Winter has thrown a blanket of ice and snow over well-known Northport attractions such as the scenic harbor, gazebo and waterfront village park. But this port town is still hopping.
Button up your overcoat and head to the village for a local Italian restaurant's winter tasting menu, a seasonally appropriate children's show or a walking tour of historic sites, including the tavern where Beat writer Jack Kerouac spent many a cold winter's eve. To remind you that spring is just around the corner, the local sweet shop already is making its annual Easter chocolates.
"There is plenty to do here during the winter," Northport Historical Society director Heather Johnson says. Exhibit A: the Society's one-room museum, currently offering a permanent exhibition about village history, and a visiting exhibit of signatures by luminaries such as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and first lady Betty Ford.
WINTER WALKING TOUR
WHEN | WHERE 1:30 p.m. March 8, from the steps of the Northport Historical
Society, 215 Main St. Rain or shine.
INFO 631-757-9859, northporthistorical.org
The society's monthly walking tour occurs four days before the March 12 birthday of "On the Road" author Kerouac, who lived in Northport from the late 1950s to the early '60s. Tour guide and local history buff Dan Sheehan is likely to include a stop at Kerouac's favorite local tavern, Gunther's Tap Room, Johnson says. It's decorated with photos of Kerouac and still serves the writer's favorite refreshment -- Canadian Club and beer, says Pete Gunther, who opened the tap room in 1962. (84 Main St., 631-754-4156)
It's a Northport tradition to order takeout food while getting cozy in a local bar.
Among the local takeout choices: Maroni Cuisine (18 Woodbine Ave., 631-757-4500, maronicuisine.com). The Italian eatery offers hot pots full of meatballs made from Grandma Maroni's century-old Neapolitan recipe. The hot pots also come with penne ala vodka, linguine and clams or ravioli ($30-$65). "It's comfort food, and you keep the pot," says restaurant co-owner Maria Maroni. Maroni also offers a deal on its sit-down winter tasting menu of 20 to 23 different small plates, wine and Peroni Italian beer on Tuesday through Thursday nights ($88 a person, reservations suggested).
'THE SNOW QUEEN'
WHEN | WHERE 11 a.m. Saturday and March 7, 10:30 a.m. Sunday and March 8, John W. Engeman Theater at Northport, 250 Main St.
INFO 631-261-2900, engemantheater.com
This children's show is an original musical based on the same Hans Christian Andersen story as Disney's "Frozen," but with different songs. You won't hear "Let It Go," but it's more faithful to the story, Engeman's producing artistic director Richard Dolce says. "We have a beautiful snow backdrop and snow machines that make it snow inside the theater."
If you're in the mood for a more grown-up late-night theater experience, Engeman's piano bar serves wine, draft beer, cocktails and gourmet cheese-and-cracker platters. It's open to ticket holders before shows and to the public after performances, generally around 10:30 p.m. ("Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" runs through March 8, $59.)
SIGNS OF SPRING
Tired of winter? (And who isn't?) A visit to Northport Sweet Shop perks you up with signs of spring. "We make our own homemade old-fashioned Easter eggs and chocolate rabbits," says Marlene Niehaus, the niece of owner Pete Panarites. (55 Main St., 631-261-3748).