“Self-care is the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.” Oxford
It’s time to delve into a weekend of post-holiday self-care. Whether it’s kick-starting your 2020 workout routine, trying a new spa treatment or escaping to the East End, there’s no wrong way to treat yourself. Relax with our guide to finding your own “me time” on Long Island.
What better way to watch that holiday stress fade away than by spending the day at the spa? Relax in a massage chair or try a trendy treatment at one of the several wellness centers Long Island has to offer. A few unique offerings:
If you’ve heard of cryotherapy but been too afraid to try, now’s your chance. Cryology offers a $25 first time special for newbies. You’ll spend 2-3 minutes inside the cryosauna where your body will be exposed to cold temperatures. It’s said to help flush toxins, fight inflammation and boost endorphins.
Locations in Bayside, Babylon and Patchogue.
Shop and Spa
The new Wellground in Port Washington is a hybrid space that includes a clothing and accessories boutique, a barre studio and a spa area specializing in wellness treatments like hydra facials and brow shaping. It’s all your “me time” services wrapped into one.
Prices vary; 938 Port Washington Blvd.
At Polish Nail Bar, getting a mani/pedi won’t feel like a chore. The spot offers manicures (starting at $14) and deluxe nail services ($35 gel; $42 powder dip), as well as pedicures ($27 and up), waxing and more. But the main attraction here is the Polish Bar Menu, which serves up wine, mixed drinks, coffees, beers, sodas and juices.
Locations in Wantagh, Smithtown and Patchogue.
If it’s tough to carve out time to yourself, consider booking a private float chamber at The Float Place. You’ll spend 90 minutes in a private float therapy session that’ll have you lying in a tank (with more than 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt in the water) in complete darkness. Prices vary.
Locations in Deer Park and Patchogue.
Slip into a state of deep relaxation at Northport’s Kundalini Yoga. The studio offers therapy sessions, including sound healing, in which vibrational instruments (gongs, bowls, forks) are used to calm your mind. The practice is said to stimulate the body’s healing abilities, calm nerves and relieve muscle tension. One-hour private sessions are $108.
Located at 389 Fort Salonga Rd., 631-766-5158.
Gold Coast Barbers in Syosset elevates the buzz-cut experience. Consider dropping by for a beard clean up, like a hot towel shave, that’ll help you start the year fresh. Or, drop in for the hangover treatment (a hot towel treatment, followed by a mini facial and cold towel) that’ll help kick-start your holiday detox. Prices vary.
Located at 41 Berry Hill Rd., 516-802-3653.
Check out some Long Island spa locations, including Cryology in Babylon and the Healing Grotto in Bellmore, that offer a unique way to treat yourself.
If you are looking for a convenient way to leave tension behind, an East End getaway might be the ticket. The low season brings great deals, thinning crowds and plenty of opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation.
Baker House 1650
East Hampton’s casually elegant Baker House 1650 is offering several winter packages, including the Winter Wine Experience, which starts on arrival with a gift bag and two mini bottles of Moet Chandon Rose Champagne delivered to your room. The package includes a tasting, with cheese, at the Wolffer Estate (transportation included), as well as a $100 dining credit at a list of the inn’s favorite in-town restaurants. A late checkout, at 1 p.m., allows you to sleep in. Charming rooms with William Morris wallpaper, mullioned bay windows and beamed ceilings have garden or village green views. Located at 181 Main St., East Hampton; 631-324-4081.
Baron’s Cove offers the charm of an antique country hotel (restaurant with fireplace, porch with rocking chairs, cozy bar) along with modern amenities (fitness center, spa, free Wi-Fi, and twice-daily housekeeping). Rooms are decorated in bright, nautical style in a nod to the hotel’s bayfront location. Downtown Sag Harbor, with its restaurants, design boutiques and galleries, is at your doorstep. The Winter Warm-up Package includes a restaurant dining credit, complimentary hot chocolate with whipped cream, late checkout at 1 p.m., and 15% off spa services. Located at 31 W. Water St., Sag Harbor; 844-227-6672.
Recharge at the spa at Gurney’s, which features a Finnish rock sauna, Russian steam room, indoor seawater pool, as well as massage, body treatments and exercise classes. No need to leave the grounds to drink and eat. Quench your thirst at the Gatsby-esque Regent Cocktail Club before dining at soulful Italian restaurant Scarpetta Beach, with panoramic ocean views. The Winter Weekend Hygge Package includes a $100 resort credit, in-room DIY hot toddies, a Gurney’s winter blanket and a late 2 p.m. checkout. Located at 290 Old Montauk Hwy., Montauk; 631-668-2345.
South Harbor Inn
South Harbor Inn, a vintage 1897 farmhouse, is the North Fork’s newest luxury B&B. Four elegantly furnished rooms feature fireplaces and Frette linens. Breakfast, sourced from local farms, is served on a long walnut table in the inn’s dining room. Two cozy living rooms are decorated with curated books and collectibles. Ask your hosts to arrange a customized chauffeured wine tour to experience the best area beverages. The Cozy Winter Escape package includes a two-night stay in a room with a fireplace, two Frette bathrobes to take home and two classic flights at the Shinn Estate Winery, for $489 a night. Located at 565 S. Harbor Rd., Southold; 646-552-5047.
The Menhaden, conveniently located in Greenport Village, is offering 15% off weekend rates during the winter months. Rooms have Restoration Hardware Furnishings and water views. The chic ground floor café and stylish small-plates restaurant are supplemented by a galley on each floor stocked with local snacks and ice cream, complimentary for guests. An electric-powered Moke is also complimentary and available to drive guests around town. Ask the concierge about the hotel’s menu of bespoke experiences, including s’mores around the rooftop fire pit, creating your own gin or aquavit at Matchbook Distilling, and a barrel cellar tour at Macari Wines. Located at 207 Front St., Greenport; 631-333-2777.
The Sound View Hotel
The Sound View Hotel, a stylishly renovated midcentury motel with stunning sound views, a highly regarded restaurant and a hip piano bar, is offering 30% off their best available rate for December and January, with a two-night minimum stay. Visit nearby wineries, sample local oysters at Little Creek Oyster Farm or enjoy an evening of adult-only roller skating at the nearby Greenport American Legion Hall. Dine on brunch at a legendary North Fork eatery like Bruce and Son, Love Lane Kitchen or Main Road Biscuit Co., to name a few. Located at 58775 County Rd. 48, Greenport; 631-477-1910.
Introduce your littler ones to the concept of self-care, so they can learn to zen out, eat healthy and get active at a young age.
Flip upside down and stretch your limbs using the hammocks during an antigravity fitness class called Family Fly at Emerge Yoga & Wellness in Massapequa. At 10:45 a.m. each Saturday, families with children ages 6 and older can experience a 60-minute session at a cost of $17 per child and $23 per adult. Advance registration is recommended as the room has a 17-hammock capacity. The studio also offers kids-only classes for ages 8 and older throughout each week.
Located at 623 Broadway, 516-781-1078.
Spice Things Up
Getting the kids cooking in the kitchen with you may encourage them to eat more healthfully. At A La Carte Cooking School in Lynbrook, a Grown Ups and Kids class on Jan. 11, for instance, teaches a parent/child duo to make mixed garden greens with apples, dried cranberries and cider vinaigrette, Brazilian baked bananas, spaghetti and meatballs and phyllo triangles with rosemary, cheese and prosciutto filling; $120 for two.
Located at 32 Atlantic Ave.; 516-599-2922.
Salt caves are touted as being good for helping heal skin and respiratory conditions — but regardless of possible medical benefits, it can be relaxing to unwind in a soothing room filled with salt. Kids 12 and older can enter the group adult sessions at Healing Grotto in Bellmore, which costs $45 for 45 minutes, or, if accompanied by a parent, $75 for both people. Kids younger than 12 can try a session in a private booth, $40 for 25 minutes, or $65 if an adult enters as well.
Located at 1762 Newbridge Rd.; 516-221-7258.
Children’s meditation classes help children develop peaceful minds; the Kadampa Meditation Center Long Island in Huntington offers $5 classes for children ages 6 to 12 each Sunday, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. An adult must remain on the premises, but why not experience some grown-up peace at the same time? Adults can take a simultaneous but separate class for $15. Kadampa’s Port Jefferson branch also offers free meditation for children 8 to 13 from 10 to 10:45 a.m. on specific Saturdays at the Port Jefferson Library, with registration done through the library.
Located at 292 New York Ave.; 631-549-1000.
Journals are a great way to express feelings, and in this four-session class called “Selfie Art Journal,” teens ages 13 to 17 will learn how to create a visual journal. They’ll use creative writing, selfie image transfers, drawings, paint, stencils and more; no previous art experience is required. Hourlong classes run on four consecutive January Wednesdays at 4 p.m. at the East End Arts Council in Riverhead; it’s $96 for the series.
Located at 141 E. Main St.; 631-369-2171.
Fun & Games
This season, you’ve given gifts to your spouse, your kids, your parents, your co-workers, your … well, everybody but yourself. With the new year on the horizon, here are some things you can do this winter that can be healthy (mentally, if not always physically) — and fun.
Shoot, Score, Sip
Sometimes, adults forget that playing is not just fun, it’s healthy. Simplay is a 15,000 square-foot indoor facility that gives us reasons to move, such as carnival games and zombie dodgeball and a sport simulator that involves real throwing. Simulated golf is available too, but should the desire for a drink top that, there’s a lounge with a full bar and beer on tap. Simulators run on a $55-per-hour rate, but that can include you, plus four more people. If you’d like to play in private, pay $75 an hour to move your crew into a VIP room that can handle 10 guests.
Located at 180 Commerce Dr., Hauppauge; 631-617-6363.
And now for something completely different: curling. The sport takes place on ice, yet is not a skating sport, and is considered one almost anyone can try. The Long Island Curling Club has winter leagues on Saturdays (starting Jan. 12) and Sundays (starting Jan. 25) which run until March — but anyone can join at any time. There are spring, summer and fall seasons as well. People with no experience can get a crash course and then start playing — in fact, new curlers (as in complete novices) are welcome; call ahead for current league prices.
Events held at the Long Island Sports Hub; 165 Eileen Way, Syosset; email@example.com.
Stretch It Out
Like meditation, yoga offers time for introspection, but it also involves exercise, providing an excellent way to inject some health into one’s life. Just Breathe offers classes like Yoga Nidra — which involves guided meditation and restorative poses — and Yin, which entails long-held poses that target the body’s lower half (with the use of props for support). Guests can take part in a “sound bath” too, which involves crystal singing bowls and is said to knock out stress and clear the mind. Drop-in classes start at $19; look for new student specials on multiple class packages; call about unlimited yoga packages.
Located at 299 Raft Ave., Sayville; 631-750-5647.
Refine Your Skills
So many of us will resolve to eat better in the new year, and a great way to dump junk food is to cook for ourselves. The Cook’s Studio offers classes — generally $75 and two hours in length — which also happen to include wine tastings, should you need more reasons to give it a whirl. You’ll work in teams of two (giving friends and couples a chance to work together). All skill levels are OK.
Located at 156A Engineers Drive, Hicksville; 516-439-1355.
Craft It Up
Over in Babylon Village, the Bubble brand is well-known for its incredible toy shop that offers several crafting options for kids — but around the corner, Bubble East is all about adults and teens trying their luck at working with their hands. The calendar is loaded with classes — including a Jan. 3, Crystal and Succulent Garden build (7 to 9 p.m.; $65), a Kokedama hanging plant class on Jan. 9 (7 to 9 p.m.; $60), a “Loom Weaving 101” beginners workshop on Jan. 12 (2:30 to 5 p.m.; $70), Raffia coiled basket making on Jan. 16 (7 to 9:30 p.m.; $60) and a Shibori indigo dyeing on Jan. 24 (7 to 9 p.m.; $75). Advance registration required and can be done online, on the phone or in-store.
Located at 25 E. Main St., Babylon; 631-983-8858.
While the pieces at the Nassau County Museum of Art are always lovely to see, it also offers several opportunities for adults to see what they can personally create. Upcoming classes include Sketching in the Galleries with Glenna Kubit (1 p.m., Jan. 14, Feb. 11; admission plus $5 for nonmembers, $5 for members), which will have guests focusing on aspects of drawing while learning how artists created particular pieces on display. And a seasonally-inspired embroidery workshop (10 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 18, $100, $90 for members) guided by artist Soraya Navia (no experience required; all materials included, preregistration a must).
Located at One Museum Drive, Roslyn; 516-484-9338.
Events like these are not hard to find as both breweries and beer-minded bars tend to hold quite a few, but Long Ireland Beer Co. has already announced that come January, it’ll be throwing a Winter Warmers Beer and Cheese Pairing (1 p.m. on Jan. 19) with the Slates & Plates cheese-pairing party company. It’s scheduled to perfectly pair four beers with the right cheeses in a way that will battle the seasonal chill from your body (reservations are a must; seating is limited). Its annual North Fork Chocolate and Beer Tasting (1 to 5 p.m. Feb. 8) follows, during which the North Fork Chocolate Co. will provide specialty chocolates to be rightfully matched with suggested Long Ireland beers (reservations not required).
Located at 817 Pulaski St., Riverhead; 631-403-4303.
Always one of Long Island’s more interesting places to patronize, the Vanderbilt Mansion is running “Rocket Man” Saturdays until the end of January within its planetarium, a laser show powered by the music of Elton John ($10, $8 for children ages 12 and younger; members free). As for the museum, watch for an upcoming Valentine Dinner in the mansion (Saturday, Feb. 8; seatings at 6 p.m., 8 p.m.: $150, $135 for members) that will include passed hors d’oeuvres, desserts, coffee, wine, beer and a mansion tour, and a Comedy Night (8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8: $25 in advance, $30 at the door; $20 for members) in the mansion’s carriage hour; wine will be available.
Located at 180 Little Neck Rd., Centerport; 631-854-5579.
Self-care doesn’t have to mean healthy. Sometimes you need a little sweet pick-me-up to get through the day — and that’s OK. Our critics Erica Marcus, Scott Vogel and Corin Hirsch pick chocolate treats that’ll pair perfectly with your “me time.”
Chocolate lovers who can’t decide among dark, milk or white can thank Danna Abrams for her Solomonic decision to stud her blondies with all three kinds. The oversized bars are just one of the many mega-chocolate treats at Hometown Bake Shop, once the exclusive province of Centerport, now also in Patchogue.
Located at 16 Havens Ave., Patchogue; 631-654-1102 and 2 Little Neck Rd., Centerport; 631-754-7437.
Is there a greater expression of chocolate than gelato? More intense than ice cream, the Italian confection requires only a small serving to satisfy — though a large serving satisfies even more. Dolce, Long Island’s newest gelateria, does a fine job with chocolate, (as well as pistachio, fig-honey, rainbow cookie, etc.). Eat in, take out and don’t forget: you can have your gelato inside a brioche.
Located at 220 Franklin Ave., Franklin Square; 516-673-4994.
If you limit your consumption of chocolate malteds to warm weather, you are sacrificing more than six months per year of chocolatey bliss. The Hicksville Sweet Shop makes its own ice cream and chocolate syrup. Sidle up to the counter at this classic luncheonette and help the waitresses with the jumble while you sip.
Located at 75 Broadway, Hicksville; 516-931-0130.
COCO Confections & Coffee’s creations are almost too beautiful to eat. Almost. The hand-painted candies and artisanal truffles at this newish shop in Sea Cliff might be glorious to look at, but they’re no less delicious than its top-selling Nutella bonbons or almond buttercrunch. Some candies are made in-house, others by great chocolatiers near (Brooklyn’s JoMart) and far — and all are winners.
Located at 365 Glen Cove Ave., Sea Cliff; 516-277-2657.
This humble-looking storefront opened earlier this fall, but the talent behind it is outsized: Baker/owner of Butter Crust Bakery Shanaka Perera has baked around the world, from Sri Lanka to Germany to France. He is fussy about his ingredients, from Valrhona chocolate to Kerrygold butter, and his chocolate ganache cake (a specialty) reflects this care with moody depths of luscious, creamy cocoa. It comes in both micro and macro forms.
Located at 36 Laurel Road, East Northport; 631-651-8899.
I always keep dark chocolate in my desk for a late-afternoon pick-me-up, usually chased with sips of hot peppermint tea. Despite the stacks of artisanal and single-origin chocolate that abound in a food writer’s life, it is these foil-wrapped morsels of heaven from Dove that I keep coming back to. They are just dark enough (meaning, barely sweet) and quite literally melt in your mouth. One or two, and I’m set. Find them at just about every major retailer — but look for the bag with the red stripe, because the blue ones will try to kill you with sugar. (Milk chocolate is my nemesis). Dove’s Silky Smooth Promises, roughly $5 for a bag of 28.
The holidays can give you the necessary time to linger in the past by binging on TV shows. Trust us, these are characters you’d definitely want to spend time with. Here’s where you can stream a nostalgia-packed show that’ll serve as the ideal comfort binge:
“I Love Lucy” (Hulu, CBS All Access) The adventures of a wacky redhead (Lucille Ball), her bemused Cuban-bandleader husband (Desi Arnaz) and their landlords/pals Fred (William Frawley) and Ethel (Vivian Vance) Mertz are still a riot nearly 70 years after they first aired.
“Father Knows Best” (Hulu) Today’s parents might learn some compelling life lessons from Robert Young’s Jim Anderson.
“The Andy Griffith Show” (Netflix, Amazon Prime) This homespun sitcom set in the small southern town of Mayberry focused on a folksy sheriff (Griffith) raising his young son Opie (Ronnie — as he was known then — Howard).
“The Dick Van Dyke Show” (Hulu) Sophisticated, classy and well-written: This sitcom balanced the home life of Rob Petrie (Van Dyke) and his wife Laura (Mary Tyler Moore) with his work life as a writer at a TV comedy show.
“The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (Hulu) This is one of TV’s greatest ensemble casts, led by Moore as Mary Richards, a proudly single woman with a career. Hard to believe, but such a concept was groundbreaking for TV in 1970.
“The Brady Bunch” (Hulu, CBS All Access) Here’s the story of TV’s most famous blended family. Watch for those groovy ’70s taste-free touches: oversized perms, shag carpeting, avocado-colored refrigerators, Huckapoo shirts.
“The Wonder Years” (Hulu) The first blast of baby-boom nostalgia: Neal Marlens, the show’s LI-raised creator, mined his own experiences in the late ’60s to recall his adolescence with bittersweet affection.
“Twin Peaks” (Hulu) Turn on the series with a cultlike following to head back to Twin Peaks with FBI Agent Dale Cooper.
“Seinfeld” (Hulu) The show about nothing — not that there’s anything wrong with that.
“The Simpsons” (Disney +, Hulu) Maybe you won’t get through all 30-plus seasons that are available for streaming, but head back to the beginning for a nostalgia trip.
“The X-Files” (Hulu) Two FBI agents join forces to solve paranormal cases known as the X-Files.
“My So-Called Life” (ABC On-Demand) You never really outgrow a good teen drama.
“Friends” (Netflix) Binge the one about Ross, Rachel, Joey, Chandler, Phoebe and Monica — which stretches generations — before it leaves Netflix.
“Family Matters” (Hulu) One word: Urkel.
“The O.C.” (Hulu) Let the Cohen, Cooper and Nichol families collide all over again in the elite Newport Beach.
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (Hulu) Help Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) fight off the paranormal.
“Veronica Mars” (Hulu) With P.I. Veronica Mars in town, there’s not much you can keep under wraps.
“The Office” (Netflix) In the hands of great writers and a brilliant cast, even day-to-day drudgery at a Scranton paper company can seem hysterically funny.
“Parks and Recreation” (Netflix, Hulu) Sure it’s a funny and incisive show about civil servants (and others) in a small Indiana town, but it’s also highly amusing to see Chris Pratt as a doughy, dopey supporting character, offering no hint of the Hollywood hunk he’d become.
“Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century” (Disney +) Start with this 1999 Disney Channel TV-movie about a teen who lives in a space station and continue your binge with “Zenon: The Zequel” (2001) and “Zenon: Z3” (2004). Oh, and it stars a young Raven-Symoné.
Bonus: “Aladdin” (Disney +) Though not a series, you’ll get sucked in along a path of old Disney classics. Revisit the 1992 original on Disney’s new streaming service and use your three wishes to ask for time to watch more movies. Before you know it, you’ll be making an afternoon out of it as you hop to “Beauty and the Beast,” “Pocahontas,” “The Little Mermaid” and more.
“Hannah Montana” (Disney +) You get the best of both worlds when you look back on a young Miley Cyrus who was doubling as a teen pop star.
“Sam & Cat” (Netflix) Remember when Ariana Grande had stark red hair and starred in a Nickelodeon series alongside “iCarly” actress Jennette McCurdy?
“The Suite Life on Deck” (Disney +) About a decade before “Riverdale,” Cole Sprouse was hanging out on the S.S. Tipton with his twin brother, Brenda Song, Debby Ryan and Phill Lewis.
“Gravity Falls” (Hulu, Disney +) This is the story of what happens when twins Dipper and Mabel Pines summer with their great-uncle.
By Newsday Lifestyle staff: Meghan Giannotta, Erica Marcus, Scott Vogel, Corin Hirsch, Ian J. Stark, Kristen Sullivan, Beth Whitehouse, Andy Edelstein and Lauren Chattman