New York is magical in winter, especially with twinkling holiday lights and a hot chocolate in hand. Even outside the holiday season, cold weather does nothing to slow down the breakneck-pace of New York City, whose arsenal of offerings remains as impressive as ever. See below for our tips on visiting the Big Apple in winter.
During New York winters, it’s not uncommon for temperatures to dip below freezing, so dress appropriately and wrap up. Don a warm winter coat, accessories (hat, scarf, and gloves) to cover up any exposed extremities, and cozy wool socks. A good pair of weatherproof boots is also a must; NYC’s sidewalks are a breeding ground for icy slush puddles.
Get in the Festive Spirit
New York sparkles during the festive season. From the dressed-up store windows of Fifth Avenue to Rockefeller Center’s giant Christmas tree to the Rockettes’ Radio City Christmas Spectacular, there are a lot of holiday spectacles to admire—Christmas lights tours ensure you see the best of them. On New Year’s Eve, get into party mode: wait for the ball to drop in Times Square, celebrate with a New Year’s Eve dinner and fireworks cruise, or indulge in a New Year’s Day brunch with bottomless mimosas.
Try Winter Sports
Sports may not be the first thing you associate with New York winters, but the city and surrounding area offer plenty of opportunities to get active. Go ice-skating at Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park’s Manhattan Winter Village, or Central Park’s Wollman Rink. You can also take a day trip from NYC to the Catskills, where you can snowboard or ski and be back in time for dinner.
Take Advantage of the Low Season
Good news for visitors who brave the cold winter temperatures between mid-January and March: you’ll find New York about as “quiet” as it gets. At this time of the year, you’ll have an easier time nabbing those difficult-to-get tickets for Broadway shows and in-demand restaurant reservations, and there’ll be more elbow room while you explore NYC’s galleries and museums.