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Up on the roof: Igloos in the Rocket City

HUNTSVILLE — Once all the presents are unwrapped, the last of the leftovers have been polished off, and the endless boxes of lights and ornaments are safely stowed away, the holidays can seem like a thing of the distant past.

But just because December has come and gone, that doesn’t mean the magic of the “most wonderful time of the year” has to follow suit.

While Northerners pass the frigid days with snow-filled winter activities like skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and sledding, Alabama’s precipitation typically comes in the form a chilly drizzle.

But just because we don’t have snow doesn’t mean we can’t get in on the wintertime fun. At Huntsville’s 106 Jefferson Hotel, snow gets replaced with “ice” in the form of private dining igloos at its rooftop bar Baker & Able.

The igloos are available to rent for private parties of four to eight until the end of February. The twinkle-lit bubble-like plastic domes are outfitted with comfy lounge chairs, tables, and mini space heaters to keep you feeling cozy no matter what weather the unpredictable Southern winter brings.

To help you unwind, each igloo reservation includes a complimentary bottle of wine and a pretzel charcuterie board with all the usual suspects — sharp cheese, salty cured meat, spicy mustard, jam, olives, and a ridiculously good pimiento cheese spread. Paired with a glass of wine (you’ll have your choice from Baker & Able’s entire list) and an uninterrupted view of the city sparkling below, you’ll feel like you’re inside a dreamy snow globe.

Baker & Able (Photo courtesy of 106 Jefferson)

Named for the first monkeys to survive spaceflight in 1959, Baker & Able has become a favorite hangout for Huntsville locals. Its eclectic lounge is filled with dark leather seating, moody lighting, and playful artwork depicting the famous primates. Double doors and (in warmer months) garage openings lead out to an expansive rooftop patio that offers sweeping views of the city.

Make it a weekend getaway or staycation with an overnight at 106 Jefferson, the city’s only lifestyle boutique hotel. Located in the heart of downtown Huntsville, the hotel makes it easy to spend a day exploring the city.

Start with breakfast at Revivalist, 106 Jefferson’s full-service restaurant. A croissant sandwich stuffed with bacon, scrambled eggs, cheese, and avocado aioli or an order of beignets glazed with Clyde Mays 110 Proof Whiskey syrup provides plenty of fuel for a day of exploring.

After breakfast, make the three-minute walk to Big Spring International Walk for a mid-morning stroll. Warm up with a hot cup of tea at nearby Piper & Leaf located in Constitution Hall Park, a historical village from the 1800s featuring period artisans. If you need refuge from the winter winds, take another short walk to the Huntsville Museum of Art and tour its 14 galleries and traveling exhibits.

When happy hour rolls around, head back toward 106 Jefferson and pay a visit to their next-door neighbor Phat Sammy’s. There, you can ward off the winter blues by transporting yourself to an exotic island via their menu of Tiki cocktails and Polynesian-inspired eats.

Igloo reservations are open through the end of February. They start at $175 for a 1.5-hour session complete with a bottle of wine and pretzel charcuterie board. Reservation times are 4 p.m., 6 p.m., 8 p.m., and 10 p.m. and can be made through OpenTable

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