New York In Winter

Things To Do In New York In Winter? Weather, Activities And Events

If you go to New York in winter, you can enjoy a very special atmosphere and live experiences accessible only during this time of year.

The Climate In New York During The Winter Season

In New York, the climate is continental, with hot summers and harsh winters. It is cold during the winter months, and sometimes even very cold! From December to March, it must be admitted that the weather conditions are not conducive to travel. The weather is gray, with little sunshine, so if you plan to travel during this period, you will need to take very warm clothes in your luggage!

The coldest months of the year are January and February, a time when temperatures are often freezing and the thermometer rarely registers above 5 degrees. In January, the average temperature is less than 1 degree during the day, and they can drop to -15 degrees at night. In addition, the presence of the blizzard (an icy wind from North America) makes the cold even more striking, and this wind is regularly accompanied by snowy episodes, with snowfalls that can be abundant. A cold record was set in 2016 on Valentine’s Day, with -18 degrees (and an estimated temperature felt like -28 degrees) in Central Park in the early morning.

Climatically, the only positive aspect of New York winters is that during this season it rains a little less than during the rest of the year. Overall, winter is therefore a very unfavorable period for outdoor activities, except in the last days of winter in March, when the temperature begins to rise and where it is regularly close to 10 degrees in the middle of the day. But anyway, by adapting and covering yourself very warmly, you can always enjoy your trip and admire the beauty of the city under the snow . If you want to see the city from another angle, you can also take a helicopter flight in New York when it snowed.

Why Visit New York At This Time?

So, why is it so tempting to stay in New York in winter, despite this very harsh weather? Well, for many reasons actually!

Between January and March, it is the low tourist season in New York. There are far fewer visitors, which means you’ll have less time to explore all of New York’s top attractions, and you’ll also be able to travel for less. Indeed, during this period when the crowds are much lower, hotel prices are much more affordable!

For example, a night in a double room in a 3-star hotel in New York costs on average €235 in July, compared to “only” €150 if you go to New York in February.. The difference is therefore far from negligible. In addition, the best establishments are more available, so you will not necessarily have to book long weeks in advance to find a room (even if it is always advisable to book early!).

Regarding your plane ticket, even if the price difference is not as obvious as for hotels, you can also save money by leaving for New York between December and March (except during the holiday season). year).

Apart from the financial aspect, the best reason to visit New York in winter is to enjoy the incomparable atmosphere of this city at this time. Whether during the end of the year celebrations with the Christmas decorations, or throughout the winter, to discover the city and Central Park under the snow, your trip to New York in winter will inevitably leave you with an unforgettable memory.

Best Things To Do And See In New York City In Winter

Things To Do In New York During The Winter

1. Ice Skate In New York

During the winter season (and even from October), one of the great traditions if you are visiting New York is to go ice skating on one of the ephemeral ice rinks. There are several in different areas of the city and it’s a great way to enjoy the special atmosphere of New York during this season.

The most famous ice rink in New York is undoubtedly the Rockefeller Center ice rink (The Rink at the Rockefeller Center) at the foot of the most beautiful New York tree. Admission is relatively expensive and there are often crowds, but skating in such an exceptional setting is well worth the wait!

Other superb skating rinks also await you, such as that of Bryant Park in Manhattan, located in the Bank of America Winter Village, one of the city’s major Christmas markets near Times Square. It has the advantage of being free (only the rental of the skates is chargeable). You can also join the Wollman Rink to skate in the heart of Central Park at the foot of the imposing buildings of Manhattan, or The Rink at Brookfield Place next to the One World Trade Center.

2. Enjoy New York Under The Snow

Snow is one of New York’s big stars during the winter. People who have the opportunity to go regularly to New York will tell you: the city is truly transformed when it puts on its white coat, and it is an experience that you will not soon forget!

The city’s most iconic places like Times Square, Greenwich Village and of course Central Park, are unrecognizable. Besides, contrary to what one might think, the weather is very often good after heavy snowfalls

3. Discover New York From The Different Observatories

Whatever the season of the year, a visit to New York cannot be successful without discovering the city from one of its great observatories. Day or night, whether it has snowed or not, you will never tire of these incredible panoramic views

There are 5 exceptional observatories in New York:

  • The Empire State Building, the oldest and arguably best known, located in Midtown. The second observatory on the 102nd floor has the advantage of being indoors, but you have to pay extra to access it.
  • The Top of the Rock, the Rockefeller Center observatory, the perfect place to contemplate New York in winter.
  • The One World Observatory, the highest observatory in the city, which offers an exceptional view of all of southern Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty, and which also has the advantage of being indoors. Remember to book your skip-the-line ticket in advance so you don’t risk being disappointed
  • The Edge, an observatory that will delight thrill seekers with its glass platform and sloping walls! Located at 335 meters high, it is thehighest outdoor observation platform in the city!
  • The Summit One Vanderbilt, a recent observatory that offers impressive views of Manhattan, including the Chrysler Building. Like many activities in New York, it’s best to book your tickets in advance so you don’t waste your time once there.

Spend The Holidays In New York!

1. Admire The Christmas Lights

Christmas in New York is a must! Throughout the end-of-year holiday period, and even a little beyond at the beginning of January, all of New York lights up! New York’s department store Christmas windows are among the city’s biggest tourist attractions at this time of year. Shopping centers and major brands such as Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barney, Tiffany & Co or Bloomingdales really go to great lengths to offer enchanting window displays, which have sometimes been in the works since the previous January!

Every day, thousands and thousands of people come to admire these creations which change theme every year. In addition to the decorations of department stores, you can find a very large number of places beautifully decorated for Christmas, sometimes giving way to real shows ! This is particularly the case in the Dyker Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn, where every year residents compete in creativity to decorate the facades of their homes.
These decorations are so successful that it is possible to visit the Dyker Heights neighborhood, where the illuminations and decorations are all more impressive than the other! Walking has become one of the most popular New York holiday activities

At the foot of the famous Rockefeller Center, you can also discover the largest Christmas tree in all of America, and undoubtedly the most beautiful in the world.

This tree, about 30 meters high, is visible between the end of November and the beginning of January, it is even more beautiful when it is dark! In the end, going to New York in December turns out to be a great idea even if the temperatures are low

2. New York In Winter: Discover The Christmas Markets

From November until the very first days of January, several Christmas markets take place in different neighborhoods of New York. They are of course part of the must-see attractions if you visit the city at this time of year! Among the most famous markets, you will find:

  • The Union Square Christmas Market in Manhattan. It is one of the most famous markets in New York with over 200 stalls. It’s the perfect place to find souvenirs and Christmas items of all kinds.
  • The Bryant Park Christmas Market in Manhattan : less traditional but just as attractive. You will find many small shops and hot drink and pancake stands there, and you can also enjoy a very nice ice rink
  • The Columbus Circle Christmas Market : located southwest of Central Park, it is probably the largest market in the city but also the most luxurious.
  • Finally, if it’s really too cold outside, you can visit the Grand Central Terminal Christmas Market . It has the advantage of being covered and of being inside one of the most important historic buildings in New York!

If you want to dive even deeper into the magic of Christmas, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the city’s most popular markets on a guided Christmas Markets Walking Tour. Accompanied by a guide, you will be able to browse the alleys of the markets for 4 hours and why not find unique gifts among local handicrafts, arts and crafts or even clothes

3. Spend New Year In New York

If you are lucky enough to spend New Year in New York, you can live an exceptional experience. Times Square is a mythical place on the evening of December 31, you can attend the famous ” Times Square Ball Drop ” and count down to the new year surrounded by tens of thousands of people!

But for this very special occasion in New York, you can also do a lot of original activities such as:

  • Attend a concert in one of the city’s many performance halls,
  • See the Times Square fireworks from New York Harbor, Prospect Park in Brooklyn, or even from Central Park,
  • Dine in one of the best restaurants in New York or take a New Year’s cruise,
  • Participate in the Midnight Run, a festive 4 kilometer race taking place in Central Park and starting on December 31 at 11:59 am.

And many other activities such as spending the evening in a big New York club, celebrating the New Year on one of the best rooftop bars in New York, seeing a comedy show… You are bound to find something to do to celebrate the New Year! Just be sure to book your activities well in advance so as not to be disappointed because New York in December is very popular

Avoid The Cold And Discover Indoor Activities!

1. Visit The City Museums

The cold winter days are perfect opportunities to make indoor visits and therefore to discover New York’s museums. Many visits to museums and other major New York attractions are included in the New York Go City Explorer Pass, a combined ticket that can save you time and money!

Among the most essential museums you can visit:

  • The Museum of Modern Art ( MoMA ), the most famous museum of contemporary art in the world,
  • The Guggenheim Museum, as beautiful inside as it is outside,
  • The Natural History Museum, renowned in particular for its exhibition of dinosaurs and other 30 million species,
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET), the second most visited museum in the world,
  • The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, devoted to the history of aeronautics and the conquest of space,
  • The 9/11 Museum, a museum built on the site of Ground Zero and which pays tribute to the victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001.

2. Go Shopping In New York

Contemplating the windows from the outside is one thing, but doing a little shopping will also be a great way to warm you up a little And one thing is certain, it is that New York is really the perfect place to stroll in the stores! You can find thousands of shops selling clothes, jewellery, souvenirs, high-tech products… in short, absolutely everything you can imagine, and even more. There really is something for everyone, and for every budget.

It is around Fifth Avenue and Central Park, in the most upscale neighborhoods of Manhattan, that you can find luxury department stores with sumptuous windows, but also shopping centers such as Macy’s or Kmart, where prices are good. more affordable! Chinatown is also an increasingly popular shopping district.

If you are looking for bargains, you can go and discover the Outlets which are located in the suburbs of New York and often easily accessible by bus or train. The Woodbury Common Premium Outlet Center is the most famous of all, it includes more than 200 outlets. You can also check out The Mills in Jersey Gardens, New Jersey (a lower state than New York when it comes to clothing taxes), and Empire Outlets, a newer mall that opened on Staten Island..

3. See An Nba Game At Madison Square Garden

Attending a game of the biggest basketball league in the world is one of the most popular activities in New York! The regular season, which begins in mid-October and ends in April, is in full swing during the winter, and NBA games are very regularly organized in the legendary Madison Square Garden, in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. For example, you can attend a game of the Brooklyn Nets, one of the biggest teams in New York!

Much more than simple sporting events, NBA games are great shows with concerts, games with the public, dance performances, and above all with an indescribable atmosphere. If you want to be able to attend a basketball game, don’t wait until the last minute and book your NBA ticket in New York as soon as possible.

4. Attend A Musical On Broadway

There are certain activities that are must-do’s while in New York City, and are even more enjoyable when it’s freezing outside. Attending a prestigious show in one of the Broadway theaters is definitely part of it.

Some shows are specially organized during this period, such as the famous Radio City Christmas Spectacular, scheduled between November and early January. But the period is also perfect for discovering all the great Broadway musicals such as the Phantom of the Opera, Aladdin, the Lion King, MJ, Chicago, Moulin Rouge or even Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. However, remember to book your tickets for the show well in advance, because the musicals sell out very quickly!

Visit New York At The Start Of The Year

1. Spend Valentine’s Day In New York!

Spending Valentine’s Day in New York is undoubtedly a way to keep a memorable memory of this special day. The city celebrates the feast of lovers as it should, and you can do a lot of things there:

  • Great one-on-one walks on the Brooklyn Bridge or Brooklyn Heights Promenade,
  • A candlelight dinner in a romantic restaurant,
  • Ice skating on one of the city’s superb ice rinks,
  • See a musical on Broadway

Times Square is one of New York’s symbolic places for this occasion. Every year, works by artists are exhibited here for the “ Times Square Valentine Heart ” contest. Couples also come to make their marriage proposal in Times Square, with live broadcasts on giant screens. Real weddings are even celebrated here on the occasion, right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of one of the busiest places in the world. Traditionally, many couples also gather in the square for a vow renewal ceremony.

2. New York In Winter: Celebrate The Chinese New Year!

The Chinese community is very important in New York, and the Chinese New Year is for them the most important holiday of the year. The precise date of these events changes from year to year, but it usually takes place in February.

For this occasion, the celebrations last a fortnight. The streets of Chinatown are decorated and lots of parades, fireworks, and other festive events are held. Two of the biggest events are the Grand Parade of Dragons and the Firecracker Show, which take place in the heart of Chinatown on Mott Street.

3. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day In New York

At the very end of winter, on March 17, New York celebrates St. Patrick’s Day, the patron saint of Ireland. No wonder that, when you know that the city is home to the largest Irish community in all of the United States!

For the occasion, a huge parade is organized in Manhattan from Fifth Avenue. Police and firefighters march in the company of marching bands, and Ireland’s culture and heritage are honoured. Some buildings and monuments are illuminated in green for the occasion, this is notably the case of Saint-Patrick’s Cathedral and the Empire State Building. After the parade, the celebrations then continue in the bars and pubs where the beer is flowing!

What Should You Take In Your Suitcase To Visit New York In Winter?

Saying it’s cold is one thing, but you don’t necessarily realize how cold it is until you get there! So here is a small list of things you won’t regret bringing with you if you go to New York during the colder months:

  • A big coat capable of protecting you from the cold and the wind. It is often the blizzard that makes the weather very restrictive in New York during the winter, so it is important to have a warm coat, but also a windbreaker,
  • Gloves, because without them your hands will be freezing almost instantly as soon as you take them out of your pockets ,
  • large wool sweaters,
  • A big scarf to protect your neck and a hat to protect your head and ears,
  • Warm pants to protect your legs well ( thermal underwear will not be too much if you plan to stay outside for longer periods!),
  • Thick socks and high shoes or boots , which will be very practical for walking in the snow in particular, without fear of getting your socks wet.

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