Hapa Winter Activities

Staff Picks Winter.JPG

Traveling to the Caribbean

Alex Chester

I hate the cold. I hate the winter. I grew up in sunny California with 80-degree winters, so anything below 50 is freezing to me. Come February I’ve had it with snow, cold, and dressing like an Eskimo.

This is why I try and find a cheap flight to some Caribbean island and I Airbnb it there for a few days. It’s amazing how starved my body is for warmth and sunshine. There’s nothing like a mini vacay away from the winter.

It gives me the strength to return to NYC and brave the slush and pee-covered snow.

Oh, and I do enjoy NYC’s holiday pop-up shops. I’m not a total Grinch.

Wearing Cashmere

Autumn Henry

So, wearing cashmere isn’t a legit activity but it’s a recent staple to all my winter activities. How am I so fancy? I’m actually not. Over the past few years my genius entrepreneurial sister scouted out a few Goodwill outlets in the tri-state area to buy clothing by the pound so that she could then resell the items and turn a profit. In this side hustle, she acquired a multitude of discarded luxe goods, including a hoard of cashmere items. Some had holes, some were misshapen, some were perfect, and not all were her size. So, I was gifted my own small hoard of second-hand cashmere and I swear, it’s a game changer for winter. My hot chocolate and ramen taste better when I’m encased in cashmere. My tropical vacation planning is more efficient all bundled up in this special wool. Who knew second-hand luxury could be so delightful? Did I mention the warmth? I highly recommend a trip to your local thrift shop to stock up on used cashmere for all kinds of cuddly nuzzly winter activities.

Family Reunion

Michael A. Rosegrant

Every winter, for as long as I can remember, I have spent the week of Christmas with family. For many people, this might sound like the premise of American Horror Story’s latest season, but for me it is a beloved custom that I look forward to every year. My parents and I spend the week either in my paternal homeland (the freezing mess of southwest Michigan) or my maternal homeland (the tropical and air-condition-less city of San Pablo in the Philippines). The pilgrimage to the islands is obviously more challenging in terms of time and money so we do it less, but the times we can are treasured memories for me. Back in the United States, the Rosegrant family rents a house by Lake Michigan—it sounds ridiculous and it is, but it is also an annual tradition and beautiful—for us to sojourn in the week following Christmas Day. Over 30 of us from all over the country gather under the same roof to reconnect before the new year. We share stories, home-cooked meals, and of course, presents. Although the winter is cold, it is always warm when I can spend it with family I love.

Making Crockpot Mulled Wine

Melissa Slaughter

Every winter in NYC, there’s at least one day that’s a glorified snowstorm. Maybe it’s a weekday and everyone takes the day off work and school. Maybe it’s a weekend, when people can sleep in and wake up to a winter wonderland.

And every year, without fail, I make mulled wine in a crockpot. I call it Lazy Girl Wine, a winter variation of my summer fave Lazy Girl Sangria. As much as I would like to post some sort of Pinterest-worthy recipe, complete with pictures of fruit and cinnamon stick, I have to admit that this is a hodge-podge every time. Basically, my recipe is as follows:

  • Buy a bottle of cheap red, or use whatever is in your apt.

  • Add a variety of fruits from your home. Oranges, lemons, apples, berries, peaches, go crazy!

  • Add in spices! I always add a cinnamon stick and cloves. But you can also add allspice, and star anise. Or if you’re really feeling it, buy spice blends from William Sonoma, Amazon, or Whole Foods. Better yet, make your own!

  • Leave on low for a few hours before serving.

If you start in the morning, you can be sipping on mulled wine by early afternoon. So get some spices together, make your wine, and turn on Great British Bake Off. Enjoy the perfect way to spend a winter day.

Avoiding Being Cold

Sam Tanabe

Winter and being cold are probably two of my least favorite things in this world, which is why every fall I question why I live in NYC. I grew up in the sun by the beach, and I am constantly cold living in the winter hellscape of New York, but I have learned to deal. To each their own. I love that other people enjoy the cold weather and snow-related activities. Do the things you enjoy, but if it involves being out in the snow for long periods of time, please count me out.

Instant Hot Chocolate and Turning on the Electric Fireplace

Rebecca Lee Lerman

I’m not a fan of the cold, but I do appreciate the luxury of snuggling under a warm blanket and sipping hot chocolate from a huge mug. Added bonus: I have an electric fireplace. So while many are unable to enjoy a roof over their heads, I am able to give thanks for an apartment that shields me from the freezing snow at the day’s end—where I can unwind from the busy bustling of cramped NYC subway cars and wet slushy streets and enjoy the quiet, cozy feeling of my small NYC apartment. Oh, and I have two cats that I can cuddle with. It’s all I need to be happy.


  • Getting lattes

    Kathy Yamamoto - @kathyamafarted

  • Posting IG photos from the beach

    Lauren Hardie - @warlaur

    I was gunna say simply "going to the beach," but really, in South Florida, going to the beach between November and February is normal. While it's not very interesting to South Floridians, you need only spend one winter away from home to learn what a novelty it is to everyone else. And it's not something I do to rub in my friends' faces (not intentionally)—I do it to remind myself not to take it for granted. Because truth is: I'd rather be making snowmen or something.