15 Fantastic Things to Do in New York in Winter

by | Oct 27, 2022 | Destinations, Travel Bucket Lists, USA

The Big Apple offers an exquisite scene during winter. As the snow falls, New York is gleaming with Christmas lights, decorations, and warm fireplaces from its splendid bars and restaurants. Besides that, prices drop during winter. So, you can enjoy a wonderful land of snow and city lights while paying lower prices in winter. Furthermore, there are lots of things to do in New York in winter! We have compiled 15 awesome things to do in New York for your fantastic winter trip.

Best Things to Do in New York in Winter

  1. Go Ice Skating in Bryant Park
  2. See the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights
  3. Head to the Union Square Holiday 
  4. See Holiday Displays on Fifth Avenue
  5. Stroll in Central Park
  6. Explore the City’s Museums
  7. Check Out Rockefeller Christmas Tree
  8. Wander Around Grand Central Station
  9. Enjoy Seasonal Cocktails in Bars
  10. Grab a Cup of Hot Chocolate in NY’s Legendary Bakeries
  11. Hunt for Some Food in Chelsea Market
  12. Watch a Broadway Show
  13. Book a Seat for Winter Jazz Festival
  14. See Cultural Festivals
  15. Go Skiing

Go Ice Skating in Bryant Park Winter Village

new york in winter bryant park

Have you ever imagined going ice skating in a vast ice rink surrounded by skyscrapers? Then, make your dream come true by visiting Bryant Park. Every winter, the city park transforms into a winter wonderland named “Bryant Park Winter Village.” It offers a series of green-tinted Christmas stalls, warm cafes, heated bars, and a 17,000-square-foot ice rink.

Moreover, the skating rink in Bryant Park is free of charge. No wonder the ice skating rink is so popular among New Yorkers and other visitors. Besides that, you can also grab a sizzling cocktail or warm soup in the Lodge, an ice skating rink-side cafe while enjoying the wonderful winter scenery.

Head to Union Square Holiday 

union square holiday new york in winter

One of the best things to do in New York in winter is going to Christmas markets. So, here is another Christmas market! Union Square Holiday offers wonderful stalls and exciting shops. You can find various things, from ceramic souvenirs to lovely Christmas ornaments. Besides that, Union Square Holiday is home to award-winning restaurants. Additionally, at night, the market is twinkling with beautiful Christmas lights. So, you can both explore and enjoy a picturesque scene in the market. 

This year, Union Square Holiday is from November 17th to December 24th, 2022. 

See Dyker Heights Christmas Lights

This Brooklyn neighborhood turns into a sea of lights during winter. Dyker Heights comes out feisty every December, as the residents decorate their porches and houses with Christmas lights. Thus, you can find lovely lighted structures all over the area. You can find homes turning into Santa’s house, life-sized nutcrackers, shiny snowmen, and many more. Furthermore, Dyker Heights Christmas Lights are very popular among tourists. So, you can join some group walking tours if you want some company on your trip to this New York iconic spot. 

See Holiday Displays on Saks Fifth Avenue

new york in winter visiting saks fifth avenue

Strolling around Fifth Avenue is a great idea for everyone who loves fashion and shopping. However, in winter, the luxurious avenue offers charming scenery for everyone. Fifth Avenue, especially the Saks area, is decorated with colorful life-size structures and twinkling Christmas lights. Store-front features curated fashion items that fit the holiday theme, along with gorgeous lights and decorations. Besides that, you can also witness stunning light shows around the area. 

Stroll in Central Park

central park winter

New York’s iconic park offers an ethereal scene as the snow is falling. You can see that pure-white snow covers everything in the park, from blackened tree trunks to park benches. Thus, warm yellow lights twinkle all over the huge park during the evening, emphasizing a romantic atmosphere. Besides the lovely scenery, Central Park is the perfect place to build a snowman or go sledding due to its vast area. At the end of your visit, you can grab a cup of hot chocolate to melt the cold away. 

Explore the City’s Museum

new york in winter museum visits

Learn something new this winter by visiting New York’s museums. First of all, you may know that New York has tons of world-class museums. So, it is definitely worth visiting! Besides that, strolling around the heated museum is a great way to escape the snow. Furthermore, you can expect a less-crowded museum during this season. Some of the museums you can visit in New York are the Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Modern Arts, the Museum of Street Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

Check Out the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

You might have seen this giant Christmas tree everywhere, from TV to Youtube vlogs. However, you can see the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree with your own eyes starting in mid-November. The Christmas tree is around 75-foot tall, looking gigantic in midst of bustling New York City. Thus, it is decorated with thousands of multicolored lights, twinkling between the Big Apple’s bright city lights. So, make sure to see this stunning Christmas tree if you are visiting New York City in winter. 

Wander Around Grand Central Station

Marvel at NYC’s legendary station’s exterior in winter. It is gleaming with warm, yellow lights amidst the snowy landscape. Furthermore, the interior is great for exploring as well as escaping the cold. You can see the main hall, which is tinted in gold and decorated with constellation paintings on its ceiling. Also, make sure to see the station’s hidden gems, like the Whispering Gallery

Enjoy Seasonal Cocktails in Bars

seasonal cocktails and rooftop bars

Having some sizzling cocktails in the freezing season can be a great idea. Thus, there are lots of bars that offer winter special cocktails in New York City. You can get some spices-infused or chai-inspired cocktails in both regular and rooftop bars. Moreover, if you are seeking a panoramic view of New York’s skyscrapers, you can head to rooftop bars. Then, you enjoy the snowy Big Apple with twinkling city lights while sipping winter-special cocktails that will warm you up. Some of the best bars in New York City are Panorama Room, Daintree, Watermark Winter Wonderland, and Ophelia Longue.

Grab a Cup of Hot Chocolate in NY’s Legendary Bakeries

new york in winter drink hot chocolate

A cup of hot chocolate and superb pastry for a freezing day in New York sounds awesome, right? Then, you must stop by some of the legendary bakeries in New York. Usually, they offer specialty hot chocolate and heartful treats that will melt down the cold. One of the best bakeries you can try is Dominique Ansel Bakery, which offers blooming marshmallow hot chocolate and sweet cronut. Also, you can grab a cup of hot Valrhona chocolate at Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery. 

Hunt for Some Food in Chelsea Market

chelsea market food

Make sure to try some warm and delicious seasonal dishes in Chelsea Market. So, Chelsea Market is the biggest food and retail market in New York City. Also, it is the birthplace of Oreo cookies. For that reason, feel free to expect much from Chelsea Market! You can find lots of mouth-watering cuisines in the market, from tasty bite-sized chocolates to luscious lobster. Moreover, before getting around, you can see the market’s directory on a wooden pop-up wall at the front. 

Getting some warm food from buffets or restaurants is a great idea to shake away the cold. 

Watch a Broadway Show

new york in winter broadway

Looking for entertainment in the Big Apple? Then, you must see a Broadway Show. The cheerful dance, catchy songs, and impressive acting will give you an unforgettable yet iconic experience. You can also find some holiday special shows like Christmas Spectacular or a remake of Disney’s Frozen. Besides that, the heated theaters on Broadway can help you to shake the cold off. 

Book a Seat for Winter Jazz Fest

new york in winter jazz

This one is for jazz lovers! If you are looking for the greatest things to do in New York in winter, you must see Winter Jazz Fest. The festival happens annually and features around 700 musicians from all across the globe. In 2023, Winter Jazz Fest starts on January 12th. Besides enjoying impressive performances, you can also attend some discussions or seminars that are happening in the same week as the jazz event. 

See Cultural Festivals

new york in winter cultural fests

Visiting New York in the winter allows you to see how diverse and vibrant the city is. Thus, there are several cultural events in New York starting from early December to mid-March. So, it is an amazing way to learn and indulge in new cultures. In February, you can see the festive Chinese New Year Festival, with outstanding dragon dances and traditional parades. Other than that, you can also see St. Patrick’s Day Festival in March. In the event, you can expect New York turns into a magnificent sea of green. 

Go Skiing

go skiing new york in winter

Are you up for some outdoor activities? Then, escape the metropolitan city and head to New York’s slopes. There are a bunch of spacious and exciting valleys and ski resorts for you to try. The ski spots are perfect for everyone, from beginners to pros. So, if you are a first-timer, make sure to give skiing in New York a shot! Furthermore, they are not too far from the city center, making it an ideal short escape. Thus, some of the best ski spots in New York are Gore Mountain, Windham Mountain, and Bristol Mountain. 

There are so many things to do in New York in winter. Which one do you like the most? Then, are you ready to explore the Big Apple in winter?

If the answer is yes, we have some good news for you! JoinMyTrip allows you to join amazing trips that are led by awesome TripLeaders. Furthermore, you can also meet like-minded strangers that will be your exciting TripMates. Yes, you can meet new travel buddies and go on safe and exciting trips worldwide. How cool is that? So, without further ado, book your trip now!

Welcome to JoinMyTrip

At JoinMyTrip, we bring together travelers from around the world.

Find your next small group travel adventure to unique destinations with JoinMyTrip.

subscribe now and get a €20 discount