities happening throughout the next few months. One that stands out is its monthly Night Hikes; the next one’s coming up on Feb. 23. “Winter can offer some of the best views of the Arboretum,” according to its Web site. “With trees devoid of leaves, natural structures and landforms are more fully revealed in the moonlight.” Ah moonlight – for the outdoorsy Villanovan, a night like this could spell out the epitome of romance. But don’t forget your flashlight!

Inspire It

If trekking into the great outdoors still isn’t your thing this winter, why not take in some culture indoors near by? Several art galleries along the Main Line have exciting exhibitions lined up for the winter, perfect for anyone looking for the warmth of culture. The Main Line Art Center in Haverford will offer an exhibition of local young students’ work throughout January and is often involved in First Friday Main Line – a monthly event where artists, performers and musicians are showcased in local businesses and galleries. If you get even more inspired, travel to Philadelphia for Old City’s First Friday artist exhibition. Winter is the perfect time to burst that snowy Villanova bubble and take in some local art and music. You never know what’s right under your Jack Frost-nipped nose.