If you’re a skier, or escaping to somewhere warm and sunny, then you’re probably counting the days until February break. If however, you’re just hanging around town and hoping not to go stir crazy with the kids at home and the weather being less than ideal, then have no fear, we’ve got you covered. Whether you want to bundle up and enjoy some winter fun, or you’d prefer an indoor activity or even just a cozy meal, the greater Westerly area has plenty to offer that’ll guarantee a February vacation well spent.
Go for a Stroll
The great thing about winter walks is the quiet peaceful beauty of our area without the crowds, parking woes, bugs and sunburn. Plus, everything looks better with a light coating of fine white snow, especially the beach. Bundle the kids up and hit one of the many trails in our area.
If you’re new to hiking, the Westerly Land Trust is a great place to start. Their website offers trail maps, details and directions to all their conservation areas, and they also host weekly group hikes.
If beach views are more your forte, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Napatree Point, just be aware that this hike can be a little long for young ones if you do the whole thing. Don’t forget to pack plenty of snacks and water, dress in layers and wear proper footwear before embarking. For more tips, Rhode Island Families In Nature has a great guide for hiking with kids.
Go for a Skate
The Washington Trust Community Skating Center is such a gem to have right here in town. You can rent skates for $5 if you don’t have your own and attend one of their public skate times running through March 5. They also offer group and private lessons, hockey leagues, and private rink rentals for birthday parties and such.
There is plenty of seating for those who feel more comfortable off the ice, and a concession stand sells coffee and cocoa for warming up on the sidelines. Be sure to bring your gloves, hat, scarf and if you’re a newbie, an extra pair of pants never hurts either! As an added bonus, this rink is conveniently located next to Bridge Restaurant, which serves up some of the best food and drink around, all with a nice view of the Pawcatuck River.
Hit the Books
Savoy Bookstore and Café is one of the best places to spend a winter afternoon, or really any afternoon in my opinion. Fellow bookworms will appreciate the large selection of books, frequent author appearances and signings and the helpful and friendly staff always ready with a recommendation.
The little ones will love the cozy kid’s area, Saturday story hours and the tiny fairy houses just waiting to be explored. Yes, fairy houses! Both kids and grownups alike will enjoy capping off their literary adventures with a tasty pastry and cup of cocoa or Dave’s coffee.
Go Out to Lunch or Grab A Sweet Treat
When all else fails, food is always a great way to pass the time indoors. There are several kid-friendly dining options around town, and sometimes just a good old-fashioned ice cream sundae, even in the dead of winter, will do the trick too. You can’t go wrong at Mel’s Downtown Creamery where my son had one of his very first ice cream cones.
For breakfast or lunch, try Mia’s Café, and for kid-approved pretzel heaven, go to Malted Barley for their pretzel bun sandwiches, or just get a bunch of giant pretzels and some dipping sauces (I’d recommend the Apricot Butter, Beer Cheese or Nutella) and call it a day.