7 Things You Need to Do in Lebanon This Winter

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The weather is unseasonably warm this week, but in anticipation of further temperature drops and a white(ish) Christmas, we thought it was time to roll out some cool things to do in the winter months. We’re leaving the more obvious options of skiing and chalet-renting, and the familiar Faqra and Faraya off the list. We’ve picked what we think will add some extra sparkle to your holiday season, whether you’re the outdoorsy type, in search of a cultural or intellectual pursuit, or prefer burning the midnight oil!

1) Museum Hop

Photo credit: https://www.heatheronhertravels.com/khalil-gibran-museum-bchare-lebanon/

We know, museums feature heavily in our ‘things you need to do’ posts, but they’re just so great! You can check out a range of options in our Learning in Lebanon: 6 Cultural Adventures You Need to Share With Your Family‘ post, but we’d like to highlight the Gibran Museum in Bcharrè specifically. Hosting an incredible collection of Gibran’s personal belongings, original paintings, library, and more, all originally the content of his New York Studio, it’s a must see for all dedicated fans. Bcharrè is also spectacularly beautiful in every season, and en-route to numerous possibilities for outdoor winter adventures, which brings us to our next suggestion.

2) Do the Winter Hike

Photo credit: http://www.ahlamvillage.com/winter-in-nature/

This is another activity that often makes our shortlist, so feel free to refer to our post 12 Amazing Things You Need to Do in Lebanon This Summer for further location ideas. This time we’d like to highlight a couple of specific options. First off, the new kid on the block in Kfardebian: Ahlam Golf and Mountain Village. A project still in development, Ahlam has the goal of creating ‘a mindful community that lives in harmony with the land’. They are located on a pristine and expansive swathe of mountain, and already have a 5km forest trail that you can organize to ski (ok just this one mention), snowshoe or hike through. We also want to bring extra attention to the Shouf Cedar Reserve, which is breathtaking for a winter walk and has a local guesthouse you can roast chestnuts at afterwards.

3) Book the Al-Bustan Festival

Photo credit: http://albustanfestival.com/

An oldie but goodie, this festival has been around for more than two decades, with the next instalment running from February 13th until March 21st 2018. They’ve cancelled only one concert in their impressive history, maintaining consistency almost as an act of defiance through every crisis, war, and downturn that’s been thrown their way. In short, this festival is kind of legendary, and brings a spectacular array of quality musical, theatrical and dance performances. Don’t miss out. 

4) Catch Escape Room Fever

Photo credit: http://escapegamesbeirut.com/

Escape room games are all the rage worldwide. If you haven’t heard of them, you need to get your finger back on the pulse. The first one opened in Japan in 2007, and they’ve spread like wildfire ever since. It’s an immersive adventure game, where you solve puzzles, riddles and mysteries, using mind-bending clues, and collaborating with your group on strategies to escape ‘the room’ before time runs out. There is a ‘theme’ or ‘concept’ for every taste, ranging from prison cells, haunted attics, zombie apocalypse, mad scientist, warships, and more. Rooms are also designed for different skill levels, and various group sizes. It’s serious fun with friends, and gives your brain a workout at the same time. What’s not to like? Check out these fabulous four:

http://escapegamesbeirut.com/

https://www.escapetheroom.me/

http://www.enigmalebanon.com/

 http://clue-club.com/

5) Bring up the Sun at BO18

Photo credit: www.blessthisstuff.com

A favourite late-night haunt for the club kids, BO18 has been added countless times to the lists of ‘best clubs in the world’. Like the Al-Bustan Festival, they’ve made it through more than two decades of our tumultuousness. Here’s a vivid description from www.blessthisstuff.com:

B018 is shaped like a coffin, and looks like an old bomb shelter, but under what looks like a gloomy parking lot, lays a glamorous nightclub. The unassuming metal facade is equipped with a massive hydraulic apparatus that articulates the infamous retractable roof which gives revellers a mind-blowing night-time view of the stars and city lights.”

What we want to highlight most is their spectacular 80s night, running every Thursday until Dec 28th. Only a couple of weeks left, so make it count! Obviously, we strongly encourage you avoid any ‘chemical enhancements’ and opt for the magical natural high that only a good, long. sweaty night of dancing can give you. Take that endorphins kick and drink lots of water!

6) Cozy up to Great Art

Gabo (Gabriel Manoukian. Good Morning, 2017. Acrylic on Canvas. 40x50cm. Photo Credit: http://aramegallery.com

Hit the galleries, all the galleries. We have so many, big and small, known and unknown, showcasing amazing talents well worth discovering. We’d like to put the spotlight on Aramé Art Gallery, who are hosting the “Celebration of Dreams” exhibition. It’s running until Jan 6th 2018, offering an incredible selection of original paintings by internationally renowned Armenian artists, including Gabo, whose work you see above. Check out more on their website: http://aramegallery.com/events/

7) A Night at the Theatre

Last but not least, make theatre nights a regular thing. As you might have gathered from the poster shot above, we want to bring to your attention one specific show. At Al-Madina Theatre, ‘Come Back to Bed, Love’ (Habibty Rja3i 3al Takht), draws us into the story of a couple that wakes in the middle of the night and tries to fix their faltering love before morning. Described as a ‘hilarious and sexy comedy’, it is so well-loved by the audience that performance dates have been extended. There is only two more performances: Friday December 15th and Thursday December 21st, so don’t miss your chance to watch it!

And that’s all folks! Hope you enjoy your winter adventuring, and as always, make sure to tell us your thoughts in the comments. We love hearing from you.

References:

http://www.smf-blog.com/top-20-things-to-do-in-lebanon-this-winter/

http://www.ahlamvillage.com/winter-in-nature/

http://escapegamesbeirut.com/

http://www.enigmalebanon.com/

https://www.escapetheroom.me/

http://www.gibrankhalilgibran.org/

http://shoufcedar.org

http://albustanfestival.com/

http://www.lebtivity.com/event/ehdeniyat-festival-winter-program Zarour Club

http://www.lebanontraveler.com/en/magazine/Lebanon-Traveler-10-things-to-do-in-winter

http://www.zaarourclub.com/

http://www.blessthisstuff.com/stuff/culture/travel/bo18-nightclub-beirut/

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