If you hadn’t noticed, Portland’s rainy (alternating with numbing cold) season is here – to stay. I spent my first winter in Portland hibernating in my nice cozy apartment. All the money I saved from not going out went directly to NW Natural in exchange for heat. (If you’re on a tight budget, I suggest checking out bill payment assistance options or energy saving tips for the winter and spending your spare cash going out to keep your sanity and social life in good shape.)
Don’t let the rain and cold get you down with these five outside-the-box tricks.
# 1. Sit By a Fire
If you don’t have a fireplace of your own, or you’re sick of chopping wood, get a change of scenery and hang out at a friend’s house that has a fireplace. Alternatively, you can sit by the fire at Doug Fir or Rontoms while catching a show or cozy up with a book at Rocking Frog Café.
# 2. Head to Cartopia
At Cartopia on SE Hawthorne not only can you sit by a fire, you can also cozy up inside a covered tent with walls to stay dry and warm. It’s open late and they sometimes have Sunday night movies. The seven food cart options range from crepes to Peruvian chicken and my all-time favorite, eggplant sandwich at the Egyptian cart Tahrir Square.
# 3. Go For a Walk
Did you know that walking burns more calories than biking? It keeps you warm and you can even get paid to walk while communing with dogs through apps like Wag. With the right gear, you can stay dry while walking in the rain. I suggest checking out Next Adventure’s bargain basement for quality used gear. But consider skipping the umbrella. At least one study backs up the “myth” that True Portlandians tend to brave excess precipitation with rain gear alone. Some believe that you’ll be marked as a transplant – here to “ruin” Portland – if you carry or, heaven forbid, actually use an umbrella.
# 4. Play at a Christmas Tree Lot
Say what? I know it seems strange, but yeah, spend some quality time at a Christmas tree lot. They’re open even when it rains and – bonus! – the Red Shed, Montavillage in SE Portland, and Cully Christmas Trees in NE Portland all have a covered outdoor creative station where you can decorate tree rounds. You can stay dry making crafts while the employees strap your tree of choice to your car.
#5. Get Rained On Somewhere Else
Nothing helps you re-charge like getting out of Dodge. Fill up your weekends with a couple trips to somewhere just outside of Portland to get a change in scenery. Bend is only three and a half hours away. Yes, you might have to drive through snow on Mt. Hood to get there, but you can grab a drink (if you’re a passenger!) at Crux and dinner in their backyard full of food carts. I also suggest spending 48 hours in Redding, California or on San Juan Island in Washington.
Staying warm – despite the rain and cold – the Portland way to beat cabin fever!
PS: We have many other ideas for rainy day fun at this link. Enjoy!