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Hygge activities to make you cozy in Seattle

Find your comfort level.

A closeup of a woman with painted purple nails knitting material with wood needles and a marker that shows another woman knitting.

Knitting + other crafts is a huge part of hygge. | Photo by Bonnie Barcellos

Gather ‘round the fire, my friends, and let’s talk about hygge. If you’ve read but never said it, it’s pronounced hyoo-guh, a Danish word that roughly translates to the “warm coziness” that leads to a sense of contentment. Think tea. Cable-knit sweaters. Bob Ross paintings.

Seattle has been listed as the top hygge city in America — because, of course it is. The ranking was based on factors like the percentage of homes with fireplaces, the amount of people who enjoy chill, indoor activities + the number of venues serving hot beverages. Check. Check. And check-a-rama.

Particularly at the height of winter, Seattle’s hygge-ness comes out in full force, so here are some ways to get comfortable around town.

1. Learn more about the origins of these laid-back, Danish traditions by attending the Fredagscafe social event on Fri., May 5 at Heritage Distillery in Ballard.

2. Get a cup of coffee at South lake Union’s Cafe Hagen, which fully embraces the hygge life — particularly in its Scandinavian pastries + playful glassware.

3. Surround yourself in needlepoint + other cozy crafts at the U District’s Acorn Street Shop. There’s yarn for days.

4. Light a bonfire at Alki Beach or Golden Gardens Park, where you can enjoy spectacular waterside views + maybe even ‘Smores it up.

A small bonfire on a beach against overcast skies.

Golden Gardens Park is one nice spot for a beach bonfire. | Photo by SEAtoday staff

5. It’s easy to imagine you’re a pelt-covered viking at Skal Beer Hall, which has a large stone fireplace, pickled herring + glögg, a Nordic mulled wine that warms the stomach and soul.

6. Enjoy the pleasures of aromatherapy. We dig the offerings from Seattle Candle Company, which uses soy wax.

7. Curl up with an immersive book from a local author. Lindy West’s “Shrill” is a good place to start.

8. Take a nap. Because you deserve it + Eighth Generation has some wonderful wool blankets.

9. Try a grown-up coloring book. Seattle has its own title.

10. Take a winter stroll through the majesty of local parks, including Kubota Garden, which basically looks like a postcard adorned in snow.

Kubota Garden covered in snow.

Kubota Garden is one of many picturesque parks in the city. | Photo via @whatmomeats

11. Admire some art, perhaps at MOHAI, where there’s a dazzling exhibit of Da Vinci’s inventions.

12. Go old school and rent a movie from Scarecrow Video, which has an extensive collection of cult classics + rare finds.

13. Hang out in pajamas all day. If you need some, Fremont’s Bellefleur has some stylish + comfy options.

14. Bake some bread. Sur La Table at Pike Place should have you covered in the supply department.

15. Draw a bath, a good excuse to get some soothing bodycare products curated by Seattle Made.

16. Listen to some podcasts. We have a few suggestions.

17. Shop for some household plants. Wallingford shop Plant Daddy has some exotic tropical species that should liven up the living room.

The exterior of Seattle store Plant Daddy with someone attending to a green, leafy plant.

Tending to indoor plant life may help ease stress. | Photo via Plant Daddy

18. Work on a challenging puzzle. Maple Leaf store Math ‘N’ Stuff features some good ones for purchase and even hosts a puzzle swap Facebook group.

19. Books some time at a relaxing sauna. Hothouse on Capitol Hill is a popular option, while those who want to try the trendy new thing might want to see what infrared floating is all about.

20. Discover the comfort food delights of Secret Congee in Wallingford.

21. Stare in awe at the Seattle Aquarium’s dome while whistling “Under the Sea” from “The Little Mermaid” to yourself.

22. Warm your toes-ies at the Sock Monster, which has everything to cover your lower extremities. How adorable are these magic unicorn sherpa slippers?

23. Grab a pint at the Cozy Nut Tavern — it’s all in the name.

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