Once January rolls around, we all feel like hibernating at home. But winter has its own pleasures. Like the Danish have taught us, it’s a time to pursue hygge.
That means hot drinks, nature, books, sweets, blankets and a fireplace.
Gather your friends and loved ones for a cozy adventure in Calhoun County.
Once it snows, Binder Park Golf Course turns into a winter sports park. It’s a good place for sledding, skiing and hiking with snowshoes. If you don’t have the equipment, there’s a warming house open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. They have equipment you can borrow for free.
After spending time outdoors, enjoy a hot drink in downtown Battle Creek. Cafe Rica and 32 Social serve hot chocolate, coffee and tea, while you can order a hot toddy at the Griffin Grill and Pub.
Another way to keep moving is ice skating at The Rink. Check out the website for open skate times. Friday nights are free for the kids, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Have dinner at Lucky Rooster. You can sit in front of the fire and enjoy a cocktail with appetizers or go for a meal inspired by home cooking.
Enjoy a bit of luxury at Greencrest Bed and Breakfast. You’ll feel like you’ve been whisked away to an elegant English manor, like a “Downton Abbey” Christmas special.
Get in touch with the natural world at the Brooks Nature Center. The groomed trails are flat and good for dog walks, cross-country skis and snowshoes.
While Dark Horse Brewing Co. is known for its craft beer, take a detour into the Commons. There you’ll find freshly baked goods and pour-over coffee. Since it’s winter, try a miel, which combines coffee, milk and honey.
Quilts are double the hygge — it involves the slow, mindful process of making the quilt, and when you’re done, you have one more blanket to keep you snug. Quilts at the Marshall House is a fabric store that has all of the supplies and expertise you need for your winter project. It’s located at 100 Exchange St., not to be confused with the Marshall House Apartments.
Get cozy in front of the fire at Schuler’s Restaurant and Pub. In business for more than 100 years, Schuler’s specializes in making you feel warm and welcome.
Built in 1835, the National Inn House is a Michigan Historic Site. Located in downtown, some of the rooms look out over the Brooks Memorial Fountain and many restaurants and shops are within walking distance. On the other hand, there’s the newest bed and breakfast on the block: Villa on Verona has a modern sensibility with large beds and lots of pillows.
Buy a book to read, order a hot drink and settle down by the fireplace at Stirling Books and Brew. A community gathering place, you can also catch up on your knitting project with the Albion Knitters on Jan. 15 at 3:30 p.m. https://www.greateralbionchamber.org/events/details/albion-knitters-01-15-2020-1068?calendarMonth=2020-01-01
Foundry Bakehouse and Deli has plenty of options, whether you’re looking for a sweet treat or a warm toasted sandwich with soup. Or maybe celebrate the hygge spirit with a Danish pastry. And did you know Foundry has a weekly bread club?
Right down the street from Foundry is Victory Park. The North Country Trail Association recommends this park for winter fun in Albion, including sledding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Is there anything more cozy than cuddling with your dog? The Palmer House Inn is a dog-friendly bed and breakfast. Their hospitality includes a dog bed, treats and a water bowl.