Philadelphia Winter Bucket List 2017
Winter and I do not get along. Between the slush, bundling in layers, and winter colds, it just isn't my favorite part of the year. However, until I strike it rich and permanently move to Hawaii, I'm going to have to put up with winter. Now just "putting up" with something is not my thing either. Some may call it spoiled but I want things my way. So rather than just "put up" with winter, I decided I am going to conquer this whole winter thing. I thought about grabbing some blankets, switching on Netflix, and ignoring the cold. I did try that and it lasted for all of half a Saturday. To go three whole months buried under blankets on my couch just won't do. Instead I'm going to conquer the season with one of my favorite things: the bucket list. I'm creating two winter bucket lists: one for Philly and one for New Jersey. Today I'm sharing my winter bucket list for Philly!
I am not one to freeze my butt off unless there's a good reason for it but the Winterfest at the River Rink at Penn's Landing is good enough. Back for another year, the ice skating rink along the Delaware River front is fun but the warm and cozy lodge is even more so. It has hot chocolate and coffee but, more importantly, cocktails and beer. I'm looking forward to grabbing a drink and cozying up on a couch to watch the skaters circle around.
Speaking of getting cozy and staying warm, the next thing on my bucket list is to try 3 new coffee shops. Last year I shared a few of my favorite tried-and-true coffee shops in Philly and Jersey. A creature of habit, I tend to crave the coffee and lattes and resist branching out. Winter will be my season to get out of my comfort zone and find a comfy armchair at a new coffee shop. On my list: Rocket Cat Cafe in Fishtown, Elixr in Center City, and Grindcore in Pennsport.
Despite my recent love affair with coffee, my obsession with warm winter beverages started with hot cocoa. When my family traveled to Europe, I judged every hotel by the quality of their hot chocolate. Winter cannot pass without satisfying my craving and that can only be done at one place in Philadelphia: Franklin Fountain. This old-timey ice cream shop serves up their extra thick, extra sweet European drinking chocolate. It is the only way to survive the harsh cold East Coast winter!
Though sweet and warm or bitter and hot are great for winter days, at night I like something a bit stronger. Adding to my winter bucket list is a trip to the Ranstead Room. This hidden bar is the perfect cozy speakeasy to escape the chilly city streets. Red leather booths, candlelit tables, and strong, elegant cocktails make this one of my favorite Philly experiences. It's the kind of glamour and sophistication that I crave after being wrapped up in jackets and stuffed into snow boots.
Another thing about the winter is that I just want to escape it. One way to do that is with food and the perfect winter food in my humble opinion is a steaming bowl of ramen. Ramen is pretty perfect all year round but it's such a good winter comfort food. While you can grab ramen or pho in lots of places all over Philly, my personal favorite is Cheu Noodle Bar in Washington Square West. Add many, many bowls of ramen to the list!
Another way to escape the winter blues? Art and what better way than to spend a day or more at one of Philly's museums or art galleries. It's been awhile since I strolled through the galleries and installations of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Another fun way to indulge in art this winter is to visit some of Old City's galleries. Bonus and a beer if you happen to be there on first Friday.