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City Escapes

8 Can't-Miss Things to Do in New York City This Winter

Experience winter in The City That Never Sleeps

The Vacationeer
Winter in New York City.

Editor’s Note: Visit our COVID-19 Travel to New York page regarding updates to quarantine and testing requirements for Big Apple-bound travelers.

The city That Never Sleeps won’t be found hibernating, so check Hilton Grand Vacations favorite things to do in New York City in the winter.

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. There are several eateries to grab a bite or you can choose to shop through the holiday kiosks. Try the rink-side pop-up restaurant, The Lodge, complete with an indoor beer garden.

Grab a Cup of the Best Hot Chocolate in the City

Head to Jaques Torres Chocolates in DUMBO for 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 sample your handiwork.

Browse the New York City Holidays Markets

Put on your walking shoes and peruse some of the best pop-up holiday markets and get all of your holiday shopping done. Local artisans set up shop at popular locations like:

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

Shop in SOHO

If the holiday markets aren’t enough, take the subway to the SOHO neighborhood for the best holiday sales in the city. From discount specialty shops to bigger brand name stores, there’s plenty to explore.

Get Tickets to the Rockettes

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

Sample Varietals at a Winter Wine Tasting Class

Sign up for a wine tasting class at Brooklyn Winery, and become the oenophile you always knew you could be. You can explore the unique art of urban winemaking, wine and cheese pairings, blind wine tastings, and more.

Get Warm and Cozy with a Bowl of Ramen

Seek warmth indoors and enjoy some ramen at Ippudo, one of the best noodle houses in New York City. Locations in Midtown, East Village, and Hell’s Kitchen.

Stay Warm Inside a Speakeasy

Get cozy in one of New York’s famous speakeasys such as Sign up for a 90-minute cocktail making class where a master bartender will teach you how to replicate some of their house favorites.

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

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 show off their skills in an array of cozy downtown venues.

New York Restaurant Week

When: Late January to Early February

Be exposed to some of New York's top restaurants at a fraction of the usual cost. With three-course prix-fixe lunch and dinner menus, it is a perfect opportunity to try some of the hot spots around the city.

Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

When: February 

These dogs may be cute, handsome, and sporty, but their owners have spent tens of thousands of dollars to train, primp, and groom them for this moment. Admire more than 3,000 dogs representing hundreds of breeds and varieties at this annual festival.

Chinese New Year

When: February

Get ready for one of the best New York City annual winter events, Chinese New Year, when the city is chock-full of dragon dances, vibrant floats, and tasty foods. While you’re there, head to Chinatown for the annual Lunar New Year parade and festival.

New York City Fashion Week

When: February

New York City Fashion Week proves that Gotham knows how to dress…and how to dress you. While the big shows aren't open to the general public, there are some designer shows and events you can attend.

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.

Take in thousands of blooms on display at this gorgeous Bronx indoor garden. Don't forget to stop by the Shop in the Garden for your very own New York City orchid to take home.

St. Patrick's Day Parade 

When: St. Patrick's Day (March 17)

The New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade is a winter event not to miss. A sea of green will march up Fifth Avenue, and more than 2 million onlookers show up for this annual spectacle.

If you've avoided New York City in the winter due to cold weather, it's time to rethink your travel plans and add these exciting activities to your to-do list.

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


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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