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City Escapes

15 Things To Do in New York To Bring Your Winter to Life

Make it a city escape to remember

The Vacationeer
Picturesque snow covered winter pananorama against the glowing sunrise sky, New York.

While the rest of the country may be in hibernation mode, New York comes to life more than ever during winter, making it an ideal time for visitors to experience this white-hot city's long list of things to do. A wintertime urban adventure affords travelers a city that abounds with festivals and cultural events, fewer crowds and a destination where snow is an experience, not an inconvenience, thanks to the city's top-notch winter maintenance.         

Here are 15 fun things to do during your next NYC winter getaway. 

Aerial shot of ice skaters at Bryant Park at wintertime, New York, New York.    

Skate Around Bryant Park Winter Village         

An evening at The Winter Village at Bryant Park is a favorite New York winter activity. You can ice skate under the city lights on Bryant Park's 17,000 square-foot outdoor ice rink.

In addition, there are several eateries to grab a bite, such as The Lodge, a rink-side pop-up restaurant, complete with an indoor beer garden. 

Once you've satisfied your appetite, shop through the holiday kiosks for souvenirs or holiday gifts. 

Grab a Cup of the Best Hot Chocolate in the City

Head to Jaques Torres Chocolates in DUMBO for arguably the best hot chocolate in the city. Try a Chocolate Making Experience class, where you'll learn some of the basics of chocolate making and then sample your handiwork.

Browse the New York City Holidays Markets

Lace up your walking shoes for a day spent perusing the city's pop-up holiday markets, and knock out your holiday shopping. Find local artisans at popular locations like:

  • Columbus Circle
  • Astoria's Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden
  • Union Square

Sample Varietals at a Winter Wine Tasting Class

Group of friends sampling wine.   

Sign up for a wine tasting class at Brooklyn Winery, and harness your inner wine connoisseur. Explore the unique art of urban winemaking, wine and cheese pairings, blind wine tastings and more.

Shop in SOHO

If you're still searching for the perfect gift, don't worry. You're just a short subway ride to the SOHO neighborhood, home to some of the best holiday sales in the city. From discount specialty shops to well-known brand-name stores, there's plenty to explore.

Get Tickets to the Rockettes

Get tickets to see the Rockettes at their annual Radio City Christmas Spectacular for a festive evening filled with holiday cheer. With lots of high kicks and Christmas sparkle, it's a fun performance with everything from Santa Claus to a live nativity scene.

Cozy up with a Bowl of Ramen

Find a reprieve from the elements indoors and enjoy a warm and soothing bowl of ramen at Ippudo, one of the best noodle houses in New York City. There are locations in Midtown, East Village and Hell's Kitchen.

Shot of mixologist making craft cocktail.    

Stay Warm Inside a Speakeasy

Get cozy in one of New York's famous speakeasies, such as Nowawday. Sign up for a 90-minute cocktail-making class where a master bartender teaches you to replicate some of Nowaday's house favorites.

In addition to holiday activities, there are also exciting events and festivals to check out throughout the winter season.

Winter Jazz Fest

When: January

Each January, Winter JazzFest hosts the genre's top talent over several nights. Its signature two-night Greenwich Village marathon brings jazz veterans and plenty of up-and-comers to showcase their skills in an array of cozy downtown venues.

New York Restaurant Week

When: Late January to Early February

Treat your tastebuds to some of New York's top restaurants at a fraction of the usual cost. The three-course prix-fixe lunch and dinner menus are a perfect opportunity to try some of the hottest spots around the city.

Chinese New Year

Aerial view of China Town illuminated for the Chinese New Year, New York, New York.    

When: February

Get ready for one of the best New York City annual winter events: the Chinese New Year. Watch in awe as the city transforms into a showcase of Eastern traditions, such as dragon dances, vibrant floats and delicious authentic Chinese foods. While you're there, head to Chinatown for the annual Lunar New Year parade and festival.

Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

When: February 

Watch live as more than 3,000 best-in-class dogs compete in this historic New York City mainstay event. Since 1877, dedicated dog owners put all they have into training their four-legged friends in the hope of snagging the coveted "Best in Show" title. This annual festival represents hundreds of breeds and varieties and is known worldwide. 

New York Fashion Week street style, New York, New York.    

New York City Fashion Week

When: February         

New York City Fashion Week proves that the Big Apple has style. While the big shows aren't open to the general public, some designer shows and events are available for you to attend. So pull out your catwalk-worthy looks, and get a front-row seat to discover the season's hottest trends. 

The Orchid Show 

When: Mid-February to Mid-April 

The New York Botanical Garden explodes into a tropical floral extravaganza for the annual Orchid Show. Bid-farewell to winter by taking in thousands of blooms on display at this gorgeous Bronx indoor garden. Don't forget to stop by the shop before you leave for your own New York City orchid.

Patrick's Day Parade 

When: St. Patrick's Day (March 17)

The New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade is a can't-miss winter event, where you can join more than two million onlookers for this annual spectacle. Watch as a sea of green marches up Fifth Avenue in celebration of the patron saint of Ireland.

Read on to discover how to save on New York City dining experiences.

 

Vacationeer

The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer is a collective of Hilton Grand Vacations storytellers whose goal is to inspire travelers to go further. We're always on the lookout for new destinations to explore, useful travel tips, and unique ideas to help you plan the most memorable vacations possible.

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