Comfy Cozy Winter
Cabin fever seems to be a common winter ailment, but you can ward off the malady by truly enjoying the best of winter. Make this season cozy, comfortable and peaceful and enjoy the best of it with your family.
Curl Up with a Good Book
Screen-free family time is important. Choose a new book to read aloud as a family.
Out & About:
In addition to many marvelous libraries, Kansas City is also home to several charming book shops. For more than 40 years, Rainy Day Books (2706 W. 53rd St., Fairway, KS, 913.384.3126) has been the neighborhood bookstore for all ages, instilling a love of reading in the community. The cozy shop is quaint and ideal for an afternoon of scouring shelves on the hunt for the perfect new book to enjoy.
Choose a book to read aloud as a family that has been shown as a film as well. Read the book, then watch the film and compare the two. You can choose from an array of new and classic books to enjoy as a family.
Toasty Warm Socks
Warm socks are a comfy winter essential we often take for granted. Brighten your winter mood with a new pair of socks.
Out & About:
Learn to knit your own socks. The Studio Knitting & Needlepoint (9555 Nall Ave., Overland Park, KS) offers a range of classes for beginning and experienced needle artists. Knitting, crochet and needlepoint lessons are offered, including classes to knit your very own pair of socks. Not only will you be fashionable, but you can take pride in your newfound skill.
We often socialize so much over the holidays, we forget to connect with friends in fun ways after ringing in the new year. This year, invite some friends over for a dessert buffet (or serve pizza or soup and sandwiches) and host a Sock Exchange Party. Ask each guest to bring a new pair of cozy socks. Then, host an exchange using classic techniques from white elephant parties. You can find many ideas for exchange games on Pinterest, but my favorite is to roll one die and assign a step to each number. Roll 1: Pass one place to the left. Roll 2: Pass two places to the right. Roll 3: Trade. Roll 4: Mix it up – all gifts in the middle and randomly mix. Roll 5: Pass two places to the left. Roll 6: Pass one place to the right. Take turns rolling the die around your group circle. Once everyone has rolled once or twice (decide in advance), the game ends and everyone keeps the pair of socks in their possession at that point in the game. For more fun, pop in a favorite movie or play classic board games.
Lighting candles at the dinner table or as you’re reading creates a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere.
Out & About:
The Create-It Studio (1409 W. 11th St., Kansas City, MO) is a maker studio offering a variety of classes and workshops for crafters and artists alike. You can find public events on their calendar or you can pop into their studio for a workspace and help with your project. Among their many class offerings are candle making lessons. Learn to melt and pour your own candles, creating the perfect winter centerpiece for your table.
Turn out the lights and light the candles. Host a “tech-free” dinner for the family. No screens, no electric light. Just enjoy a candlelight dinner together talking and sharing ideas. The meal doesn’t have to be fancy; in fact, the simpler the better. The goal is simply to shut out distractions and spend some time truly together.
Enjoy the Great Outdoors
Winter can be beautiful. Nature is quiet and serene, and the outdoors begs to be explored.
Out & About:
Visit one of the city’s many nature centers and explore their paved trails. Listen for birds, look for nests, watch for animal tracks and enjoy the quiet. Some of our favorites include:
- Burr Oak Woods (1401 NW Park Rd., Blue Springs, 816.228.3766)
- Cave Spring Nature Center (8701 E. Gregory Blvd., Kansas City, MO, 816.358.CAVE)
- Anita Gorman Discovery Center (4750 Troost Ave., Kansas City, MO, 816.759.7300)
- Ernie Miller Nature Center (909 N. Hwy. 7, Olathe, 913.764.7759)
- George Owens Nature Park (1601 S. Speck Rd., Independence, 816.325.7115)
- John Barkley Visitor Center (7900 Renner Rd., Shawnee, 913.888.4713)
- Lakeside Nature Center (4701 E. Gregory Blvd., Kansas City, MO, 816.513.8960)
- Prairie Oak Nature Center (14701 Mission Rd., Leawood, 913.681.0902)
- Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Center (407 N. Lafrenz Rd., Liberty, 816.781.8598)
- Overland Park Arboretum (8909 W. 179th St., Overland Park, 913.685.3604)
- Parkville Nature Sanctuary (12th & East, Parkville, 816.741.7676)
Spend some time bird watching on the deck. View the night sky through a telescope. Light a fire in the fire pit and make s’mores. Go sledding, make snowmen and snow angels, and play in the snow. Take a walk in your own neighborhood. Don’t let the cold temps keep you inside—you’ll find much to enjoy outside all winter long.
Hot tea, cocoa, cider, coffee…sipping steaming drinks can warm the soul on a cold winter’s day.
Out & About:
Kansas City is home to several tea rooms, each with its own distinctive personality. This can be a fun outing for a group of friends. Henry’s Tea Room (401 SE Douglas St., Lee's Summit, 816.524.3992) in downtown Lee’s Summit houses an antique shop and is close to many great shops. Heirloom Bakery & Hearth (401 E. 63rd St., Kansas City, MO, 816.492.7259) in Brookside is beloved for their made-from-scratch bakery items, perfectly complemented by a warm drink. Greenwood Country Tea Room (502 W. Main St., Greenwood, MO, 816.537.8434) is housed in a local antique store in the heart of Greenwood’s downtown boutique and antique shopping district. Country Keepsakes Tea Room (2513, 501 Main St., Belton, MO, 816.348.7888) is a charming little restaurant in the heart of downtown Belton.
Make to Enjoy at Home:
Enjoy creative family time and take the kids to a paint-your-own pottery shop where they can paint their own personal mugs for enjoying cocoa and cider at home. Paint, Glaze & Fire (12683 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, 913.661.2529) and Ceramic Café (9510 Nall Ave., Overland Park, 913.383.0222) are our favorites. Both shops offer family events, including story times, pizza and painting, and other specials throughout the year. After painting your own personal mug, make some homemade cocoa to enjoy with popcorn and a family game or movie night.
Kristina Light ranks winter as her second favorite season. She’s hoping for a nice pleasant snowfall and a bit of sledding this year.