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    Winter Blues in New Haven

Activities To Beat the
Winter Blues in New Haven


Winter in New Haven can be tough—the days are shorter, the weather is gloomier, and the cold temperatures can make it difficult to summon up energy to leave your warm, cozy apartments. 

Thankfully there are plenty of indoor and outdoor activities around the city to counter the days when you might be feeling a bit too much cabin fever.

Keep reading for creative ideas to beat the winter blues!

Snowshoe (or people-watch) in East Rock Park

New England snowstorms turn New Haven into a veritable winter wonderland. After particularly big storms, New Haven can see as much as one to two feet of snow, which can make it pretty difficult to get around on foot.

This is when some East Rock residents choose to break out their snowshoes, which can make for pretty fun people-watching. If you want to join in on the fun, New Haven does not have a dedicated ski shop, but you can still order snowshoes online from many sporting goods stores. For a hiking path, we suggest starting at the corner of East Rock Road and Livingston Street, using the pedestrian path all the way up Farnum Drive to the parking lot. (Fun fact: Farnum Drive used to be open to vehicles prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but city residents and politicians worked together to shift it into a temporary pedestrian space. The road may re-open to vehicles again in the future, so it’s best to take advantage of it while you still can!)

Throw a Bracket Pizza Party

A tried-and-true New Haven tradition, pizza parties are a great idea any time of year—but can be especially comforting during the colder winter months. Bring your pizza party to the next level by gathering a small group of friends or neighbors and creating a bracket to determine which of New Haven’s famous spots takes the number one place! 

Start by deciding how many people you’d like to include, and allow that to guide what size pie each party guest will order. Letting each guest choose which pie they’d like to bring rather than assigning a list is a great approach; this way, you’re bound to try something that you might not normally order on your own. We recommend mixing and matching pies from different spots, but you can also choose different types of pies from the same restaurant to switch things up. 

New Haven’s most well-known pizza spots within walking distance of New Haven Towers are Bar (254 Crown Street), Da Legna at Nolo (687 State Street), Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana (157 Wooster Street), Modern Apizza (874 State Street), One 6 Three (163 Foster Street), and Sally’s Apizza (237 Wooster). If you have a car, you can also take a 10-minute drive to include Zuppardi’s Apizza (179 Union Ave, West Haven)—they’re famous for their clam pie, a New Haven specialty. Zuppardi’s is also accessible via the 265 or 271 bus lines, which you can grab from the corner of Temple Street and Crown Street. The ride is about 35 minutes and drops you off a couple of blocks from the restaurant at Campbell Ave and Main Street. 

Plan a staycation

Sometimes the simple act of staying overnight in a new place can help recharge our batteries. This is even more true when we’re been stuck in the same place for a long time and can’t financially or logistically plan a trip elsewhere. 

If your budget allows, consider splurging for a night on a local hotel downtown. Recent prices (as of January 2022) range from $150-200 per night, not including taxes, but sometimes you can cut a deal at the last minute by calling hotel booking directly and asking for a discount (especially for a same-day booking). A few different options include The Blake Hotel (9 High Street), Graduate New Haven (1151 Chapel Street), Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale (155 Temple Street), and The Study at Yale (1157 Chapel Street). 

You can also check out more budget-friendly options (under $100) via Airbnb, or set up a free “home swap” with a friend (where you trade homes entirely for the night).

Remember: Finding ways to socialize and navigate the weather during New Haven winters requires creative thinking, so don’t be too hard on yourself if it’s your first winter season here and you’re feeling down. You can also consider these ideas a launching point and take some time to brainstorm unique ideas on your own, too!