Grab a parka and venture into the city

It like it is two degrees outside and the mere thought of walking to class is enough to cause frostbite. One of D.C.’s coldest winters in recent memory has arrived in full force. And while some people might think there is nothing to do this season other than to stay indoors, the District is just as alive during winter as it is during the warmer months.

Though Washington does not get a lot of snow, there are plenty of ski resorts located just a few hours outside of the city. While transportation to the mountains from Washington can be difficult, GW Trails – a student outdoor group – and the Student Activities Center is sponsoring a ski and snowboard trip to Liberty Mountain Resort in Carroll Valley, Pa. on Friday, Feb. 7. Ski packages range from $28 to $54. For more information, students can contact the SAC office or e-mail trails@gwu.edu.

When it actually does snow in the District, grab a baking pan from your kitchen and relive your childhood with an afternoon of sledding.

The D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation has listed specific parks where sledding is permitted. Those in Northwest include Banneker Recreation Center at 800 Euclid St. and Battery Kemble Park off Chain Bridge Road.

After a day of chilly outdoor activity, why not abandon the Starbucks at J Street and head to one of the city’s coffee houses. Cosi has numerous locations throughout the city. While Cosi might be most well known for its s’mores, its mint hot chocolate will warm you up even on the coldest of days.

Tryst in Adams Morgan is less commercialized than Cosi and provides a warm atmosphere to break the winter chill. Tryst has the usual selection of coffee drinks, with probably the best latte in the city, and an excellent menu of sandwiches, soups and salads. Plus, every hot drink comes in a giant pastel mug with a side of animal cracker cookies. The plush couches and game board tables are a great place to come with your friends to just chill over a cup of coffee. Other coffee shops near campus include Afterwords at Kramerbooks on Connecticut Avenue near Dupont Circle and Soho, which is located at the corner of 22nd and P streets.

However, sometimes it’s just too cold to venture off-campus, especially when J Street is so close.

“I like to layer clothes and go to Starbucks at J Street,” sophomore Rachel Miller said. “I order a caramel macchiato and just enjoy the warmth of being indoors.”

If coffee or hot chocolate is not your thing, you can always warm up with a spicy bowl of chili or a plate of buffalo wings. Ben’s Chili Bowl at 1213 U St. is world famous for its chili concoctions and combinations. Chili is served until 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday and until 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, so it’s the perfect place to grab a bite after a concert at the 9:30 Club, Black Cat or Lincoln Theatre.

Harry’s Restaurant and Saloon in Downtown may look like your normal restaurant or bar, but its extra crispy, extra spicy buffalo taste great . They also offer heated patio seating during the winter months.

“Harry’s outdoor seating brings the best of the summertime into the winter,” junior Lindsay Hamilton said. “Plus, while you are warm outside and eating chili, you can still people-watch all those who are combating the weather on the sidewalks.”

But what do you do for those days when it’s just simply too cold to go out? That’s when it’s time to create some do-it-yourself winter fun. Close your books and spend a few hours playing Play Station 2 or ship in some sand, turn up the thermostat and throw beach party in your room. Well maybe ordering a shipment of sand isn’t that realistic, but some people have learned to bring aspects of the beach to D.C. in the winter.

Sophomore Elizabeth Berk has her own unique way to beat the winter blues. “My roommate and I bundle-up, walk to Dupont and go tanning. Then we go to the gym because we are still warm. The weather no longer bothers us,” Berk said. “It’s the perfect winter therapy.”

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