RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Christmas in New York
When is the Bryant Park Winter Village 2020?
By the time you choose a costume at a Halloween store in NYC, The Bank of America Winter Village in Bryant Park will already be open for business. The Winter Village is set to open on October 30, 2020 and will be open through March 7, 2021.
What are the hours of operation for the Bryant Park Winter Village?
The Rink and Lodge Deck is open daily, 8am-10pm; and the holiday shops are open Mondays through Fridays, 11am-8pm, and Saturdays and Sundays, 10am-8pm.
What is there to do at the Winter Village this year?
Not only is there free ice-skating on Bryant Park's 17,000-square-foot outdoor rink (you may bring your own skates or rent them), Urbanspace—the brand that’s responsible for Union Square’s and Columbus Circle’s holiday markets as well as Mad. Sq. Eats—is bringing about 60 holiday shops, including a bunch of new kiosks and eateries for your shopping and eating pleasure. There is also a different rinkside pop-up restaurant this year called The Lodge Deck that'll have festive cocktails and delicious food.
What safety precautions will be in place?
This year, reservations and skate rentals must be made in advance online (rental prices change depending the day and time), and fewer skaters will be on the ice at one time. High-touch surfaces and rental equipment will be sanitized throughout the day.
As for shopping, there will be a reconfigured layout with fewer shops that will give people to walk through spacious walkways to avoid congestion.
Things to do near Bryant Park Winter Village
Bryant Park Winter Village archive content
Best things to do this fall in NYC
Catch a two-month-long outdoor photography festival
Photoville, which typically takes place in Brooklyn Bridge Park for two weeks each year, is now coming to public spaces across the city for the next two months. Don't miss portraits of NYC's spring graduates in Pandemic Class of 2020 by Elias Williams, a series of photographs documenting the stories of 10 NYC-based Asian Americans who experienced racism during the pandemic called Asian Americans on Race and The Pandemic by Haruka Sakaguchi; and a documentary series about the indie wrestling scene in the South Bronx called Bronx Wrestling by Sofie Vasquez.
Head to these great spots for leaf-peeping
Going upstate to see fall leaves is great, but it's a trek. Luckily, if you know where to look here in NYC, there are some truly stunning foliage to see in many parks and gardens across the boroughs, including at Fort Tryon Park, the Greenbelt Nature Center, and Sunken Meadow State Park. Happy peeping!
Cozy up under the stars for outdoor movie screenings and drive-ins
Nothing is better than watching a movie under the stars on a cool fall night. One of the upsides to 2020 is the return of the drive-in movie theater and proliferation of outdoor screenings. We recommend checking out the Skyline Drive-in in Greenpoint, the Queens Drive-in at Flushing Meadows Corona Park and a free screening on any day of the week by Bushwick's Syndicated.
Check out NYC’s museums as they reopen with new exhibitions
Museums are finally opening their doors to the public after six months of closure. Make up for lost time by checking out must-see exhibits, including "Making the Met: 1870-2020" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, "Studio 54: Night Magic" at the Brooklyn Museum, and "The Nature of Color" at the American Museum of Natural History."
Roam the grounds at the New York Botanical Garden
Head to the garden's Seasonal Walk, where you'll find yellow lace flowers, dahlias and 'Midnight Dancer' daylilies or get lost in the Thain Forest, where you'll hear the trickling of the Bronx River and its waterfall. In the fall, the forest is an incredible setting to see the leaves changing. Also, don't miss the duck families in the Conservatory Courtyard Pools that feed on small plants and insects around the water lilies.
Play lawn games and drink
The Carreau Club, New York's first pétanque bar, just opened in Industry City along the Brooklyn waterfront and is a great spot for you and your pod. This socially-distanced friendly lawn game is easy to pick up (it's basically bocce's French cousin) and you can sip a martini at the same time.
Visit a local vineyard
Americans aren't visiting Italian or French vineyards to partake in the fall harvest this year, but there are plenty of wineries close enough to New York City that are worth a day trip. You can easily find yourself on the North Fork of Long Island or in Hudson Valley within a few hours via public transportation. There's also the Finger Lakes, perhaps the state's most prized wine region, if you really want to make a road trip of it and taste some excellent pours.
Check into the hottest hotel in Queens
The number of idyllic beach days are limited, but if you want to hang out in the Rockaways, the Rockaway Hotel is an ideal spot to call your own beach bungalow. All the rooms have water views and if the weather starts feeling a bit too much like sweater weather, you can always dip into the heated pool.
Head to the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze's new second location
New York's most anticipated Halloween event is spreading its spooky spirit. For the first time, the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze will set up shop at the historic Old Bethpage Village Restoration on Long Island, in addition to the Van Cortlandt Manor in the Hudson Valley. Visitors will be able to admire 7,000+ hand carved illuminated jack o'lanterns as eerie music and synchronized lights add to the festive experience.
Catch live classical music performances
The New York Philharmonic's concerts at Lincoln Center may be on pause, but its NY Phil Bandwagon performances are popping across all five boroughs. Through October, musicians will set up live pop-up concerts via a pickup truck where you'll hear everything from Mozart to Broadway tunes.