While the weather is playing havoc with our social lives (sigh) it doesn't have to keep you down and out for long.

Saying goodbye to avocados and long, sunny evenings, and hello to heat pumps and Netflix sounds pretty darn sad. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Whether you want to stay in for a cosy night, or head out on an adventure, we have you covered with the best ways to have fun this winter.


1. Winter = spa dates

From sitting under a heat pump to stepping out into whipping winds, the winter weather can be harsh on our skin.


So how does soaking in a milk bath and getting massaged from head to toe sound to you? Blissful? Of course it does, you're only human.

If you're in desperate need of some pampering then we recommend trying the Thalgo Indoceane Experience: A delicious two-hour treatment at Chuan Spa, at the Langham.

2. Indulge in comfort food

Anything slow-cooked, roasted or baked is synonymous with good winter eats; the season dedicated to comfort food. So indulge in a long lunch indoors with a menu that serves up the likes of hand-cut pasta, pulled pork or creamy risotto.

If you are a pasta fan we recommend getting yourself a table at Pilkingtons. Their Maltagliati (easy to eat, hard to pronounce) with lamb shoulder, ricotta, dates and a fragrant black pepper sauce is beyond drool-worthy.

Pair it with a glass of your favourite red and you'll be transported to a winter wonderland.

3. Get locked up

Got a competitive streak? Then then this could be the perfect winter activity for you. Photo / Escapade NZ
Got a competitive streak? Then then this could be the perfect winter activity for you. Photo / Escapade NZ

Winter can be a little morbid and uninspiring, leaving you feeling like your brain has gone into complete hibernation at times.

To avoid going into a Netflix coma, go and get yourself locked up. Yes, you read that right. Escape rooms have been popping up all over the country and are a fantastic activity to get into when the weather's gone wild.

With only your mates and your wits to help you escape, you have just 60 minutes to figure out how to get out of a series of spaces.

4. Sweat it out


Running in the rain. Freezing your butt off at Bootcamp in the park. 'Tis the season to ditch the #fitspo in favour of nights spent with a packet of TimTams on the couch, right?

But if you don't want to literally roll into summer, you're going to have to do something to keep up the exercise regime.

As tough as the rubbish weather makes it, there are some workout spots around town that we reckon are just as appealing as your cosy living room.

Our current favourite is Studio Red, where Rosie Huntington-Whiteley likes to stop in for a yoga class when she's here. Hey, if it's good enough for a Victoria's Secret model then it's good enough for us.

Fabulous having the lovely @rosiehw in the studio❤️❤️❤️ #hotyoga #cityworksdepot #studioredyoga

A post shared by Studio Red Yoga (@studioredyoga) on

5. Go on a culinary adventure

The Cloudy Bay Duck and Pinot Trail is an event not to be missed. Photo / Supplied
The Cloudy Bay Duck and Pinot Trail is an event not to be missed. Photo / Supplied

It doesn't get much more wintery than a glass of red wine and a hearty duck dish.

Put on that fancy new winter coat and sign up for a culinary adventure. We recommend jumping aboard The Cloudy Bay Pinot & Duck Tasting Trail.

The experience is available at 30 restaurants over the country and you can follow the trail HERE.


6. Go shopping in bed

Stay toasty and warm by shopping the latest winter trends online. Photo / Getty
Stay toasty and warm by shopping the latest winter trends online. Photo / Getty

Don't let the weather put you off your shopping game. Spend a cold, rainy day snuggled up with a cup of tea and that credit card stocking up on new coats, boots and knitwear.

Be sure to add one of this season's must haves, a fancy new raincoat, to your order.

Check out Viva for the best picks.

7. Turn your home into a winery


Do you pretend you know more about wine than you really do?

Well, what better way to work out which varieties you really prefer than to try your hand at blending.

Host a group of friends around the fire, or space heater, for a wine tasting session at home.

After a little more guidance? Get your mix on with the Pinot Project, which comes with three wines all ready to be blended, as well as a reserve blend to enjoy if things go horribly wrong.

Watch: Trial and Error: The Pinot Project

8. Make your own stove top hot chocolate

There is no cosier feeling than making hot chocolate in a big pot on the stove top.

From melting the chocolate from scratch (licking the bowl is mandatory) to loading it up with oodles of marshmallows, every step of the process is equally delicious and will transport you right back to your childhood.

For the best stove top hot chocolate recipe check out BITE.

9. Binge watch cult classics


Adulting is hard. Just ask Holly Golightly. Sometimes the winter months can make things feel even worse.

If you want to revert right back to your 10-year-old self (snap pants and butterfly clips optional), then settle in with that hot chocolate and line up Flubber, Mighty Ducks, Cool Runnings or even the Lion King.

Or if you're a true romantic at heart, The Holiday, Groundhog Day, Bridget Jones and Serendipity should fit the bill.

10. Avoid slob life style


While you may have your winter outdoor wear sorted (if not, refer to point six) settling into hibernation mode can create a slippery slope to slob lifestyle. But you don't have to settle for daggy trackies and threadbare slippers.

There are plenty of beautiful pieces to make you feel a million bucks in the comfort of your own home.

Looking for recommendations? We suggest starting off with some, Kathryn Wilson slippers, a Wallace Cotton blanket, A Ruby beanie and Peter Alexander Pj's.

Now that's an outfit you'll feel good in when the courier arrives with all your other online shopping.