All told, I believe this is either year 34 or 35 winters in Iowa, and until a few years ago, I’m sorry to tell you that I mostly hibernated through the months of December, January, and February . . . wishing for the warmth and sunshine of June.
A few (er maybe 5?) years ago when the Danish idea of hygge became all the rage here in the United States I wasn’t ready to embrace it—it felt too Pollyanna to me. I wasn’t ready to give up my moody defiance of winter for soft warm sweaters, cozy-smelling candles, and stews simmering on the stovetop.
But as we’ve seen (and written about) time and time again; these last couple of pandemic winters have forced me to change my perspective on many things—among them winter.
Last year, after having been with my family of five for hours, days, and weeks on end via pandemic virtual school and work; I realized I was going to have to get out of the house if we were all going to survive. In the process of self-and-family preservation throughout the winter months, I have stumbled upon some hidden gems that are helping me make it through the winter.
Iowa City Area Hidden Gems That Help Me Get Through the Winter
This list is in no particular order — it’s all wonderful.
- Tru Coffee’s Chai Latte with Oat Milk
- Dodge Street Coffee‘s Matcha Latte with Coconut Milk
- Deluxe Bakery’s anything (but I usually go for the morning biscuit)
- Wyse Guide blog and online content
- Hiking at Hickory Hill (bonus points if your kids are old enough that you can leave them at the sledding hill and go for a walk by yourself).
- Sledding at Wilson’s Apple Orchard.
- Shopping Revival‘s and Shop Iowa City‘s Instagram sales
- Sledding at Kent Park
- Hiking at Squire Point