The coldest weather can foster the warmest moments.
Students have plenty of opportunity to bundle up, avoid people, and stay indoors during the year’s frostier months. But Harvard’s Common Spaces is asking them to shed those covers during the third annual WinterFest, a time and place where people can chill out and warm up — to the weather and one another.
Walk by the Science Center Plaza during the day and you’ll see students, faculty, staff, and other members of the Harvard community taking part in classic ice-lane games like curling, or lounging beside smoky fire pits, roasting marshmallows and sipping hot chocolate while top 40 songs play in the background.
Open daily from noon to 7 p.m., this year’s WinterFest gives visitors a reason to take their time on what can seem like a three-monthlong shuffle from warm place to warm place. On Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, things become toastier as firepits are lit in the plaza and the hours are extended until 8 p.m.
“It changes the perspective,” said Asa Coleman ’22, sitting by the fire with fellow first-years Izzy Kakala and Remi Owoseni.
Kakala, with a book cracked open on his lap, said the space provides a laid-back area to get ahead on some class work. Coleman and Owoseni said the firepit is perfect for a mental break.