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10 Of The Best Things To Do In New York During Winter

10 Of The Best Things To Do In New York During Winter


New York in winter is just like the Christmas movies would have you believe, meaning that there are always a ton of things to do. Even though the weather can be cold and wet, it’s said that this is easily one of the best times to visit NYC as you get to experience the magical holiday season the way only Ney York can give.

The Winter season (and December) in New York City means well-decorated Christmas trees, fabulous light displays, and fun-filled holiday markets. It also means ice skating under the twinkling sky, staring at glamorous window displays along Fifth Avenue, and ringing in the New Year along with millions of people from around the world on Times Square. So, if you’re looking to get all New York-y this season, here’re some things to do in the Big Apple.

Check out 10 exciting things you can do in New York this winter…

#1. Grab a gift at the holiday shops in Bryant Park 

Photo: Bryant Park

Winter is a great time to go shopping on the allées and terraces of Bryant Park. Here, you’ll be greeted with an open-air market tended to by artisans from around the world who showcase their incredible crafts, gifts, and delicacies. You can also spend time enjoying the festive decor that lines the streets. We bet you’ll surely find a ton of gifts for your loved ones right here. 

#2. Take a chill at the AIRE Ancient Baths

Photo: @aireancientbaths_us/Instagram

It’s no news that the holiday season comes with its own dose of stress. In between all the hustle, it’s important to be able to take some time out to unwind; whether alone or with loved ones. If you’re in for some TLC, then a visit to the AIRE Ancient Baths should be on your list.

AIRE is an oasis in the midst of the active NYC inspired by baths from ancient civilizations that promise an unmatched relaxation of mind and body. From the candle-lit ambiance to the multi-temperature baths, this will be a memorable getaway right in the city that never sleeps. This can also be a gift for someone who would better appreciate an experience as opposed to something wrapped. 

#3. Experience the lights at the LuminoCity Holiday Lights festival

Photo: LuminoCity Festival

Historic Eisenhower Park in Long Island welcomes you to an unbeatable festival of lights courtesy of LuminoCity. This spectacular sight will run through January 8 and features illuminated art installations with various themes including Wildlife Safari, Dinosaur Adventures, Magic Kingdom, Alice’s Enchantment, Winter Wonderland, HolidayLAND, and more. Plus, there are over 17 acres to explore so you can rest assured that neither the adults nor the kids will tire of what this place has to offer. 

#4. Go ice skating

Photo: @plazaevents/Instagram 

One way to enjoy the ice during winter is to go ice skating. There’re tons of ice skating rinks to choose from. The most iconic ice rink is at Rockefeller Center, although it’s expensive and sure gets crowded. However, if you are on a budget, then head on to Bryant Park where the ice skating is free if you bring your own skates. Other ice rinks can be found at Central Park (Wollman Rink), Brookfield Place (in Downtown Manhattan), and the Standard Hotel by the High Line.

#5. Do fashion on Fifth Avenue. New York in Winter.


It doesn’t matter if you are actually shopping or window shopping, Fifth Avenue is the place to be. With all the shops here, a walk down Fifth Avenue in December will surely make you feel the holiday spirit. Department stores always put on a big show to reveal their elaborately designed windows. Each storefront is beautifully decorated with stunning lights, garlands, and more.

#6. See the New Year in Times Square


You don’t have to be in New York to have heard about Times Square as it’s a constant spectacle. However, during the winter and most importantly in December, the place lights up. This contributes to the holiday magic while putting passersby in a festive mood. In addition, it’s the site for the world-famous New Year’s Eve ball drop with over 1 million people watching. As a result, this makes it one of the best free things to do in New York City during winter.

#7. Visit a frozen waterfall

Photo: @srf.florin/Instagram 

New York is said to be home to over 600 waterfalls with most people visiting these waterfalls in the summer. However, you are missing out on the beauty of these waterfalls if you are yet to see them in the winter. Seeing the falls frozen adds to their mystique and majesty. Furthermore, it will make you feel like you walked into a scene from Frozen. You can visit Niagara Falls, the Ice Volcano, Hector falls, Buttermilk falls, Salmon river falls, Watkins glen, Kaaterskill falls, Chittenango falls, and more.

#8. Go skiing. New York in Winter.

Photo: @whiteface_mt/Instagram 

The Big Apple has the most ski resorts in any state, offering high peaks, scenic trails, and fresh powder for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. Why not take advantage of this and go on a day skiing tour or a ski vacation? 

#9. Visit a museum

Photo: @amnh/Instagram 

For art lovers, what is winter in New York if the museum is not visited at least once? If you also love being indoors, then visiting museums should be at the top of your list. This is because it keeps you inside. NY definitely has plenty of museums with some of them being the best in the world. A few of the museums to visit are the Metropolitan Museum of Art or MOMA, the National September 11th Museum, the Tenament Museum, and the Brooklyn Museum.

#10. Marvel at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree

Photo: Rockefeller Center

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is a must-see! The tree, traditionally a Norway Spruce, is said to stand tall at 94 feet and is 56 feet wide. It is illuminated by 30,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights on five miles of wire and crowned by a Swarovski crystal star. Visiting the tree at the Rockefeller Centre is an annual New York Christmas tradition that started in the 1930s. It is undoubtedly something to gawk at. Tens of thousands gather to watch the tree-lighting ceremony which is also broadcast live across the globe.

This tree-lighting ceremony usually takes place on the first Wednesday after Thanksgiving. For 2022, it happened on November 30. After January 11th, the tree will be donated to Habitat For Humanity.  

Featured image: @luminocityfestival/Instagram 

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