New York is America’s most iconic city. It is best known for the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and Ground Zero. New York has a rich and lively night scene, as well as a unique culture. There are lots of things for you to do in New York, especially during winter. In fact, some would say that winter is the best time to visit New York, especially when it’s snowing.
In this article, we are going to explore 9 things that you can do when you’re visiting New York during winter:
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is one of New York’s most famous attractions. Visiting it is one of the most enjoyable things to do in NYC in December, especially if you’re a fan of all things Christmas-themed. Around the tree, there are lots of street vendors offering delicious snacks. There are also lots of other attractions nearby. If you’re in New York in the run-up to Christmas, then you could go and watch the tree being turned on. If you’re visiting New York with your partner, then it’s a place to go and spend time together.
New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve in Times Square is one of the best places to be when the clock strikes midnight. Tens of thousands of people converge on Times Square every year, to watch the clock count down and the ball drop. It’s a great place to be if you’re visiting with friends, family, your partner, or even by yourself. The Times Square ball drop is broadcasted internationally and watched by millions of people every single year. Like with the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, there are lots of street vendors in the area who sell snacks and food, so you won’t go hungry.
Ice-skating in New York’s Bryant Park is definitely something you’ll want to experience, especially if you’re a fan of Christmas-themed events. Every year, the park is transformed into a Winter Village, complete with a 17,000-square-foot ice-skating rink. In addition to an ice-skating rink, there are vendors, small restaurants, and even an observation deck. It’s a romantic place to take your partner or a very enjoyable place to take your friends and family. There’s nothing better than ice-skating in the most famous city in the world, surrounded by people laughing and having fun.
Visit Fifth Avenue
Fifth Avenue is one of the world’s most popular shopping destinations. During winter, the windows are decorated with intricate Christmas-themed designs. Inside the department stores, there are events, exhibitions, and lots of things to see. If you’re interested in doing some shopping when you’re in New York, then Fifth Avenue is somewhere you’ll want to go. Lots of tourists enjoy taking photographs outside the grandly designed shop windows. There are street vendors present, so you can enjoy the moment with a cup of cocoa, instead of having to go inside and sit down. You could also eat in one of the department store’s café’s or restaurants, viewing the street from above.
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year takes place in February. During Chinese New Year, the city comes alive with vibrant colors, fireworks, and street fairs. In Manhattan, the annual Firecracker Ceremony and the Chinese New Year Parade take place. They’re two events that you absolutely must-see if you’re in the city. There are also lots of world-famous and award-winning Chinese restaurants located in New York’s Chinatown, so be sure to visit them for the occasion. Chinese New Year is expected to be incredible next year after celebrations were interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic this year.
Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is a destination that’s visited by millions of tourists every year. At Christmas, it comes alive. From the building’s viewing platform, you can get panoramic views of New York City. Because of the pandemic, you may not be able to gain access to the building. Make sure that you do your research beforehand so that your trip isn’t interrupted. There’s nothing quite as depressing as looking forward to going somewhere, then after arriving finding out that you’re unable to because it is closed or not accepting visitors.
The Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty is world-famous and instantly recognizable. Lady Liberty was a gift from the French government, made to affirm the two nations’ eternal friendship. It is recognized globally as a sign of democracy, freedom, and equality. It is designed as a National Monument. You can visit the statue’s museum, pedestal, and the island that it’s housed on. In winter, you can get amazing views of the city and the Christmas lights from Liberty Island. If you want to visit one of the world’s most iconic destinations, then the Statue of Liberty should be at the top of your list.
Little Italy is another of New York’s most iconic destinations, known for its world-famous Italian-American cuisine and regular cultural events and fairs. There are lots of tours and things to do in Little Italy, but the best time to visit is during Christmas. Lights hang from every building, decorations adorn the façades of restaurants, and parades take place annually. There are lots of delicious restaurants where you can enjoy a meal or two while looking out at the snowy New York streets. Little Italy should be at the top of your list of places to visit, along with Chinatown.
Central Park at Christmas is one of New York’s most enjoyable experiences. Fairs, festivals, and events take place. Lights hang from lampposts and trees. If you’re interested in escaping from the bustle of the city, into an expansive and beautiful park complete with wildlife and flora, then Central Park is the place to visit. Once you’ve finished walking around the park, you could take a trip to one of the restaurants and hotels that surround it. Central Park is somewhere you have to visit if you’re in New York.
Related article: The 6 Best Parks and Outdoor Spaces in NYC
If you’re planning on visiting New York during winter, then this article should provide you with a long list of things to do and sights to see. All of the suggestions on this list are fun, enjoyable, and great to do alone or with a friend or partner.