Visiting New York This Winter? | Where To Go

If you’re planning a trip to New York, this winter, you better get your skates on - as New York is not the sort of place you want to visit without some idea of a plan for how you’re going to get to see and do everything on your New York Winter bucket list.

It’s the sort of place you want to plan ahead and get some research done, for a while you could rely on the infamous taxi service New York offers with their incredibly knowledgeable drivers, it pays to have some idea of an itinerary in advance.

The Jay-Z and Alicia Keys song Empire State of Mind sums up the feeling of power and inspiration one gets when visiting the Big Apple; home to inspirational TV shows like Suits that point out the power dynamics and possibilities within this capitalist powerhouse of a place… yet, if you’re planning a trip to New York this winter, you’re probably more looking to enjoy the festive spirit or enjoy a romantic break.

Winter is one of the most magical times to visit New York, and if you’ve ever watched the film Home Alone: Lost in New York you’ll have a feel for how captivating the city can be in the winter time, particularly around Central Park. 

Of course, there are many other options further afield to get in the festive spirit, yet with limited days off, a short break to New York makes sense for a lot of people, as it’s one of the easiest places to fly to given the amount of routes that land in New York.
Here’s a few ideas to help you squeeze the most out of your trip.


Even in winter, a sunset sail around the Statue of Liberty provides an incredible view of visual highlights of New York. The cruise is often complimented with cocktails, yet whilst it is one of the most romantic things to do in the city, it’s also one of the most popular, so expecting to be sharing this experience with plenty of other couples.


Perfect for a cold night, New York hosts a variety of decent comedy clubs, broadway shows, and concerts. You can often find last minute ticket deals and splurge on a pre-theatre meal with the money you saved.


You’ll want to wrap up warm in order to walk across this iconic landmark that is one of the oldest bridges in the United States, and at 1,595 feet it’s a fair distance in consideration of how exposed it can be when the freezing wind is nipping at your neck; but it’s worth the walk when on the other side you can enjoy a mug of mulled wine and some roasted chestnuts from a traditional street vendor. However, this one is best reserved for a clear sunny day as doing the walk in the snow or rain is just hard work.


After enjoying a hand-in-hand walk next to the frozen lake of Central Park you can perhaps meander to the zoo where you’ll find exotic winter animals including sea lions, seals, snow monkeys, polar bears and even snow leopards.


Grand Central Station is the filming location for one of the most notorious first dance songs of all time at weddings throughout America; “You and Me” by Lifehouse, this makes the perfect spot to sit and watch the world go by; enjoying the melting pot of cosmopolitan personalities that make-up this intriguing city… and there’s something peculiarly romantic about the atmosphere.


If you’re in New York for Thanksgiving and want something a little more extravagant than a traditional turkey dinner, you could head to Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade; the largest parade in the world - combining fifty foot tall balloons, floats, marching bands, cheerleaders, performers and more - with the special guest of Santa along with his reindeer's and elves… this is a great place to celebrate the start of the festive season.


There’s a ton of places to go ice skating in New York, and whilst there are plenty of indoor skating rinks most people want to head to one of the more iconic outdoor rinks. There’s the option to skate beneath the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree or in the surroundings of Central Park.

The Bank of America Winter Village in Bryant Park is a free ice skating rink that’s open pretty late, though it will cost $20 to rent skates. Then, there’s the rink at the Rockefeller Center that only allows 150 people on the ice at one time, meaning you’ll have plenty of space, but will also have to queue for a while.

Finally, if you want to head for the most famous winter ice rink, head to Wollman Rink in Central Park… though, be prepared, this one gets super busy with children and slow moving skaters that aren’t experienced; so if you’re looking to skate as a sport, this one definitely isn’t for you.


There are many options if you fancy getting in the festive spirit and hitting a holiday market, for instance, the market at Bryant’s Park Winter Village hosts over 100 small stalls offering handmade items including winter clothing, hats, mittens, jeweler, decorative items, local foods and a variety of other festive treats.

Alternatively, if you fancy something warmer and indoors, then you’ll want to head to the Grand Central Holiday Fair with its 76 stalls focusing mostly on craft items from knitwear to bath bombs.

Finally, Union Square Market is a great choice if you’re looking for a downtown, somewhat funky, vibe. Here you’ll find over 100 vendors offering unique items from Tibetan handicrafts to gourmet treats. 

Of course, the above suggestions are only to whet your appetite. New York is such a vast and varied place that you can have whatever experience you want - be that romantic, or just festive… one thing’s for sure though, unless you hit New York with a plan of action, you’re going to feel like you’re missing out - as it’s very easy to spend all your time and energy running around like a hamster on a wheel, trying to find cool places, and work out how to get to them.

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