Indoor beach parties and bikini shopping not your ideal way to escape the cold? Here are four other ways to pretend it is summer in Brooklyn in winter.
Drown those winter sorrows in a fruity cocktail at this divey Carroll Gardens tiki bar. Little paper umbrellas, bamboo-heavy decor, and slushie drinks make it easy to imagine yourself holidaying on a tropical island somewhere. Failing that, the strength of the pours should at least help you forget where you really are.
Zombie Hut [273 Smith St. between Sackett and Degraw streets in Carroll Gardens, (718) 875–3433].
Work up a sweat then take a refreshing dip at a Russian bathhouse. Spend some time reacquainting yourself with the sensation of warmth in this Sea Gate banya’s steams rooms, saunas, and jacuzzi, then laze away the rest of the day drinking beer in a towel. Or really treat yourself to a mini summer holiday, and splurge on a massage.
Mermaid Spa [3703 Mermaid Ave. at W. 37th Street in Sea Gate, (347) 462–2166, www.mermai
No time or money to take a Caribbean cruise? Replicate at least a small part of the cruise ship experience at this new Gownus shuffleboard club. The Florida-themed center promises palm trees, lawn furniture, pink flamingo wallpaper, 10 courts, and two bars, and should be open any day now.
Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club (514 Union St. near Nevins Street, www.royalp
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s outdoor areas are not much fun this time of year, but its 65-foot glass Steinhardt Conservatory is positively balmy. Take a pleasant stroll past ferns, mists, and streams in the Tropical Pavilion, then see South African bulbs in full bloom in the Warm Temperate Pavilion — no beanie or gloves required. As a bonus, weekday entry is free until the end of Feb.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden [900 Washington Ave. at Eastern Parkway in Prospect Heights, (718) 623–7200, www.bbg.org].