There are so many awesome things to do in winter, which only reinstates this fact: the city that never sleeps certainly doesn’t hibernate during the colder months. There’s a plethora of exciting events, including a winter carnival and festivals to keep everybody entertained. For something a bit more snuggly, check out the coziest restaurants and bars in NYC or lounge inside a sauna at one of the best spas. Don’t forget that New York is absolutely gorgeous in winter, so bundle up and go out to admire all the snow-covered trees at the best NYC parks, and enjoy fun winter celebrations including dog shows, book fairs and Winter Jam.
Best things to do in the winter
The Winter Village at Bryant Park is worth braving the cold for. 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 for $20), there's a bunch of new kiosks and eateries where you can grab a bite. There is also the aforementioned rink-side pop-up restaurant Public Fare (open daily from 8am–10pm), serving coffee, snack, sandwiches and soup during the day as well as dinner and drinks during the evening.
Hockey fans, assemble! The 10th anniversary of the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will be big, especially for Gothamites. The match is between two Empire State teams, the Buffalo Sabres and the New York Rangers. What makes this game so special is that it’s being played outdoors: Citi Field is bringing in an ice truck to create a temporary rink. Before the stick smackdown, there’s a free pregame festival for fans with giveaways, food and drinks at Lot F in Citi Field’s parking lot (9am to 1pm).
The Apollo Theater's annual Kwanzaa celebration returns for its eleventh year, once again hosting Abdel Salaam’s Forces of Nature Dance Theatre for two Saturday shows. The dance company combines modern dance, traditional West African dance and martial arts to explore the principles of Kwanzaa—family, community and culture—in a vibrant and uplifting performance held in one of the bastions of the city’s Black culture.
Rid yourself of 2017’s baggage at the tenth annual Good Riddance Day, inspired by the Latin American tradition of burning dolls that represent issues from the year before. Bring the things you want to forget to Times Square—the Times Square Alliance will provide shredders, dumpsters and sledgehammers. Goodbye to all that!
Brooklyn disco palace House of Yes expresses gratitude to its regular revelers with a night of jubilant dancing, circus acts and psychedelia. You’re guaranteed an endorphin rush that will see you through all the emotional ups and downs of your family reunion.
Each January, Winter Jazzfest, perennially one of the best concerts in NYC, hosts the genre’s top talent over several nights. Its signature two-night Greenwich Village marathon brings vets and up-and-comers, hordes of music fans and a palpable air of excitement to an array of cozy downtown venues.
Unfriendly ghosts should steer clear of Sara D. Roosevelt Park on February 16 when the Better Chinatown Society lights 600,000 firecrackers to welcome the Year of the Dog and ward off evil spirits. In addition to the pyrotechnics, there will be lion dances and decorations giveaways, plus craft vendors and food booths where you can get your fill of traditional delicacies. It’s said that the more dumplings you eat at the celebration, the more money you’ll make in the year ahead. Grand St at Forsyth St.
These pups may be cute, but their owners have spent tens of thousands of dollars to train, primp and groom them for this moment. Coo over more than 3,000 dogs representing hundreds of breeds and varieties at this annual caninefest, where dogs are judged across seven divisions (hound, toy, nonsporting, herding, sporting, working and terrier). If you can’t score a ticket, you can still get your fix via online streaming during the day and TV coverage of the evening competitions.
Learn how daily meditation may improve your waking (and sleeping) life, alleviate anxiety and insomnia and foster healthy eating habits at this session from Ben Turshen Meditation. You’ll get a feel for the technique and the chance to register for a weeklong meditation course. Try it: You’re out of excuses.
More winter things to do
Check out this list of 16 events, exhibitions and activities happening this winter. It might just motivate you to leave your apartment next weekend.
To help our fellow denizens beat the freezing-temp blues, we’ve concocted a list of products and practices that’ll help anyone snap into a good mood
Winter food & drink
From returning favorites like Sippin' Santa's Surf Shack to ski-lodge–inspired newcomers, these are the seasonal boites you have to hit up before year's end.
The holiday season might be over, but the cheer lives on. The Standard East Village is maintaining its five alpine yurts (a.k.a. cozy, makeshift tents) in its Winter Garden until March 1, 2017
Winter events guides
Archive things to do in the winter content
Whether you’re craving falafel or just looking for a quick, fresh meal in Williamsburg, Wafa’s has got you covered. This authentic Lebanese restaurant draws on the recipes and culinary traditions that the chef learned in her mom’s kitchen. Start with classic mezzes like stuffed grape leaves ($6.95), baba ganoush ($5.95) or tabouli ($5.95). You can also mix and match vegetarian dishes like falafel with tahini, fried cauliflower and hummus to create a veg-heavy platter ($11.95). Carnivores might opt for chicken shawarma ($7.95 for a sandwich, $13.95 for a platter), lamb shish kabob ($8.95 for a sandwich, $14.95 for a platter) or kibbe, croquettes of ground lamb, beef and cracked wheat ($8.95 for a sandwich, $14.95 for a platter). Sweeten the deal with rice pudding ($4.95), baklava ($6.95) or kanafeh ($7.50) for dessert.
Venue says: “Order directly through us or our app and save the delivery fees 💰 ALSO get $5 off your order of $20 or more!”