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The best things to do in the winter in NYC

Not even a little sleet or snow will stop New Yorkers from enjoying the best things to do in the winter, so bundle up

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Anthony Quintano

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

1

The Bryant Park Winter Village guide

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.

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By: Jennifer Picht
2

2018 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic

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).

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Until Mon Jan 1
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3

Kwanzaa Celebration: Regeneration Night

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. 

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Until Sat Dec 30
4

Good Riddance Day

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! 

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Until Fri Dec 29
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6

Thank You for Everything: Thanksgiving Edition

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.

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Until Sat Jan 6
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7

Winter Jazzfest

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.

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By: Andrew Frisicano
8

Chinese New Year Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival

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.

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Until Fri Feb 16
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9

Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

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.

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By: Jillian Anthony
10

Intro to Vedic Meditation

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.

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Until Sun Mar 11
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More winter things to do

The best ski trips near NYC

Interested in ski trips near NYC? Take the bus or train to hit the slopes in ski paradises near New York in no time.

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By: Tolly Wright
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Winter food & drink

The best hot chocolate in NYC

Kiss Swiss Miss goodbye—the best hot chocolate in NYC features fiery chilies, marshmallow “flowers” and, yes, booze

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By: Christina Izzo
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Winter events guides

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Valentine’s Day in NYC

Looking for Valentine’s Day ideas, NYC? Here’s our pick of the best events, romantic restaurants, gift ideas and more.

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By: Tazi Phillips
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Archive things to do in the winter content

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Comments

13 comments
Mark W

Every Saturday 10pm, warm up with the longest running, all request, rock n roll party in town - 

SHAKE RATTLE & ROLL DUELING PIANOS

the singalong, dance-along, laugh-along, drink-along good time!

http://www.ShakeRattleRollPianos.com for tix & info

mk

Where is this list?!?!?!

Mandy

How about warming up indoors with a language class? Fluent City offers some awesome classes for adults in Spanish, French (plus 8 other languages). I took Spanish and I am thinking about Hebrew next. Plus it makes an awesome holiday gift for a friend. Check it out at http://www.fluentcity.com

Denise Hopkins

awsome! I love studying and learning about New York. Some day I plan on traveling to New York, so when I do go I will know all the places I want to go, and know something about it. I will also know things to do and attend diffent times of the year. If I go in the summer, I'll know what I want to do and where I want to go. If I go in the winter I'll know what I'll do, so this web page is so helpfull. Thank you.

Anonymous

Make this page searchable by date!!!!!

Anonymous

Went to Park Here and fell in love, will be going back many times and bringing friends.

Anonymous

I checked out Park Here (#1 on the list) over the weekend and it di not meet expectations at all. I am disappointed at the list after that. If that is the number one thing to do in NY over the winter, I cannot imagine what the other things are like.

Austin Scott Brooks

Great list of stuff to do and see! NYC is by far one of the greatest places for finding anything to do, any season of the year.

Anonymous

the ifc center is also playing miyazaki films for the holidays!

Anonymous

Oh, if only it was frigid, Park Here would seem even cooler. When, oh, when will winter come?

Anonymous

Park Here is by far the most unique indoor pop-up park ever! Love the Fatboy headdemocks (hammocks)! Gives New Yorkers what they need... Peace and relaxation during the freezing winter!