Baby, it’s cold outside

These winter wonders will warm your chilliest days.

Do not attempt to adjust your set. <i>TV Test Pattern: The Center of Chaos </i>by Ohio artist Cheri Arnold.

Do not attempt to adjust your set. TV Test Pattern: The Center of Chaos by Ohio artist Cheri Arnold.

Cold beer, warm belly
Alcoholic anthropologists have noted a direct correlation between horrible weather and pub culture. Hawaiians didn’t invent the pub quiz. There’s no “Streets of Fiji” bar in Midtown. Bora Bora never brewed a decent stout. No, if there’s anything to be learned from the British culture immersion decor of the Fox and Goose, it’s that countries with gloomy weather and ridiculously cold temperatures console themselves with good company and great beer. Should you be in need of a pint of good cheer this season, here’s what the locals are brewing up for winter:

The Hoppy Brewing Company breaks out its 4th Annual Hoppy Clause Holiday Ale. Available through Christmas, this amber brew’s got cinnamon, nutmeg and secret spices. 6300 Folsom Blvd.

River City Brewing Company features it’s River City Holiday Ale—a strong amber ale. 545 Downtown Plaza.

Sacramento Brewing Company’s Babylon Barley Wine will keep the party rolling. (Hint: If it looks like a beer, but it’s labeled a wine, it’s got a higher alcohol content than beer’s legal limit.) Town and Country Village and the Oasis, 7811 Madison Ave., Citrus Heights.

Rubicon’s ordered six kegs of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Chico and they’ve also got a Blonde Barley Wine (wink, wink). 2004 Capitol.

Not just for snuggling anymore
Quilts have come a long way. Although always a decorative endeavor, they’ve now crossed the line into fiber art. A stunning selection of these modern masterpieces, created for wall-viewing rather than bed-lining, will be displayed at the Quilt National 2001 exhibit at

the Crocker Art Museum. This year’s Quilt National competition received 1,420 entries from 47 states and 20 foreign countries. The cream of the quilting crop will be on view at the Crocker from December 14 through February 12, 2002. Special quilt-related events include a reservation-only catered brunch with Hillary Fletcher, Quilt National curator, at 10:30 a.m. on December 15 and an evening with local quilters, 6:30 p.m. on January 24. Don’t forget the Crocker Museum offers free admission every Sunday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. 216 O St. Call 264-5423 for more information or brunch reservations.

Free! Free like the wind!
On December 24, admission to both Fairytale Town and the Sacramento Zoo is free! Since they’re right across the street from each other on Land Park Drive in William Land Park, you’ll be able to visit the animal’s tails and the fairy tales in one day.

Then on February 2, it’s Free Museum Day in Sacramento. The Crocker Art Museum, the Golden State Museum and many others will be opening their doors for a day of fun and learning, free of charge. And don’t forget, every Sunday morning is free day at the Crocker Museum from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.!

Suffer the chill
If you avoid ice cream when the temperature drops, you’re missing the special flavors that only come out in the cold. Here’s a selection of local seasonal treats:

“Oh my God! Beer’s regular price now! You bastards!”

Gunther’s, 2801 Freeport Blvd, creates original recipe pumpkin, rum raisin and eggnog ice creams for the winter months.

Vic’s Ice Cream, 3199 Riverside Blvd, makes their own spumoni, pumpkin and eggnog ice creams, cranberry sherbet and Jik Jak—an ice cream amalgam of chocolate, cinnamon, nuts and malt.

Keep an eye out at the market for Crystal’s peppermint stick, available until January.

Ben and Jerry’s at Arden Fair Mall features Festivus—a brown sugar and cinnamon ice cream with caramel and hunks of gingerbread.

Now will that be a plain or sugar cone? S’mores Schnapps costs extra

It’s so Entertainment Weekly to highlight a television show in a section on winter activities, like watching things happen to others on a screen is as meaningful as living your own life. Nonetheless, no self-respecting Winter Guide would be complete without a mention of South Park—where it’s always winter! What other show features such cutting-edge ski fashions and breathtaking views of snowy Phil Collins Hill?

When the weather outside is frightful, sitting on your butt watching TV and drinking beer becomes a perfectly acceptable hobby. If you leave the house to do it, that’s an achievement! To help you achieve all you can, Hoppy Brewing Company challenges you to come out for “South Park Wednesdays.” The show begins at 10 p.m. every Wednesday night. The bartender will pour dollar beers from the opening credits until Kenny dies. So get out of the house, swap Cartman impressions and drink quick before the kid in the orange parka meets his maker. 6300 Folsom Blvd. Call 451-4677 or visit for more info.

For those without a date, we salute you!
Winter can be a difficult time for single people. Every occasion that requires a date—be it office Christmas parties, New Year’s Eve countdowns or Valentine’s Day—falls within this season. If you’re on the hunt for a holiday honey or you just want to socialize with other unattached people, there are plenty of singles events this winter. Here are some places to start:

The Professionals Guild is hosting a New Year’s Eve Spectacular at the Sacramento Hilton with hundreds of smashingly dressed single people. Who will you kiss at midnight? Call 444-1030 or visit for more information.

Party of Eight, a local dating service, hosts monthly seminars for men and women at Zigatto’s on Arden Way. On January 14, the topic is “New Year! New You!” Forty men and 40 women will be separated for a lecture by a professional image consultant and then re-united for a mixer with hors d’oeuvres and music. Just before Valentine’s Day, on February 11, relationship experts will discuss “Creating Romance” with a mixer to follow. The seminars are $10 and pre-registration is required. Call 503-1517 for more information.

Where to go for snow?
If your idea of fun in the snow doesn’t require lodges or lift tickets, California Sno-Parks are for you! These state-run snowy recreation areas are available for sledding, cross-country skiing, snowmobiles and good old fashioned snowball fights. For a guide to the Sno-Parks along I-80, call the Placer County Visitor Information Center at (530) 887-2111. For Sno-Parks in El Dorado County, call the Sno-Park Hotline at 324-1222.

Elvis on ice
Here’s something you won’t see every day. On Elvis’ birthday (that’s January 8 for the rock ’n’ roll challenged), local Elvis impersonators will be dancing to the jailhouse rock on ice. The Downtown Holiday Ice Rink on 7th and K streets will play the King’s greatest hits for an Elvis Birthday Bash. Join the fun, but don’t step on anyone’s blue suede skates. Come dressed in Elvis drag and your admission’s half price. Call 442-2500 for more info. Thank you very much.