The darkness and cold have descended.

Wouldn’t it be nice to collect and arrange your weary bones next to a life-giving fire? To dine by, drink by, read by, mingle by? It was all the rage with our ancestors. Let’s carry on the fine tradition.

A 2014 study by biological anthropologist Christopher Lynn found a link between a burning fire in the hearth and a compelling reduction in blood pressure. Researchers asked 226 adults to watch a video of a fireplace and took their blood pressure before and after watching the video. The fire watchers were also asked to take notes on their experience of the fire.

Those who watched the fire with sound had an average 5 percent decrease in blood pressure. The longer they watched, the more chill they became. Those who watched the fire with no sound and who viewed an upside-down photo of a fire saw their blood pressure increase.

“The importance of fire in human evolutionary history is widely acknowledged, but the extent not fully explored,” Lynn wrote in his report. “Fires involve flickering light, crackling sounds, warmth and a distinctive smell. For early humans, fire likely extended the day, provided heat, helped with hunting, warded off predators and insects, illuminated dark places and facilitated cooking. Findings confirm that hearth and campfires induce relaxation as part of a multisensory, absorptive and social experience.”

So the next time a few lit candles aren’t doing the trick, head to this sampling of locations with fireplaces, both indoors and outdoors. Have a drink, read a book, bring a friend. Sit for a spell. Allow the warmth to seep deeply inside and tide you over until spring.

Stay cozy inside:

• Coquette’s Bistro & Bakery, 616 S. Tejon St., 685-2420,

• Cowboy Star Restaurant and Butcher Shop, 5198 N. Nevada Ave., No. 150, 639-7440,

• Dale Street Cafe, 115 E. Dale St., 578-9898,

• Edelweiss German Restaurant, 34 E. Ramona Ave., 633-2220,

• Einstein Bros. Bagels, 1706 E. Woodmen Road, 265-8610; 32 N. Tejon St., 445-4795;

• Fargo’s Pizza, 2910 E. Platte Ave., 473-5540,

• Garden of the Gods Market and Cafe, 410 S. 26th St., 471-2799,

• Hatch Cover Bar & Grill, 252 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd., 576-5223,

• Kairos Coffee House, 505 Popes Bluff Trail, 226-5150,

• The Loop, 965 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-9344,

• Mason Jar, 2925 W. Colorado Ave., 632-4820,

• The Mining Exchange A Wyndham Grand Hotel & Spa, 8 S. Nevada Ave., 323-2000,

• Rudy’s Little Hideaway, 945 S. 8th St., 632-9527,

• Señor Manuel, 4660 N. Nevada Ave., 598-3033,

• Stagecoach Inn Restaurant and Tavern, 702 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-9114,

• Upstairs Wine Bar, 2417 W. Colorado Ave., 471-4209,

Inside and outside fire gazing:

• The Broadmoor, 1 Lake Ave., 623-5112,

• Cheyenne Mountain Resort, 3225 Broadmoor Valley Road, 538-4000,

• The Cliff House at Pikes Peak, 306 Cañon Ave, Manitou Springs, 785-1000,

• Colorado Mountain Brewery, 600 S. 21st St., Suite 180, 466-8240,

• FH Beerworks East, 2490 Victor Place, 666-7214

• Iron Bird Brewing, 402 S. Nevada Ave., 424-7002,

• Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, 7605 N. Academy Blvd., 445-5851,

• Pikes Peak Brewing Company, 1756 Lake Woodmoor Drive, Monument, 208-4098,

• Prime 25, 1605 S. Tejon St., 358-9822,

Brave it outside.

• Phantom Canyon Brewing Co., 2 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 635-2800,

• Red Martini, 26 N. Tejon St., 227-1001,

How about while you shop?

• Bass Pro Shops, 13012 Bass Pro Drive, 488-7300,

Or visit a library?

• Woodland Park Library, 218 E. Midland Ave., Woodland Park, 687-9281,

• Ute Pass Library, 8010 Severy Road, Cascade, 684-9342,

• Sand Creek Library, 1821 S. Academy Blvd., 597-7070,

Contact the writer: 636-0270

Contact the writer: 636-0270

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