Cabin fever is running rampant like bad taste at a polka convention. Although you were spoiled by Mother Nature with a mild December, late January hasn’t been so kind.
Sitting in your dorm room, you can probably feel the walls closing in on you and unfortunately summer is still several months away. The student center lost its attraction the week before you came back and honestly you can only play pool so many times at The Owl’s Nest. Taking advantage of the huge city at your disposal may just be the key to your sanity.
Here are several suggestions for getting out in the city that should keep you from going batty in the dorms.
1. Old City Coffee
Whether you hate Starbucks or take it intravenously, patronizing a local establishment can be fun and Old City Coffee may convert you on charm alone. Brewing everything from herbal tea to the heavenly café mochas, the shop is a real treasure. It is located behind Christ’s Church on the appropriately named cobblestone Church Street.. After all, there is nothing like a hot cup of coffee, or tea, to warm the body. 221 Church St. and 1136 Arch St. (Reading Terminal Market). www.oldcity-coffee.com
2. El Fuego
Starving and coffee is not your thing? Try El Fuego, 723 Walnut St., for their mouth-watering quesadillas and jaw-dropping huge burritos. Priced around $5.50, this California-style Mexican fare goes best with the chips and freshly made salsa. (215) 592-1901.
3. Washington Square
Feeling the need to burn off that burrito? There’s nothing like a snowball fight this time of year to get the blood flowing. Washington Square, one of the four original parks laid out by William Penn in Center City, is the equal of Rittenhouse Square. It’s just 11 blocks east with fewer people and less yellow snow. Come summer it is even more inviting with plenty of benches and grassy lawns; and unlike its western counterpart, Washington Square is not standing room only on balmy summer nights. Walnut Street between Sixth and Seventh Streets.
4. Ritz Theaters
If you’re low on cash, but big on entertainment, Ritz Theaters are sure to fit the bill. They are a few of the few movie theaters that still gives a college discount. At $5.50 any day or time (except Saturday), the Ritz is a good place to get out of the cold. www.ritzfilmbill.com/.
5. Cosmi’s Deli
Having a favorite cheesesteak joint is pretty much synonymous with being a Philadelphian, but dragging yourself down to touristy Pat’s or Geno’s is so passé and conformist. Branch out like a true Philly native and boldly claim your favorite. Try Philly Magazine’s suggestion, Cosmi’s Deli (1501 S. Eighth St.)
6. Fairmount Park
Shorts, bikes and blades may be the last thing on your mind, but come spring there’s no place like Fairmount Park to get your exercise and dose of nature too. Located directly behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art, it stretches for 4,000 acres along the Schuylkill River, with several parking areas along Kelly Drive. Starting at the Water Works behind the museum, a paved trail follows the river past Boat House Row, with landscaped lawns and sculpture gardens in this verdant urban oasis. The park also has great sledding hills.
7. Mummers Museum
The Mummers Museum is the perfect place to go if you missed the Mummers Parade on New Year’s Day. For $2.50 this South Philly museum will teach you everything you need to know about the tradition and give you a taste of what you missed January 1. The museum includes filmed performances by mummers, costumes and instruments and has a gift shop. www.riverfrontmummers.com/museum.html
While the dog days of summer may seem ages away, it’s no secret being busy makes time fly. For more ideas on ways to make winter pass, go to: https://philadelphia.citysearch.com
Josh Chamberlain can be reached at Joshch@temple.edu.