Learn how to grow tomatoes: Classes at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
1000 Washington Ave., Brooklyn, 718-623-7200, www.bbg.org
Exercise your green thumb (and artistic side) through a plethora of cool learning experiences, such as Basic Flower Arranging, Herbal Aphrodisiacs, The Art of Bonsai and Beekeeping.
Add a new skill to your repertoire Classes at 3rd Ward
195 Morgan Ave., Brooklyn
This Williamsburg warehouse is the new hot spot for personal improvement. From classes in Web design, metalworking and everything in-between, this is the place to reinvent yourself.
Take a walk ... through a cemetery Green-Wood Cemetery
Willow Avenue, Brooklyn
Need a quiet place??Consider this: Cemeteries are the least populated outdoor spaces in the city. Among the towering elm trees of Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, enjoy the sculpture garden, do some bird watching and visit the final resting places of some of NYC's most accomplished residents, like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Leonard Bernstein.
Go to high tea Lady Mendl's Tea Salon
The Inn at Irving Place
56 Irving Pl., 212-533-4466, www.innatirving.com
Over five courses of finger sandwiches, scones and pastries -- and, of course, custom teas -- it's impossible not to feel the pace of life slow down for one blissful afternoon at Lady Mendl's Victorian tea service.
Get lost in celluloid: Museum of the Moving Image,
36-01 35 Ave., Queens, www.movingimage.us
Explore the exhibitions and maybe catch a full-length feature that you'd never see at the multiplex. This museum, dedicated to the art of film, combines the enriching experience of a cultural institution with the visceral pleasure of one of our most universally shared pastimes.
Dine in at Vesta
Vesta, 21-02 30th Ave.,
The low-lit Queens favorite is the perfect place to enjoy the winter ambience from a view other than your bedroom. Save room for the warm Baby Jesus date cake: We're pretty sure God himself would find it heavenly.
Play ping-pong (or pool -- or darts!)
Break, 32-04 Broadway,
If you're tired of TV, head to Break for a round of pool, air hockey or foosball. The 55-foot-long bar with a rotating selection of 18 beers adds to the fun. Can't look away from the tube? Break has 10 HDTVs at the ready.
Take a circus class
STREB, 51 N. First St., Brooklyn, 718-384-6491
Elizabeth Streb founded Street Lab or Action Mechanics (SLAM) with a goal of creating "a beta-test for a new cultural paradigm." At the lab, try your hand at POPACTION, the movement technique at the basis of Streb's teachings, or trampoline, parkour, tight rope and trapeze -- which director Robert Hedglin-Taylor told us to do "once for fear, second for fun."
Hit open mic night
Spike Hill, 184 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, 718- 218-9737
Spike Hill in Williamsburg provides a warm atmosphere to kick back with a brewski and listen to the city's best up-and-coming bands. Every Wednesday, the trendy venue hosts an open mic night, giving local acts a chance to shine.
Take a gallery tour
Two Percent Gallery tours
You live in New York City, the Mecca of contemporary art galleries, but you're too intimidated to stroll in to one. For 90 minutes, allow David Behringer, founder of The Two Percent Gallery Tours, to be your artsy best friend. He'll walk you through five of his current favorite gallery exhibitions in Chelsea or the Lower East Side.
Spa the day away
Spa Castle, 131-10 11th Ave., College Point, N.Y., 718-939-6300,
If a "spa castle" isn't exactly what your body needs right now, then you've just come back from the Caribbean and we're totally jealous. For the rest of us, this is a relaxation oasis to heal all winter blahs, from lack of warm sunshine (Sauna Valley) to dry skin (Beauty Spa).
Dress up and go to the opera
The Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center,
For dollars more than a movie ticket, impress your date with a night at the opera. Our pick: Kristine Opolais’ debut in Puccini’s bittersweet romance, “La Rondine.” Every Monday through Thursday the Opera offers 200 orchestra seats for only $20 each. These rush tickets can be purchased at the Met box office starting two hours before curtain time. Since you’re saving a pretty penny, take a cab!
Play brewmaster: Fifth annual New York City Beer Week
Feb. 22 - March 3
Refine your craft beer palette or just drink a bunch of pints with friends at the fifth annual New York City Beer Week. This popular event spotlights 12 NYC craft breweries along with renowned brew houses from around the world. Guests at your next house party will thank you.