Another year has come and gone by. There might have been many things that you may have wanted to do during the year, but weren’t able to. With the change in calendar comes the urgent need to tick off certain things on your list. So, here is a list prepared by Fr!day, which don’t include the usual ordinary activities, but promise to be fun.
Put on your dancing shoes for Salsa Night
Whether you are lightweight or lead-footed on the dance floor, Salsa Night is one of the best times to show off your skills, to get happy feet. There are many Salsa dance nights hosted around town at several restaurants. Calm, at Tangalwood, hosts a Salsa night every Thursday, while Tamarind hosts one every Tuesday night. So, put on your favorite pair of dancing shoes and set the dance floor on fire with some great music and company.
Trek to Annapurna Base Camp
Why not welcome the New Year by spending a few exciting days trekking and exploring Nepal with the help of a good trek operator, who could show you some of the most picturesque places in the country? It is sure to be a one-of-a-kind New Year celebration if you’re looking for some adventure for the upcoming year. There are lots of travel agencies that offer some great prices for this trek. So, do some research and get your trekking gear ready for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Stock up on your favorite liquor
Tis’ the season to be jolly! Now is the time to stock up on some good alcohol that can be opened to celebrate when some friends come over, or show up unannounced. A few beers is something common, but a bottle of your favorite liquor could make a normal party at home extra-special and memorable.
Go for a wine and art session at the House of Palettes
When your creative instincts kick in, visit the House of Palettes, which lets you make a painting while you’re having some drinks. The art studio is located within Evoke Café and Bistro. You will be guided by an in-house artist to make your masterpiece, and can choose from an array of drinks from the café’s fab menu. This experience will bring out your creative side that you could really let loose with a few drinks under your belt. Classes take place every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but if you are a large group then you could contact them and fix a class on any day. A standard canvas costs Rs.1500, and you can attend as many classes as you want.
The Vespa Valley project was started by a group of five locals, not really from Kathmandu Valley, but who have been calling this city their home. They offer a variety of tours, from food discovery tours to experiencing village life. And the best part of these tours is that, you will be taken around on vintage Vespas. Their most popular tours are Nepali Food Safari, Villages of Valley, and (Not Your Standard) Kathmandu City Tour. The price of each is available online, and you could get more details of the tours at vespavalley.com.
When in doubt, skate it out
Nepal’s first synthetic ice skating rink opened at the Civil Mall this year, and if you haven’t visited it yet, you should definitely give it a try. This recreational sport is an enjoyable activity for people of all ages. You are provided with safety helmets, and there are many people there to help you figure it out if it’s your first time. The place is more crowded on holidays, but if you go on a weekday you’d find ample space to skate around and become a pro in no time. Anyone who has tried it before is sure to return again, as it is such a fun activity.
Spend a sophisticated night sipping wine along with cheese
Lots of restaurants around Kathmandu offer wines accompanied by a beautiful cheese platter that includes both local and imported cheese. A night like this would be a good idea to sit and catch up with friends. The Vino Bistro, Lazimpat, has a wide and fine collection of wines and offers one of the best cheese platters around town. Another place that’s a favorite with many, Mezze, also has a great cheese platter and a wide selection of wines. Enjoy an afternoon on the terrace with a view of Durbarmarg.\
Open Mic Night at the House of Music
House of Music is a live music club located in Thamel that hosts its open mic nights every Tuesday, so drop in and set the stage on fire. At an open mic event, the audience is given the opportunity to perform on stage anything of their choice, from a song to a poem. If you aren’t confident to get on stage alone, you could also perform with a friend. Whatever you choose to perform, the key is confidence. What makes it more attractive is, everything on the menu is at a 10% discount.
Go for a vineyard tour
The afternoons during winter months are most enjoyable, so drive up to a vineyard and get to know a little bit about the winemaking process and enjoy a good meal at the estate. One of the most famous vineyards around Kathmandu is the Patleban Vineyard Resort; it offers delicious meals with in-house wine, and if you wish, you could even spend a night at the vineyard. The view from there is beautiful, and being so close to the capital, makes it an easy place to spend a short weekend.
Attend the ArtSaturday art class and workshop
The ArtSaturday art class and workshop is an interactive art class for all age groups. Contemporary artists Kailash K. Shrestha and Krishna Tamrakar are there to guide you and teach you to create various art forms and the art making process and techniques. It is held at the Artudio on every Saturday throughout the month of December. If you were ever keen on learning, exploring, and experimenting with art, this would be a perfect class to attend.
Take part in the Bagmati clean-up campaign
The Bagmati River has become a major concern for us all because of all the garbage that is thrown into it or around its banks, heavily polluting the river and the area around. So, why not take part in a clean-up initiative? Nepal Public Health Foundation organizes such clean-up campaigns every Saturday throughout the year. Taking part in a social initiative like this one will give you a sense of satisfaction at the end of the day, and make you happier for having done something for the city you live in.
Discover the city better with apps like Patan Heritage Walk
There are lots of self-guided walking tours that let you rediscover your city on foot at your own pace. These apps are free-of-cost and can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. These sort of apps would usually include a detailed walking map, along with photos and background information of the included attractions. They have an inbuilt feature where you could even book a guide. These apps are usually targeted at tourists, but can be used by us as well to get to know our city better. They have many tours that you could choose from. They also work offline, so you don’t have to worry about spending your data pack.
Invest in a musical instrument and learn to play it
If you are looking to try something new, invest in a musical instrument and learn to play it. If you don’t have the time to take classes, then just look up online, as you’d find many videos that give music lessons right from the basics to those wanting to learn something more complex. You could make this session your break time from the monotony of everyday life.
Visit some museums around town
There are so many museums around town, rich in history and culture. Going around for a visit would help you understand our history better, and would also contribute towards the rehabilitation fund. After the earthquakes in 2015, some of our museums went through pretty devastating damages, but because of the government’s efforts, most of them have retained their original glory. So, visit one or a few museums and imbibe all that they have to offer.
Go for a picnic
Call your friends and family and pick a nice sunny day for a picnic. You could bask in the winter sun and enjoy a meal with all your loved ones. Since the winter sun is not too hard, pick out an afternoon and visit one of the many picnic spots around Kathmandu Valley. You could take some cards, board-games, music, or a good book and enjoy a day outdoors without your phone. It would be a good drive up to the spot, as well. Some places around the valley that are very enjoyable are Dhulikhel, Surya Binayak, Changu Narayan, Kankani, etc. We have such a wide range of choices available to us, so why not make the most out of it?
Cable car at Chandragiri
Chandragiri Hills, to the southwest of Kathmandu, offers a beautiful panoramic view of the whole city. It was also the spot from where Prithvi Narayan Shah got the first glimpse of the prosperous Kathmandu valley and made up his mind to annex it into his kingdom. You get the view of the whole Kathmandu Valley and the Himalayan ranges, from the Annapurnas to Everest. It is a fun place to spend a day, as you could go for a cable cart ride and also visit the Bhaleshwor Mahadev Temple. It is believed that if a person goes to this temple to worship Bhaleshwor, all their wishes will come true.
Indulge in the local market
What better time than to indulge in some local arts, crafts, and clothing for the season of exchanging gifts. Instead of buying extravagant expensive gifts, buy something locally made, as it would be more thoughtful and also something different. This way, you could promote the Nepali art and craft industry. If you aren’t one to exchange gifts, then get something for yourself, as there is a wide variety of options to choose from. You could get simple home decoration pieces, as well as pashmina shawls and wooly sweaters to keep you warm and cozy for the coming months.