It may be very tempting to hide indoors and watch movies all day to escape the cold weather this winter, but this is the best time of year to get outside and enjoy all the fun activities New York City has to offer. Below, I’ve curated my favorite things to do in New York City winters that I know you’ll love too!
- Central Park
Bundle up and head to Central Park this winter for some beautifully scenic views and lots of activities.
Both Wollman Rink (830 5th Ave, New York, NY 10065) and Lasker Rink (110 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10065) offer lockers and skate rentals.
Open all year-round, the Central Park Zoo is fun for everyone, just keep in mind the zoo closes at 4:30 pm.
Even if these activities don’t sound fun to you, Central Park is a great place to go sledding, build a snowman, go for a walk for some fresh air, or simply just to take in some of its beautiful views this winter.
- Ice skating at Rockefeller Center
General admission skating runs on a first come, first serve basis. If you’re planning on visiting during November – January, be prepared to wait on line as this is the most popular season. However, it will definitely be worth the wait!
- Rockefeller Center tree lighting
If you don’t mind waiting in the crowd, the tree at Rockefeller Center will light up on December 4th this year. It’s free admission, but prepare to arrive early. Every year, thousands of people attend, so arriving early is necessary to have a view of the tree. If waiting in the crowd isn’t for you, you can always watch it on TV.
- Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
With more than 170 shops, the Winter Village at Bryant Park is one of the best places to find gifts for your friends and family for the holidays. Admission to the ice skating rink is free, however, there is a cost for skate rentals which varies depending on which day you visit. The lodge also features indoor eateries and restaurants so you can warm up from the cold.
- Hot chocolate
Luckily for you, no matter where you are in the city, hot chocolate is near. If you want to treat yourself to a hot chocolate, here are some of my favorite places:
– Domonique Ansel Bakery (SoHo)
– Maman (SoHo, Tribeca, Hudson, Meatpacking, Nomad, and Green Point)
– Amys bread (Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea Market, Henry St Brooklyn, Clark Street Brooklyn)
– Ladurée (Madison)
– Blue Stripes (Greenwich Village)
– Max Brenner (Union Square)
- Restaurant Week
This winter, New York City Restaurant Week will be from January 21 – Februrary 9. During Restaurant Week, participating restaurants offer affordable meals for lunch and dinner. This is a great time to go out and try new restaurants or revisit your favorites!
If being outside in the winter doesn’t sound exciting to you, visit a museum when you need a day to escape the cold. No matter what you are interested in, there are countless museums all over New York and you’re bound to find at least one you like. Here are a few idea to get you started:
– The Metropolitan Museum of Art
– Museum of Modern Art
– Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
– Whitney Museum of American Art
– American Museum of Natural History
– 9/11 Memorial
– New York Historical Society
Especially during the holidays, shopping areas in New York City are in full swing. Even if you’re just window shopping, some of the most popular shopping areas you should be sure to hit this year are SoHo, Meatpacking District, 5th Avenue, Shops at Columbus Square, Chelsea Market, Bryant Park Holiday Market, and Union Square Holiday Market.
Indoors or out, make the most of this winter by exploring all New York City has to offer.