While we full embrace the approaching holiday season in New York City, we can’t help but look ahead and think about the fresh blankets of snow arriving in the coming months! And while it’s easy to hibernate and hide out in our apartments during this season, there’s still plenty of things to do!
From rooftop iceskating with breathtaking views of the city to the best places to experience igloo dining, here’s our list of the top things to experience this winter in NYC.
1. Strap on your skates at one of these must-visit ice rinks
Put your ice skating skills to the test at one of NYC’s many ice rinks. From a Brooklyn rooftop rink with stunning views of the Manhattan skyline to Bryant Park, New York City’s only ice skating rink with free admission, there’s no shortage of places to bundle up and put your blade to the ice. Here are some of our favs:
2. Warm up with some tasty hot cocoa from one of our favorite NYC spots
If you’re thinking hot chocolate is the same everywhere, let NYC prove you wrong. Whether you opt for hot chocolate in the form of fluffy mousse, hot chocolate topped with a marshmallow flower, or red velvet hot chocolate, the choices are endless, and they’re all equally as tasty. Allow a sweet cup of hot chocolate from one of our favorite spots to warm you up all winter long.
3. Ride bumper cars on ice
Bryant Park Winter Village’s annual Bumper Cars on Ice has returned for the winter, and you can hop in them today! From now until March 2, you can slide, spin, and bump on The Rink to your heart’s content! Learn more about the bumper cars and reserve your time slot here!
4. Go on a celestial walk through Astra Lumina
Enjoy an enchanting walk this winter through Astra Lumina, an immersive celestial pathway of lustrous light, cosmic visions, and astral song! The experience at Queens Botanical Garden is full of light installations, projection, and sound that will see you connecting with the stars above. Don’t forget to snap photos and enjoy heavenly cocktails along the way! Learn more about Astra Lumina here.
5. Cozy up while dining in igloos across NYC
Dining in igloos seems to have become an NYC winter staple post March 2020, so why not try one yourself to enjoy a new dining experience? From Lower Manhattan to the Upper West Side, there’s no shortage of igloos to cozy up into. We created a list of some of our favs, three of them being:
6. Grab a drink at one of NYC’s winter wonderland rooftops
Walking in a winter wonderland doesn’t apply to just frolicking around on a cold, snowy day. It can also mean hanging out at one of the many NYC rooftop bars that turn into winter wonderlands in the colder months! Here’s our full list of our top favorite spots.
7. Feast on dinner deals during NYC Restaurant Week
From January 16 to February 4, hundreds of New York City restaurants are invited diners to try their food with special menus and deals! From Monday-Friday, 540+ restaurants across all five boroughs are offering deals during meal periods of their choosing for low prices of $30, $45, and $60! Check out our favorite Restaurant Week deals here, and learn more about the program here.
8. Embark on an astrological cocktail experience at MoonRise
Calling all astrology lovers this winter! MoonRise: A Nouveau Circus Immersive Performance is officially here in NYC, and now you can be mesmerized by a captivating show of circus-based acts and astrological cocktails! This interactive multi-sensory experience will have you in awe all night long…sipping ethereal drinks while aerialists fly over your head! Learn more about it here.
9. Explore Central Park in winter
Central Park is one of the most stunning parts of our great city, and it is even moreso in the winter! Painted with beautiful blankets of white snow, there’s so much fun to be had across the park. Check out some of Central Park’s most fun happenings this winter:
- Wollman Rink Ice Skating – open through March 12, 2024
- Winter Jam – TBA (usually February)
- Holiday Lighting – November 30
- Horse carriage tours
- Guided tours
Light snowfall can turn a casual outdoor stroll into “walking in a winter wonderland” in no time, and even if it’s not snowy, don’t let the cold change your mind! There are tons of perfect spots for winter hikes within NYC (or very close) that will help you escape cabin fever in your apartment and enjoy nature. Find all our favorite hikes here.
11. Catch a Broadway show
Escape the frigid temperatures at one of NYC’s Broadway productions this winter! All of Midtown’s theaters will be chalk full of shows for you to enjoy…ranging from The Lion King to Harry Potter to Wicked! Check out a list of all the Broadway shows happening here.
Enjoy enchanting candlelit performances inside breathtaking NYC venues while hiding from the cold this winter. Each concert makes for a stunning evening where you can simply sit back and savor the stunning music you’ll hear. See all events here.
What’s cozier than watching snow covered hills roll by, as you chugga chugga-long on a picturesque train ride? Take in gorgeous views of winter scenery while staying warm and cozy on one of our favorite winter train rides, including:
- The Adirondack
- Empire Service
- Ethan Allen Express
The rest can be found here.
14. Cozy into a restaurant with a fireplace
Nothing feels cozier than a warm cocktail by the fireplace. In NYC, these restaurants take it literally…creating a snug ambience that makes it feel like your living room. Check out some of our favorites below and see the full list here:
- Union Hall, Park Slope
- The Hideout at Gallow Green, Chelsea
- The Lobby Bar at Ludlow Hotel, Lower East Side
The Trust for Governors Island’s winter programming is here all winter long! This year’s cold weather activities include winter dog days, fire pits, the third annual Governors Island Ice Sculpture Show, and more special events to be announced throughout the season. Learn more here.
For those looking to detox from all of the seasonal stress and start the new year out on the right foot, head over to The William Vale’s Winter Spa for a revitalizing experience that’ll feel like hitting the reset button. Featuring red cedar saunas with panoramic views of the city, the Scandinavian-inspired al-fresco spa is the ultimate self care experience. Learn more here.
17. Escape the city with a winter getaway
Everyone needs a little break from the city, and in the winter it can be the perfect place to unwind with some outdoor sports, cabin lodging, and more! Check out some of our favorite spots below and see our full list of best winter getaways here:
- Lake Placid, NY
- Hunter, NY
- Pocono Mountains, PA
18. Celebrate the Lunar New Year
2024 is officially the Year of the Dragon, and New York City is going out all out to celebrate the Lunar New Year! From the annual parade to special food and drink deals, there’s so many ways to commemorate the holiday! Check out the best things to do for Lunar New Year here.
19. Experience the beauty of nature in the winter at Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Even though it may be winter the Brooklyn Botanic Garden still has a ton to do, like viewing their evergreens and winter berries, smelling the citrus scent of witch-hazels, a ribbon-like flower that blooms in the winter, or keeping an eye out for the pair of hawks who have been nesting in one of the garden’s pines for several years. Plus, they offer pay-as-you-wish weekday admission from December through Februrary! Learn more here.
20. Score 2-for-1 tickets during Broadway Week
Score 2-for-1 tickets to the hottest Broadway shows this winter during this special promo period called Broadway Week! From now through February 4, you can grab tickets to the most sought after shows like The Lion King, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Wicked, and so many more! Learn more about how to get discounted tickets here.
21. Spend a day at one of NYC’s museums
Wintertime means indoor activities, and New York City has many top-tier museums that are worth your visit! Full of the best exhibitions there is to offer, you can spend hours in one of them admiring art, taking workshops, and even having a little date night (we’re looking at you, The Met). Check out our favorite museums here and plan a visit today!
Enter into the iconic NYC sitcom like never before at ‘The FRIENDS Experience.’ Snap your photo on the iconic orange couch and order a coffee from everyone’s favorite Central Perk! There’s tons of exciting set recreations, costumes, and props to make you feel like you’re part of the show. Get your tickets here.
Backed by psychologists as an ‘amplified’ way to enjoy food, this ‘Dining In The Dark’ experience is a night to try something you’ve likely never done before–eat a meal while blindfolded! Studies show that 80% of people eat with their eyes, so with that sense eliminated, the theory is that your other senses (namely, taste and smell) take over to elevate your meal to a whole new level!
🍽️ Grab your tickets to this one-of-a-kind experience here.
24. Slurp on one of NYC’s best bowls of ramen
When hot chocolate can’t cut it on a cold winter day, ramen is our next favorite thing. There’s a ton of delicious ramen spots scattered across NYC, but some of our top picks include:
- HinoMaru, Astoria
- Chuko, Prospect Heights
- Momosan Ramen & Saki, Murray Hill
- Ippudo, East Village
It’s that time of year where we all could use a little pick me up…so why not make it a little more fun? Rally up some drinking buddies and discover NYC’s coziest hot cocktails that are all a must-try this chilly season. Find some of our favorites here.
26. Meet your favorite NY Rangers player
Calling all New York Rangers fans! This winter you can meet and greet your favorite players at Midtown’s go-to NY Rangers fan headquarters, Mustang Harry’s. These ticketed events offer the chance to meet and greet the player, as well as receive their own special autographed puck or player picture signed onsite. Check out the dates below and grab tickets here:
- Tues. Jan. 9th (7-9pm) NY Rangers Right Winger Kaapo Kakko
- Fri. Feb. 16th (7-9pm) NY Rangers Left Winger Will Cuylle
- Thurs. Feb. 29th (7-9pm) NY Rangers Center Vincent Trocheck
- Wed. March 6th (7-9pm) NY Rangers Defenseman Braden Schneider
27. Relax and unwind at an NYC spa
Treat yourself to a relaxing spa day to unwind from the winter chill! Many spas in the city offer special winter treatments like saunas, facials, massages, and so much more. It’s the best way to get that R&R to get you over the winter hump. Check out the best NYC spas here and plan your visit today!
28. Step into NYC’s newest museum Mercer Labs
A brand new and immersive museum has landed in NYC, located in the old Century 21 downtown! Mercer Labs is the brain of artist Roy Nachum (worked with Rihanna, Ariana Grande, + more) and Creator of Luxury Experiences Michael Cayre (Casa Cipriani), and together they’ve made one megalithic installation made up of 15 installations, spanning 36,000 square feet. It will tantalize all of your senses like never before.
29. Cozy into an NYC jazz club
If you’re going to tuck yourself away indoors this winter, you may as well do it to the beat of live music! NYC’s historic jazz club venues are an integral part of the city’s bustling music scene, and make for the perfect night out! Cheers to a night of saxaphones and a little toe tapping! Check out the best jazz clubs in NYC here.
30. Discover your new go-to winter date spot
Escape from the cold for a couple of hours with a cozy, dimly-light, romantic date night. Warm up with a glass of red wine or a hot toddy and feast on the most delicious meals. Unsure of where to go? Here are some of our favorite spots:
See our full list here.