Winter has a way of amplifying our upmost hermit-like tendencies. The weekend arrives, we see the rain outside and naturally we make a snuggly date with the TV, fireplace and a hot mug of cocoa. Sometimes the entire weekend will fly by and we haven’t left the couch, let alone the house.
You’re definitely not alone in this—sometimes we all need to go MIA for a while and chill out. But when it gets old, we've got your back. We have collated together a list of the most warming activities to get you off the couch and into the cosy world of this winter wonderland. So say goodbye to hermit the crab, and grab your coat. It’s time to make winter the season to love.
If the idea of floating for 60 minutes in a futuristic-shaped tank isn’t enticing enough, wait until you hear this: one hour in a floatation tank is equivalent to four hours of quality rest. The surreal experience relieves stress and negativity, helps with muscle recovery and improves creativity by letting the subconscious mind run free. This really is the real-life solution to ‘happy mind, happy life’. A favourite of ours is the beautiful White Spa + Float Lounge in Herne Bay, which has everything from facials to float tanks.
Domain Wintergardens And Brunch
A treasured spot in the heart of Auckland is the picturesque Wintergardens. This is where past meets present, as locals come to wander and artists come to paint. Designed in the early 1900s, it has two Victorian-style glass houses. One is heated, showing off lush tropical plants while the other is neutral, displaying temperate plants changing with the seasons. Once you’re done exploring the gardens, head up the road to the cosy Domain & Ayr Cafe. With cabinet food set to impress and corners with bright cushions and rustic wooden tables, it’s the perfect finish to a day at the gardens. We recommend their famous 20-minute fluffy pancake but if you’re after something a little lighter, the blueberry muffin is a must.
Visit A Natural Hot Pool
We have been blessed with an abundance of geothermal hot spots in New Zealand, meaning taking a dip in a natural hot pool is a must-do activity all year round. Many of the spots represent the untouched beauty of our land. While some allow you to just sit back and relax in a hot pool of luxury, others take a different approach—why not grab a spade at Hot Water Beach and make your own mini hot pool? Click here for more of New Zealand's natural hot pools.
Alternative Movie Cinemas
In our eyes, there is nothing cosier in winter than snuggling up with a blanket, sharing a few chocolates and settling down to a good movie. Although this doesn’t always involve leaving the house, it’s much more fun when you do. From Sunday through to Wednesday, the Mission Bay cinema screens $10.90 movies (meaning there’s money left over for the Movenpick joint downstairs). The cosy Mission Bay theatre has a vintage theme to it, showcasing a fine selection of movies from alternative picks to the most popular of flicks. Another favourite is the Lido Cinema in Epsom, which emphasises a gold class experience offering lazy boy’s, a glass of wine and decadent Kapati ice cream. The Lido is perfect for spying out flicks no one else is showing, meaning subtitles and indie films are on the cards. Click here for more of Auckland’s alternative movie theatres.
Share A Vino At A Fireplace Bar
Did someone say wine time? There’s nothing quite like cracking open a bottle of red by the fireplace, and a few Auckland bars have made this perfectly simple for us vino lovers. From mulled wine to a sweet merlot and finger-licking good nibbles, this is the perfect way to end a long week (or start a week? f*** it, it’s the perfect end to EVERY day). Grab your best friend or your partner and treat them to something a little more special. Click here for a list of Auckland's best fireplace bars.
Sip On Auckland’s Best Hot Chocolates
Winter will never be complete without a few hot mugs of delicious cocoa. The perfect drink to warm you from the inside, it leaves you with a happy stomach and an even happier smile on your dial. Cheesy as it sounds, who doesn’t love hot chocolate? Whether it’s a classic mug of cocoa or an intricate blend of Italian aromas, Auckland has a perfect selection of cocoa for you to indulge this winter. Welcome those snuggly vibes and get sipping. Click here for more of Auckland’s best hot chocolate spots.
Image credit: Kellie Blizard at Deco Eatery