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