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10 Ways to Practice Hygge in Boulder This Winter

virtual thanksgiving gathering graphic

Hygge (pronounced hyoo-gah) is a Danish cultural concept that emphasizes coziness, warmth and simple living as a way to cope with the long, cold days of winter.

With the coronavirus pandemic ongoing, we could all use a little comfort right now. Pour yourself a cup of hot cocoa and check out these ideas for practicing hygge in Boulder this winter:

1. Enjoy a cozy dinner in

Light a few candles, turn on some soft jazz and get free delivery from a local restaurant through the city’s Restaurant S.O.S. program which helps support local eateries.

2. Go for a winter hike or bike ride

The temperatures may be dropping, but with a few insulating layers and proper footwear, a winter hike or bike ride is a great way to get some exercise and fight cabin fever. Check out our trails map or bike network map to plan your route (and don’t forget your mask).

3. #LoveTheLocal for winter essentials

Shop local to stock up on books, games, loungewear and other goods that will make cold winter nights at home a little more fun. Many retail stores in Boulder are offering curbside pick-up as part of the Boulder Business Recovery Program.

4. Participate in local government from the comfort of home

Though we’ve had to pause in-person meetings, there are still many opportunities to weigh in on city projects virtually (and bonus, you can do so in your pajamas). Check out Be Heard Boulder for ways to provide feedback on topics including the city’s new website, the Shared Streets Program, parking management and more.

5. Settle in with a good book

Cold winter nights are made for curling up with a good book (or three). If that isn’t enough motivation, join the Boulder Public Library’s Winter Reading Challenge. Readers young and old can enter to win prizes throughout the 10-week challenge. Track your reading minutes for e-books, magazines and more, all of which you can borrow through the Boulder Public Library.

6. Volunteer for the Shovel-A-Stop program

Help make snowy days safer and more comfortable for your neighbors by volunteering to clear bus stops after it snows through the city’s Shovel-A-Stop program.

7. Connect virtually with loved ones

Get creative with video chat — play a boardgame, watch the same movie, follow an online exercise class, make a holiday craft together or try cooking a new meal.

8. Go on a holiday lights tour

Fill a thermos with hot cocoa and head out for an evening stroll along the Pearl Street Mall or Civic Park to take in the splendor of festive holiday lights displays. Find more ideas to celebrate the holidays safely.

9. Give back

While we’re not able to gather as a community right now, donations can help support the organizations providing important services for our most vulnerable community members. Learn more about available support options.

10. Keep things simple 

Candles and blankets are nice, but what hygge really comes down to is mindset — finding happiness in the simple things and small joys of the season. It’s a difficult time right now, so take it easy on yourself and know that mental health support is available to you. Mental Health Partners is hosting a series of free, virtual events to help community members develop healthy coping strategies and navigate the challenges of this holiday season, and the state offers crisis counseling and other mental health resources.


Learn more about  COVID-19 resources for Boulder community members.

Published: Dec. 14, 2020