Cover Story

Winter Guide

31 days of January got you down? Here are 31 ways to survive the cold, get active, have fun and look forward to sunnier days ahead.


Dance Away the Cold
1. Channel your southern brethren at the Mishnock Barn, which is a little bit of Dixie in West Greenwich. The barn is a country and western saloon known far and wide as a destination for line dancing, and offers lessons nightly for beginners. Put on your best dancing boots and head on over: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights are best for beginners, because the real cowboys and cowgirls come out on the weekends. 200 Mishnock Road, West Greenwich. 397-3505,

2. If you can’t have a good time at Westerly’s iconic Knickerbocker Cafe, you probably need to get your pulse checked. Longstanding home to Grammy-winning Roomful of Blues, the Knick has great live music several days a week. Let’s Dance Wednesdays have lessons at 7pm, followed by dancing to a live band all night. Thursdays are Open Mic Nights and Fridays and Saturdays bring in great rock and blues acts. 35 Railroad Avenue, Westerly. 315-5070,

3. Somehow, we have no idea how, the Narragansett Cafe manages to stay under the radar. Even in the height of summer, this Jamestown bar, which has some of the best live music around, maintains its laid back, mostly island locals crowd. Any night of the week is a good bet for the Ganny, but trust us on this one and go on Sunday afternoon for Blues, Bloodies and Brunch. The drinks are hot, the music is cool and you’ll wonder how you went this long without having that experience. 25 Narragansett Avenue, Jamestown. 423-2150,

4. Funny thing about the beach: it’s still there, even when it isn’t beach season. Head to George’s of Galilee, upstairs to their Channel Bar, overlooking Salty Brine Beach and Block Island Sound, for live music every Sunday afternoon. Whether you choose to sample something from Davy Jones’s Wine Locker, well, that’s up to you. 250 Sand Hill Cove Road, Galilee. 783-2306,

5.Remember how much you love chilling out at The Ocean Mist after a day at the beach? It’s still just as awesome an experience if you haven’t just rolled out of the waves. The OMist offers live music every Friday night and all day on weekends, all year round. The fish tacos are just as delicious in winter, too. 895 Matunuck Beach Road, Wakefield. 782-3740,

Get Active, Inside and Out
6. You aren’t a real Rhode Islander if you haven’t been to Yawgoo, the state’s only ski area. It might not rival northern New England’s mountains, but it’s an experience all its own. Hop on skis or a snowboard, or channel your inner child on the tubing slopes. They also offer ski lessons for kids and adults. 160 Yawgoo Valley Road, Exeter. 294-3802,

7. After a hiatus last winter when the fate of the rink was unclear, Newport’s residents banded together to bring back the city’s beloved Newport Skating Center, back in its original location. Admission is free on Monday nights, 2-for-1 on Tuesday nights, free on Wednesday nights and only $5 for adults on Thursday and Friday nights. 4 Commercial Wharf, Newport. 846-3018,

8. Missing the feeling of grass under your feet while you kick the ball around? The Wide World of Indoor Sports is the next best thing. The enormous North Kingstown facility offers leagues in sports like soccer, baseball, softball, field hockey, lacrosse, flag football and more. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you have to give up a season of the sports you love to play – or would love to play again. 1610 Davisville Road, North Kingstown. 295-1234,

9. Instead of slipping on the ice in front of your front door, glide gracefully into the Alex and Ani City Center in Providence. There’s nothing more quintessentially “winter in the city” than ice skating with your loved ones under the bright lights of the rink, surrounded by Providence’s beautiful cityscape. 2 Kennedy Plaza, Providence. 331-5544,

10. If the lower temps have you climbing the walls, get yourself to Rock Spot Indoor Climbing. The indoor rock climbing facility in Peace Dale has 11,500 square feet of climbing, including 38 top rope walls and almost 100 boulder problems that are reset every six weeks to keep things fresh. 1174 Kingstown Road, Peace Dale. 789-SPOT,

Pretend You’re On Vacation
11. If a big vacation isn’t in the budget this winter, you can still feel like you’re a world away by crossing the bridge over to Newport. Castle Hill Inn, the fine dining and fine lodging destination on Ocean Drive, offers a Winter Escape package: think two nights at the inn, gourmet breakfast and afternoon tea daily, a three-course dinner in their panoramic dining room and two tickets to any Newport Mansion (don’t worry, the summer cottages are just as beautiful in the winter). 590 Ocean Drive, Newport. 849-3800,

12. Feel like you’re in an even bigger city than Providence by taking a one-night vacation at The Dean, the chic new hotel that’s gotten attention from GQ and Town & Country this year. The room rates are surprisingly affordable, and the hotel houses Bolt Coffee Co.; Faust, a German restaurant serving house-made wurst; romantic cocktail lounge The Magdalenae Room; and The Boombox, a private-room karaoke bar serving up sake and Japanese pop culture delights. 122 Fountain Street, Providence. 455-DEAN,

13. If you’re looking for an island getaway but can’t quite swing the Seychelles, think about Goat Island. The Hyatt on Goat Island offers a Go Rhody promotion that includes an upgrade to an oceanfront room, free breakfast in their Windward Coastal Grille restaurant, and 15% off services in the Stillwater Spa. The spa’s On the Island packages include irresistible combinations of facials, massages and body treatments. 1 Goat Island, Newport. 851-1234,

Nurture Your Body and Spirit
14. Regretting all of those sugarplums and spiked egg nogs you downed during the holidays? Get on a cleaner food path this month – and kickstart that New Year’s resolution – at the 21 Day Detox and Elimination Diet at All That Matters. Eliminate foods that are making you feel bad under the guidance of Naturopathic Doctor Erica Lepore, in a four-week session starting January 7. 315 Main Street, Wakefield. 782-2126,

15. It’s easy to get some peace and quiet at the library – but the Westerly Library wants to help you cultivate that same quiet mindfulness in your daily life, too. Their Meditation Group meets every other Tuesday (this month, January 12 and 26) and welcomes all ages and all levels. 44 Broad Street, Westerly. 596-2877,

16. You know how your kids get quiet as soon as they have crayons and coloring books in front of them? Don’t you wish it were socially acceptable for you to relax your mind with something so simple and nostalgic? Lucky for you, adult coloring books are having a moment. Join likeminded artists at the Narragansett Library for Adult Coloring Classes, on January 4 and 15. 35 Kingstown Road, Narragansett. 789-9507,

17. If your New Year’s resolution was to get healthier, take a step in the right direction at bnourished. Holistic wellness and nutrition coach Katie McDonald teaches classes in everything from Decadent Desserts without Decay to Mindful Eating and Meditation. If you’re a little too cozy under your blankets, browse bnourished’s online recipes, which specialize in whole foods and making smart, healthy substitutions. 965-4486,

Beat the Winter Blues

18. If you’re feeling blah this month, it might be that your body doesn’t have the right fuel. Get a nutritional boost at the cellular level at The Petteruti Center for Life Extension. Dr. Petteruti offers IV Infusions that are nutritional boosters, designed to give your body (and mind) the vitamins they need to detoxify, reenergize and function at their best. 250 Centerville Road, Warwick. 921-5934,

19. Unless you’re going to hop on a plane to Mexico, the warmth of the sun is something you aren’t going to feel for another few months. What you can do, though, is get to a hot yoga class. Studios are heated between 80 and 90 degrees, so you really get your sweat on while you’re on the mat. In addition to boosting your mood (and allowing you to pretend it’s June for 65 blissful minutes), the heat loosens your muscles and deepens your stretches. Natural Fitness offers Heated Yoga on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays every week. 76 Narragansett Avenue, Narragansett. 783-9229,

20. Missing the sensation of floating in the ocean? The Water Journey at The Bodhi Spa is the next best thing. Alternate between mineral pools and saunas in a cycle designed to boost circulatory health, clear toxins from your body and quiet your mind. Add a massage before or after and you’ll be in spa-induced bliss. 654 Thames Street, Newport. 619-4916,

Get Some Culture
21. You might not be a film critic, but you can feel like one at the Jamestown Arts Center. January 15 is the monthly RIIFF Third Thursday, a screening of films from the Rhode Island International Film Festival. This month, see short films by local filmmakers, including an animated film by RISD students and a documentary on Block Island’s longtime nurse (who has served the island for 60 years). 18 Valley Street, Jamestown. 560-0979,

22. You could probably use a few laughs – especially after looking at your bank account post-holidays. The Contemporary Theater Company has two weekly improv comedy performances for only $8 each. Micetro Improv performs Fridays at 9:30pm, and The Weekender happens every Sunday at 5pm. 327 Main Street, Wakefield. 218-0282,

23. Since the Greenwich Odeum reopened, the acts that have been coming to the historic theatre (it just celebrated 75 years this fall) have gotten better and better. If you haven’t checked it out yet, this winter is the time to get there. Besides movie screenings and kids’ events, the Odeum brings in nationally touring musicians, like Leon Russell and Buckwheat Zydeco, both performing there this season. 59 Main Street, East Greenwich. 885-4000,

24. To get all of the great things about the Ocean State, you have to put up with some of the, shall we say, less desirable things – like our mafia heritage and the “know a guy” culture that’s still too easy to bump against. Laugh at all of it at Breaking Legs at Ocean State Theatre Company. The show, opening on January 27, is about the antics that ensue after Angie Graziano suggests to her professor that her dad and “uncles” might want to invest in his new play. 1245 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick. 921-6800,

Appreciate The Arts
25. Whether you’re a serious student or you’d just like to spend a weekend feeding your artistic impulses, the Wickford Art Association has you covered. Take a month of Intro to Drawing classes, or a two-day Still Life Painting with Oils session, both offered this winter. Later in the season, they’re also offering Digital Photography lessons. 36 Beach Street, North Kingstown. 294-6840,

26. Skip the big box home decor store and make your art yourself. Not feeling skillful? Hone your artistic eye at the Nancy Stephen Gallery and School in East Greenwich. The venerable gallery offers rolling enrollment art classes, offered in blocks of four or five weeks, that you can start any time. Morning sessions are Thursday or Friday, and evening classes are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. 6 King Street, East Greenwich. 884-8979,

27. The nice thing about the Newport Art Museum is that not only can you appreciate fine art, you can learn how to make it yourself. The museum offers a robust schedule of classes, ranging from one-day workshops to semester-long instruction: think Watercolor for Beginners, Printmaking Open Studio or Exploration in Figure, Gesture and Self-Portraiture. 76 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. 848-8200,

Refine Your Palate
28. Think wine appreciation has to be snooty? Think again. 1149’s monthly Wine Divas dinner takes all of the pretension out of learning about different varietals, regions and wineries. The monthly ladies-only wine dinner offers five courses paired with different wines. During each course, a wine expert guides you through tasting notes, giving a short introduction to each wine (while still leaving ample time for lady chatter throughout dinner). “Learning” your way through five different wines in one night? Yes please. 1149 Division Road, East Greenwich. 884-1149,

29. Learn to cook and eat naturally at Food for Thought. The natural and organic grocery store offers nutritional information and advice, in addition to free bi-monthly classes. Lectures range from how to cultivate medicinal foods like garlic, to healthy, organic recipes. 577 Kingstown Road, Wakefield. 789-2445,

30. Boost your smarts and your cooking skills at A Readable Feast: A Cookbook Book Group at the Kingston Free Library. This month’s meeting is on January 14. Participants are asked to prepare a dish from the same cookbook – this month it’s The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman – and come prepared to talk about cooking tips and ready to sample other people’s food. 2605 Kingstown Road, Kingston. 783-8254,

31. Hone your gourmand sensibilities at The Ocean House. The posh Watch Hill resort offers From Vine to Wine weekends twice this month: January 15-16 is about Rhone Valley wines, and January 22-23 covers the Loire Valley. The $65 fee includes a Friday evening wine and cheese reception, and a Saturday class/wine tasting. If you’d rather eat than drink, learn how to be a Cocktail Party Pro at their January 23 In the Kitchen cooking class, where you’ll learn techniques from Ocean House chefs about knife skills and how to make tapas, hors d’oeuvres and more. 1 Bluff Avenue, Watch Hill. 584-7000,