With the flip of the calendar page, there’s no denying that winter is here. Whether you’re Team Winter or not, we’ve talked to some locals and assembled a list that will have you embracing the season or at least grinning while you bear it from the first snowfall to the last.
Come on, doesn’t the first glimpse of swirling flurries cause your heart to stir just a little bit? Remember the days of being a kid and the excitement of a potential day off from school (Operation: Snowball, anyone?). Sure, as adults, dealing with the logistics of a snowy day can be a drag, so be prepared as best as you can and you’ll be able to roll with the squalls a bit better.
PLACES TO GET CRAFTY
Skip the national chains and enjoy visiting a local seller of supplies. While you’re there, sign up for a class and learn a new skill.
Create Color Art Studio, Narragansett
Love 2 Knit, East Greenwich
North Light Fibers, Block Island
Sew Many Things, East Greenwich
The Mermaid’s Purl, Wickford
BEFORE IT SNOWS
In addition to milk, bread, and eggs, why not add hot chocolate mix and cookie dough to your list? Or opt for healthier but still hygge and simmer apple cider or roast root vegetables. The soothing sweet aroma and flavors may warm your heart to the forecast. TIP: Stock up on non-perishable canned goods like soup and nut butters, bottles of water, and, of course, batteries. Aim to keep devices fully charged.
Back up that robocall by signing up for text alerts from the Rhode Island Broadcasters Association. This service now includes parking ban information.
If you take medication or use a medical treatment on a regular basis, be sure you have what you need to care for yourself for at least three days. If you use life support systems such as oxygen, respirator, ventilator, dialysis, pacemaker, or are insulin dependent, be sure to enroll in the Rhode Island Special Needs Registry. This notification allows first responders additional time to consider how to best respond to that incident.
Most people over forty years old shouldn’t be shoveling at all, especially when snow is heavy on those above-freezing days. Before the white stuff comes down, do your best to line up someone to shovel for you, whether it’s a group of teens, a landscaper, or that neighbor with a plow (who might be willing to help in exchange for fresh baked cookies). TIP: Keep cash on-hand to pay for shoveling services.
HARDWARE STORES TO FILL THE BENNY’S VOID
For many, winters around Rhode Island just won’t be the same without a visit to the local retail chain for a snow shovel and other storm-ready supplies. Start new traditions by visiting this batch of hardware stores:
Compass Hardware, Charlestown
Jamestown True Value
Jerry’s Paint and Hardware, Narragansett
Wickford Lumber and Hardware
IT’S ALL DOWNHILL FROM HERE
Whether you have a toboggan, sled, saucer, or flattened cardboard box, a fresh snowfall beckons kids of all ages to head for the hills. Most sledding spots are not official places but commandeered golf courses and hills off the beaten path. While it may seem awkward, wear a helmet to protect your head, and bundle up before scouting the following locations:
Exeter: Yawgoo Valley
Saunderstown: Rome Point for cross-country skiing
West Greenwich: “Big River Desert” aka the sand hills at 135 Gansett Road
Find more safety tips by visiting The National Safety Council.
Nothing says cozy like sitting by a hearth and these pubs and restaurants are known for keeping a roaring blaze:
Coast Guard House, Narragansett
Dan’s Carriage Inn, North Kingstown
George’s of Galilee, Narragansett
Main Street Coffee, East Greenwich
Pasquale’s Pizzeria Napoletana, South Kingstown
BETTER THAN AMAZON
With a valid Ocean State Library card, you can borrow books, e-books, and even stream movies from member libraries. Search the statewide catalog to request books and more and they’ll be delivered to your local branch. Most libraries also have a stash of free and discounted passes to venues like museums that you sign out and return as you would a book. Libraries also host various classes, events, and meet-ups for all ages with topics ranging from cooking to coloring. Visit OSLRI.org for full list.
Wintertime farmers markets are gaining popularity. Set your alarm for Saturday morning and head to the Coastal Growers Winter Farmers Market in Narragansett at the Quest Montessori School, and the South Kingstown Winter Farmers Market in Peacedale.
SPOTS FOR A HOT CUPPA CRAWL
Remember that frosty beer on a swelteringly hot day? A hot mug of coffee or hot chocolate on a freezing cold afternoon is the equinox equivalent. Get yours to go, cup your hands around the warmth and revel in the steam as you take a wintertime stroll.
Dave’s Coffee, Charlestown
Felicia’s Coffee, East Greenwich
Main Street Coffee, East Greenwich
The Nook Coffee House, East Greenwich
Sophie’s Brewhouse, Exeter
Cool Beans Cafe, Narragansett
Fuel Coffee Bar, Narragansett
Jitters Cafe, North Kingstown
Shayna’s Place, Wickford
Sweet Althea’s, Wakefield
THE BRIGHT SIDE
The coldest nights make for the clearest night skies! Mark your calendar for Thursday, January 3, when the Quadrantid Meteor Shower takes place. Bundle up and head outside (or over to Frosty Drew Observatory in Charlestown) for this meteor shower often described as the best and brightest! You can enjoy this occurrence and even wish on a star for an early spring!
Editor’s Note: Did we miss your favorite? Let us know and we’ll be sure to include in next year’s round-up! Tag @SORIMag or email Elyse@ProvidenceOnline.com