New York is an amazing place to be during the winter. Nothing quite compares when it comes to NYC – with the white lights, blanket of snow, and beautiful winter displays, it is truly a great place to make holiday memories. I have compiled a list of my favorite holiday and winter attractions that are worth bearing the cold for!
- Ice Skating at Rockefeller Center
This is one of the most iconic holiday attractions in NY! They only allow about 150 people to skate around the massive rink at once so you have enough space to take in the beautiful decorations, with the gigantic Rockefeller Christmas tree as the centerpiece. A ticket will cost you $25-35, depending on how close to Christmas that you go, but it is definitely a magical experience. Pro tip: this skating rink is typically the least crowded on early mornings, or on weekdays!
- Dyker Heights Holiday Lights
The people of Dyker Heights, Brooklyn take holiday decorating to the next level. This is a tradition that has been going on for many years, and now you get the chance to go on a tour of this neighborhood that was founded and is operated by the local residents themselves! The tour is a roundtrip to Midtown, Manhattan, which makes it very convenient if you’re staying in the city. You’ll get to take a stroll around Dyker Heights and learn about the history of their decorating, and you’ll also get to see some of the famous holiday attractions Manhattan has to offer, like the famous Rockefeller Christmas tree that I previously mentioned, and the Bryant Park Winter Village. This will cost you around $65, but if you live in NY, or the tour bus isn’t your speed, take a drive to Dyker Heights and experience all the lights and over-the-top decorations yourself like I do!
- Window Shop on Fifth Avenue
Every store on Fifth Avenue competes with each other to have the best winter display. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s a lot of fun looking at all the over-the-top decorations.
- Hit up Smorgasburg Winter Market in Brooklyn
Head to Smorgasburg if you want to experience some of the more hip and trendy restaurants from all over the five boroughs! Some of their most popular foods include the ramen burger from Ramen Burger, and pizza cupcakes from Pizza Cupcakes. They also have a ton of vegan and gluten-free options as well. The winter Smorgasburg is held in Industry City and is joined with the Brooklyn Flea, so while you’re enjoying your food you can scope out both used and new items from various different stands! Find out more about Brooklyn Flea + Smorgasburg Winter Market here.
- Koneko Cat Cafe
The Koneko Cat Cafe is a really unique spot on the Lower East Side. The Japanese cafe offers all your classic cafe options, like trendy lattes and pastries, but they also have lots of Japanese food like homemade pocky sticks, house-made udon, and matcha crack pie! But the best part about this cafe? While you’re nibbling on your Japanese treats, you can play with cats! For $20, you can play with and pet 20 adoptable kittens and cats that were rescued from kill shelters in New York. You and the cats are free to roam in three sections: the upper level, an outdoor “cat-io,” and the lower level. This is a perfect way to escape the cold and cuddle up with an adorable kitty!
New York is an amazing place to be during the wintertime. Despite the cold weather, there are loads of things to do both indoors and outdoors during this season!