Things to Do in NYC in the Winter

winter in nyc

When it comes to visiting New York City, most people envision exploring the bustling streets and iconic landmarks under the warm glow of the sun. However, there is a certain charm and allure to NYC during the winter season that should not be overlooked. In fact, NYC transforms into a magical winter wonderland, offering a unique set of experiences for both locals and tourists. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the best things to do in NYC in winter, ensuring you have an unforgettable experience in the city that never sleeps.

Things to Do in NYC in the Winter

  1. Embrace the Winter Charm
  2. Take a Winter Walk
  3. Explore the Holiday Markets
  4. Marvel at the Spectacular Lights
  5. Enjoy a Broadway Show
  6. Warm up with Jazz
  7. Explore Art and Culture
  8. Witness Spectacular Views
  9. Discovering Winter Rooftop Bars
  10. Witnessing Times Square’s New Year’s Eve Ball Drop


Winter season in New York City typically spans from December to February when the city is adorned with holiday lights, decorations, and a festive spirit. Though winter is the cheapest season to visit New York City, it’s worth noting that major events like New Year’s Eve and Fashion Week can still drive up prices during specific dates within the winter season. Take a glimpse at a few of the activities to enjoy in NYC during the winter season.

Embrace the Winter Charm

One of the quintessential winter activities in NYC is ice skating in Central Park. Lace up your skates and glide across the ice at the Wollman Rink or the Lasker Rink, both located within the park. The picturesque surroundings and the stunning views of the Manhattan skyline make this experience truly magical.

Take a Winter Walk

A couple enjoying a lovely winter stroll while on PhotoTrek Tours. Image by PhotoTrek Tours.
A couple enjoying a lovely winter stroll while on PhotoTrek Tours. Image by PhotoTrek Tours.

Experience the magic of winter in NYC like never before with PhotoTrek Tours exclusive private tours, tailored to your preferences. With PhotoTrek Tours, you have the opportunity to explore these sights at your own pace and capture breathtaking photos without the crowds.

Our knowledgeable tour guide will not only showcase the popular landmarks but also reveal hidden gems, such as cozy cafes, charming winter markets, and off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods, adding a touch of local flavor to your adventure.

Read more: Fun and Romantic Date Ideas in NYC

Explore the Holiday Markets

Winter holiday markets in NYC are a beloved tradition that offer an array of festive delights, unique gifts, and delicious treats. Located in Union Square Park, the Union Square Holiday Market comes alive with festive cheer. Stroll through the charming wooden stalls, adorned with twinkling lights, and discover unique gifts, artisanal crafts, and delicious treats. This market is the perfect place to find one-of-a-kind treasures while immersing yourself in the holiday spirit.

Another recommendations would be Bryant Park Winter Village that transforms the park into a magical wonderland. The market showcases numerous vendors selling crafts, clothing, accessories, and gourmet food items. Visitors can also enjoy ice skating on the park’s ice rink, indulge in sweet and savory treats, and soak in the festive spirit.

While not exclusively a holiday market, Chelsea Market is a year-round food and shopping destination that embraces the holiday spirit during the winter season. The market is adorned with festive decorations, and its diverse range of vendors offer a variety of culinary delights, specialty items, and unique gifts.

Marvel at the Spectacular Lights

Take a trip to Brooklyn’s Dyker Heights neighborhood and witness a dazzling display of Christmas lights. Every year, the residents go all out, adorning their homes with extravagant decorations, creating a mesmerizing spectacle that attracts visitors from all over. This enchanting neighborhood is truly a sight to behold during the winter season.

Read more: Top Things To Do When Visiting NYC

Enjoy a Broadway Show

Escape the cold and immerse yourself in the magic of Broadway by catching a show at the historic Winter Garden Theatre. From classic musicals to thought-provoking dramas, there is a wide range of performances to choose from. Experience the world-renowned talent and captivating storytelling that Broadway has to offer.

Warm up with Jazz

Cozy up with some soulful jazz music at the legendary Village Vanguard. This historic jazz club has been a hub for musical talents since 1935. Enjoy the intimate setting, the smooth tunes, and the warm ambiance as you sip on your favorite drink. The Village Vanguard is the perfect place to unwind and appreciate the art of jazz.

Explore Art and Culture

christmas market in nyc
Christmas in NYC. Image by PhotoTrek Tours.

Expand your artistic horizons by visiting the renowned Metropolitan Museum of Art. With a vast collection spanning over 5,000 years, this iconic institution is a treasure trove of artistic masterpieces. From ancient artifacts to contemporary works, there’s something to captivate every art enthusiast.

Witness Spectacular Views

Lovely family photoshoot at Rockefeller Center during winter. Image by PhotoTrek Tours.
Lovely family photoshoot at Rockefeller Center during winter. Image by PhotoTrek Tours.

For panoramic views of the city’s skyline, head to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck. Ascend to the top of the Rockefeller Center and marvel at the breathtaking vistas that stretch across Manhattan and beyond. The observation deck is particularly enchanting during the winter months, as the city lights twinkle against the snowy backdrop.

Read more: 15+ Best Spots To View NYC Skyline

Discovering Winter Rooftop Bars

Rooftop bars offer unparalleled views of the cityscape, allowing you to marvel at the glittering skyline, iconic landmarks, and even snow-covered streets. The winter backdrop adds an extra layer of charm and beauty to the scenery, creating a memorable experience. Compared to the busy summer months, winter rooftop bars tend to have fewer crowds. This means you can often enjoy a more relaxed and intimate atmosphere, have easier access to seating, while enjoying the vibrant energy of the city.

Witnessing Times Square’s New Year’s Eve Ball Drop

Witnessing Times Square’s New Year’s Eve Ball Drop can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many people. If you value being part of a historic event and want to immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere, it can be worth the time. It’s crucial to note that Times Square on New Year’s Eve is extremely crowded, with hundreds of thousands of people gathering to watch the ball drop. This means you may have to arrive hours in advance to secure a good viewing spot and endure long waits in a crowded space.


In conclusion, New York City offers an array of exciting and memorable experiences during the winter season. Whether you’re ice skating in Central Park, exploring the holiday markets, or enjoying a Broadway show, the city is brimming with winter charm. Embrace the magic of NYC in winter and create lasting memories as you immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of the city that never sleeps.


FAQs on Things To Do in NYC in the Winter

1. Is New York City safe to visit during winter?

New York City is generally safe to visit during winter. It’s advisable to take normal safety precautions and dress appropriately for the weather conditions.

2. Are winter activities in NYC expensive?

The cost of winter activities in NYC can vary. Some activities, such as visiting public parks or exploring holiday markets, are often free or have nominal charges. However, certain attractions, shows, and dining experiences may require a ticket or reservation.

3. Can I go ice skating in NYC if I’m a beginner?

Yes, many ice skating rinks in NYC cater to beginners. They offer skate rentals and lessons for those who are new to ice skating.

4. What are some other popular ice skating rinks in NYC?

In addition to Central Park’s Wollman Rink and Lasker Rink, you can also enjoy ice skating at the Rockefeller Center’s iconic rink and the Bryant Park Winter Village’s ice skating rink.

5. When is the best time to visit NYC during winter?

The holiday season, from late November to early January, is a popular time to visit NYC due to the festive atmosphere. However, visiting in January or February can also provide a quieter and less crowded experience.