What we learned at the big Schorfheide: Life as a wolf is tough!
Photo:  Imago

BerlinWe have some ideas to keep your mind off the season to come

EXCURSION: The Schorfheides

For us it's always either the little Schorfheide or the big Schorfheide: two animal parks in proximity of the namesake nature preserve north of Berlin. The Wildpark Schorfheide (the big Schorfheide) is an expansive animal preserve with wooly pigs, bison and even a herd of wolves. Sure, plenty of kids but enough room that people without won't notice. So big you can get a decent walk in before coffee and/or pommes in the park cafe. The otters and moose are faves and the park has a shuttle that makes it reachable by public transport. Meanwhile at the little Schofheide, which is actually a wild-horse enclosure and petting zoo, wonder who's watching who as pigs and donkeys track your moves while you head out to the enclosure to learn about Przewalski's horses. THE BIG INFOTHE LITTLE INFO.

Photo: Stokx

CLOTHES: Looking good is always good

Australian Melinda Stokes has sold clothes for Berliner and Berlinerinnen under her Stokx lable since 1999. Sleek, and often with long lines and pockets – deep, usable pockets. For seemingly forever she was part of the grafitti, metal animal and indie film chaos of Haus Schwarzenberg at Hackesche Markt but she recently relocated nearby to a storefront at Steinstr. 26. As timeless as many of the designs seem, Stokx is as much about change as Berlin, whether it's new clothing niches, working to shift production to Germany's capital or her new emphasis on patterns along with the sewing renaissance. She also has a good eye for what will look good on you. THE INFO.

One cook, two founders (from left:Jean Vizmathy, Henrik Möller and Michael Hubert).
Photo: Sabine Gudath

 FOOD: Nordic meatballs (also vegan)

As a child in suburban Denver, Swedish meatballs sounded like the most unexotic exotic food. What made the meatballs Swedish? The answer: the cook. Möllers Köttbullar feels like a nice snackbar on Köpenicker Straße near Schlesisches Tor but the meatballs are restaurant-quality. The simple menu offers the Swedish national dish in three different sizes with either mashed potatoes and cucumber salad or parsley-sprinkled french fries. Vegan? They've got you covered too. Keep an eye on their opening times, they're more worker-friendly than Kreuzberg-friendly (which is fine). THE INFO.