Cozy home. Candles, book and cup of tea

The Homebody’s Guide to Winter in Milwaukee 2017-18

Whether you are staying indoors this winter because you have to, or you just can’t stand the cold, there are still plenty of things to do while keeping warm. This is the ultimate shut-in’s guide for winter 2017-18.

Things to read …

The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan

Dan Egan, Journal Sentinel reporter and senior water policy fellow at UW-Milwaukee, reveals the “ecological catastrophe” that is taking place in our own backyard — the Great Lakes. According to Egan, invaders such as zebra and quagga mussels are destroying the lake and its inhabitants. Egan takes readers through how this happened, while asking them to do something to protect one of Wisconsin’s most valued resources.

Next Week’s Graduate by Terry Gavin

Terry Gavin is no stranger to Milwaukee. The UW graduate is a fixture in the Milwaukee theater circuit. But when he’s not on stage, he’s writing: Next Week’s Graduate follows two young men embarking on a Wisconsin road trip circa the 1980s. It’s a page-turning story about finding yourself while experiencing all of life’s twists and turns.

Things to watch …

The Crown

This Netflix original series premiered on the streaming platform in November, 2016. The highly-bingeable drama chronicles Queen Elizabeth II’s life just before her coronation and follows her reign as ruler of the United Kingdom, striking a balance between personal conflict and international sensations. Season two will debut on the streaming service on December 8, which gives newcomers just enough time to get caught up.

The Big Sick

You heard it first from MKE Film’s recommendation newsletter this summer: The Big Sick was a big hit, and it’s now officially available for streaming on Amazon Prime. The romantic comedy follows real life comedian Kumail Nanijani and his grad student girlfriend Emily Gordon as they encounter cultural and everyday life mishaps, heightened by Emily’s tragic illness. This movie is lovable because of its all-too-relatable characters and familiar Midwestern setting (it’s not Milwaukee, but it’s close!).

Have a Hallmark Movie Marathon

The Hallmark Channel has officially kicked off its holiday season, which means cheesy movies are currently on constant rotation. Better than a single flick? The oft-maligned Hallmark movie marathon, which can grant even lovelorn Grinches a little extra holiday cheer. For Milwaukee viewers with AT&T or U-verse TV, flip to channel 365. DIRECTV users can tune into channel 312. DISH viewers should turn on 185 but if you have Spectrum, the Hallmark Channel will be on 62. We suggest starting with Switched for Christmas, starring the peerless Candace Cameron Bure, which premieres November 26. Or queue up Christmas Encore, premiering December 9. Check the listings for reruns.

Things to listen to …

Bridges by The Bang Bang

Milwaukee-based blues-rock band, The Bang Bang, released its second album in November, and the city has been grooving to it ever since. Add this one to your musical repertoire this winter, and leaving the house for a live show will start to seem so passé.

Ode 2 A Luv Affair by B-Free

If you happen to be missing the 10th Annual Radio Milwaukee Music Awards, be sure to get your groove on at home by listening to the nominations for Solo Artist of the Year. Local artist B-Free, for instance (who was also awarded a spot on our Best Milwaukee Albums of 2016 list) is a powerhouse talent who definitely deserves a listen. The R&B singer overcame a throat infection that almost ended her career but is now back stronger and better than ever with songs like “Silly Girl” and “No More.”

View from the Penalty Box

Between the Bucks, Brewers and Packers, there is no shortage of sports teams to cheer for in Wisconsin. But when your favorite teams aren’t playing, try this blast from the past: In the View from the Penalty Box podcast, former NHL player and tough guy Cam Connor gives listeners an insider’s perspective on growing up as a hockey player, games, players and everything in between.

That’s What She Said

Tune in to hear what Milwaukee natives Tracey Corder and Shavonda Sisson (aka Tee and Von) think about pop culture, politics, relationships and more. This must-listen local show is a welcome addition to Milwaukee’s panoply of podcasts, providing a much-needed platform for black female voices.

From “Making a Murderer,” Avery being escorted into court. Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Rebutting A Murderer

For podcast listeners who are seeking a little more drama, Dan O’Donnell, a journalist who covered the Steven Avery case (of Making a Murderer fame) shares his side of the story. He delves into evidence he believes was omitted from or glossed over in the Netflix original, and gives a true insider’s look into the investigation and trial. This 10-episode podcast series could be just what you need to answer your questions.

Things to do …

Get cooking (or baking!)

Cooking and baking are a great way to get through cold winter days. Try your hand at Ann Christenson’s cozy baked oatmeal recipe. Your kitchen will be warm, the house will smell delicious and who knows – you may just find a new favorite treat!

Photo by Adam Ryan Morris

De-stress with a coloring book

The adult coloring book trend appears to be here to stay. Calm down after a hectic day with a packet of colored pencils and your favorite book of designs. Might we suggest the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Collector’s Item coloring book by artist Reginald Baylor? The book features fan favorite art pieces that are yours to re-imagine with whatever colors you choose. Or, order a copy of the newly-released Milwaukee coloring book from local artist James Steeno.

Drink Wisconsinbly Old Fashioned
Drink Wisconsinbly Old Fashioned; Photo by Adam Ryan Morris

Have a drink

It’s no secret that brandy is Wisconsin’s drink of choice. And just because you’re staying inside doesn’t mean you can’t indulge. Try your hand at copying one of your favorite bar’s Old Fashioned recipes at home when it’s too cold to go out.