Despite the snow and cold temperatures, winter in New York City is actually one of the most magical times to visit. Many of the best events and attractions are located indoors - and the outdoor ones are worth braving the cold for! Whether you’ve lived here for years or you’re planning your first winter visit to the Big Apple, we could all use a few new ideas for winter activities. Here are some of the top things to do in NYC in winter 2021.
Although we strive to provide the most current information, activities mentioned may become unavailable at any time. We recommend checking city mandates and facility websites for operating hours, updates, and social distancing measures before visiting.
Go Ice Skating in Bryant Park
Strap on a pair of skates and take to the ice at New York City’s only free admission ice skating rink. Skate for free with your own skates, or rent a pair at the Midtown park. The rink is open daily until March 7 and requires contactless ticketing this season (all skate times must be reserved online). Cozy igloos are available to rent, as well as an iceless curling lane, which includes a dedicated lane and tent with food and drinks for your party.
Celebrate the Chinese New Year
While some of the biggest Chinese New Year events like the Firecracker Ceremony and Lunar New Year Parade have been postponed until late 2021, there are still a few ways to usher in the Year of the Ox come mid-February. Stream the Lunar New Year Chinese Temple Bazaar entirely online on YouTube. The February 14 event will feature martial arts, performers, traditional dances, a new Chinese hand puppet production by Chinese Theatre Works, paper-cutting, classic New Year dish demonstrations, and more. The Smithsonian American Art Museum, along with the Chinese Cultural Institute, and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the USA, is also streaming video performances and demos of traditional crafts and traditions on February 13 as part of their Lunar New Year Virtual Celebration.
Attend the Winter Jazzfest (Virtually)
Praised by New York Times, The New Yorker, NPR and others, NYC’s annual Winter Jazzfest is home to the most exciting and forward-thinking contemporary jazz music being made today. The “#1 Jazz Festival in North America” will offer online conversations and performances through March 2021. Stay up to date with NYC Winter Jazzfest to see a complete list of free programs offered to the public.
Stay Active as the Temperature Drops
NYC winters can be brutal. Fortunately, the city offers some great ways to stay active outdoors during the winter months. Central Park is dazzling this time of year with its snow-covered trees, bridges, and arches. Enjoy a brisk lunchtime walk through the park and don’t let the snow discourage you. Walking along paths that are blanketed by snow is known to increase the calorie burn of each step. Take advantage of the snow with the entire family at one of the city’s family-friendly sledding slopes. Grab a sled and head to Pilgrim Hill, Cedar Hill, or Great Hill in Central Park, or popular sledding spots in Inwood Hill Park, Van Cortlandt Park, or East River Park.
Find the Best Hot Chocolate in the NYC
Warm up a NYC winter with a tantalizing cup of hot chocolate. Daily Provisions in Gramercy makes a heartwarming cup of cocoa with three kinds of decadent chocolate and is topped with a housemade vanilla marshmallow. Squish Marshmallows in the East Village specializes in small batch, handcrafted marshmallows to enjoy atop a cup of their hot chocolate. Unique marshmallow flavors include jelly donut, rocky road, peppermint bark, and gingerbread. Lastly, Dominique Ansel Bakery in SoHo crowns each cup of their hot chocolate with a marshmallow flower that’s wrapped in a band of chocolate. Once activated by the heat of the hot cocoa, the flower “blooms”, revealing a small bonbon in the middle. Thirsty for more? Find the perfect cup of coffee at one our favorite cozy cafés near The Manhattan Club.
Order Delicious Takeout During Restaurant Week
Starting January 25, NYC Restaurant Week is taking takeout to the next level. The largest NYC Restaurant Week ever will feature take-out menus from over 500 eateries across all five boroughs. Participating restaurants will provide an entrée and at least one side for lunch and/or dinner for $20.21. NYC Restaurant Week “To Go" will kick off January 25 and run through January 31. Stay tuned for the full list of participating restaurants.
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