It’s cold, and for those of you from places that get even colder than Nashville (and like to remind everyone when the rest of us are bundled up on a 45-degree day), admit it: this weather is still uncomfortable. If you truly are one-of-a-kind and enjoy hanging outside in below 30 degree weather, go for it. For the rest of us warm-weather- seekers, here are five places that always keep me cozy during these icy months.

I’ll start out with an obvious solution to the drab grey skies and harsh wind chill: coffee shops. I know this sounds cliché and more like universal knowledge than a hidden gem of an idea, so I’m only going to share one café specifically that quickly has become my second home: JJ’s Market. From the red, velvet couches to the dim lighting and brick walls covered in art, this inexpensive coffee shop and mini-market is one of the only coffee shops worth spending hours in, no matter the weather). Curling up with a book and sipping on an Einstein or any other specialty drink will change your life. Well, maybe not your entire life but it will definitely make your day a lot warmer.

Next, we have something for the art lovers: Museums, and lots of them, like the Frist. Not only is the “Nick Cave: Feat.” exhibition going on, but you can wander around to look at the other pieces.Moving on past the infamous Frist, these cold Nashville days can also push you into some of music city’s best exhibits for influential musicians. This also works out because if you are in Nashville you should probably check out the Johnny Cash Museum, Patsy Cline Museum and The George Jones, just to name a few. Museums are a great place to stretch out indoors, stay snug and learn a little something.

My next suggestion may seem a little bland, but there’s nothing like your own dorm room or bedroom. There’s also nothing like saving money and spending it on Mexican food once the weather warms up. If you’re not in a dorm, light a few candles, turn on Netflix and just pretend that homework doesn’t exist. With this option, there are no freezing cars or layered sweaters necessary, just an inviting bed and a good show. To be honest, this is one of my favorite winter pastimes. I usually throw in some mint tea and a pair of my orange, fuzzy fox socks (they have little ears on them, they’re very cute).

Going to school should not be the only exposure to the classroom that you are having. If it is, please try this tip whether it’s 33 degrees or 80. There are so many classes that are offered around Nashville. There are art classes, candle-making, pottery, poetry, creative writing, yoga and the list goes on. I have taken some amazing art classes at Art & Soul on 12 South, some hot yoga sessions at Shakti (that have kicked my butt), and I’ve heard great things about the writing classes that The Porch offers. If you’re not in a learning mood, just be listener and attend some cool poetry readings at Portland Brew East. There is so much to learn outside of school and off campus, even on the coldest days.

My last piece of bad-weather advice is to seek refuge the old-fashioned way. A dinner and movie. Though I enjoy movies alone and dinner with friends, this activity can be tailored to any group, day or situation. Of course, on the coldest days, not just any eatery will do. Which is why I suggest Urban Cowboy to enjoy some outdoor fire pits or Dino’s for a more cozy, laid-back meal (expect some greasy, but phenomenal fries). After your meal, be sure to head to the Belcourt in Hillsboro Village to watch a late-night film.

Yes, cold weather can be a downer sometimes, but take it from me– a California girl– there are so many ways to stay warm and relevant in Nashville during these brutal months.

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