Feel like you’re missing the sun these days? The best way to chase the winter blues away is to take advantage of the mornings. Contrary to popular belief, there are some fun things to do in the cold-weather months that involve going outside – at least for a little bit. You just need to choose a few that are clustered conveniently close together. If you’re near Prospect Park (or are willing to take a subway ride out to Brooklyn), we have a perfect, romantic day-date itinerary for your next free Saturday.
Start at the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket. There are quite a few produce items locally harvested even in the winter months, and a plethora of other offerings. This market at the northern tip of Prospect Park boasts a huge variety of goods – keep it in mind if you want incredibly fresh lobsters for dinner sometime – but for now, pick up a morning snack. Select a golden raisin scone or homemade cheese danish from Baker’s Bounty or an almond croissant from Bread Alone. Along with a nice hot coffee, they’ll provide the perfect fuel for your morning. Extra tip: Before you get here, check the calendar of events. You might catch live music, seasonal tasting opportunities, or cooking demonstrations during your stop.
Head a long block down Eastern Parkway to the entrance of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which is free on Saturdays before noon. Head straight to the indoor gardens: Glass-enclosed solariums that each offer a different climate and a corresponding, carefully tended landscape – including “desert” and “warm temperate.” The vanilla-scented spider irises and neon pink desert roses will soothe your senses, and the warmth and moisture are better than hand cream for winter skin.
Finally, double back to the Brooklyn Museum, situated a few meters away from the entrance to the Botanic Gardens. The extraordinary sculptural exhibition of artist Judith Scott is a hugely inspiring breath of fresh winter air. Wrapped, cobbled-together pieces, layered in brightly hued yarn, convert everyday vent piping and shopping carts into abstract objects with almost animal-like, sometimes anthropomorphic, characteristics. You can feel the sheer pleasure of experimentation with the materials, and it fills you with warmth as you get ready to leave. You’ll want to chat about Scott’s work as soon as you get home, but for now, huddle together and run as fast as you can.