Winter in New York is a wonderful time to explore the city. It might be very cold outside, so you may want to dress accordingly. There are so many fun things to do in NYC in the winter that you shouldn’t miss. New York is lucky enough to experience a lot of snow during the winter season which makes our fun winter activities in New York even more exciting.
After a couple of years of living in the city, there are a few things that I love doing during the winter season. Today I’ll share my personal favorite winter activities with you.
When it comes to fun things to do in New York in the winter there’s a lot that I personally enjoy the most during that special time of the year. My weekends are for ice skating and holiday markets and even during the week, there’s more fun stuff to do in NYC in winter like visiting a museum or catching up with some of my friends inside an igloo (!) at one of my favorite rooftop bars.
My weekends are for ice skating and holiday markets…
Top 9 Fun Things To Do In New York City In The Winter
Go Ice SkatingOther Attraction in Midtown Manhattan
New York gets really cold during the holiday season and the famous ice rinks in New York are one of the fun things to do in New York City during winter. You have multiple ice skating options in New York which are definitely fun especially in the midst of the beautiful skyscrapers. The rinks in New York are also reasonably priced.
If you have little to no experience on the ice, do not worry. Our favorite ice rinks in NYC are the Wollman Rink in Central Park, Rockefeller Ice Rink and the ice rink at Bryant Park.
Here you can find our list of ice rinks in NYC.
Visit the best Holiday Markets in NYCChristmas Market in Gramercy
The famous Union Square Holiday Market is one of the biggest holiday markets in the city. From mid-November until Christmas the market on Union Square attracts lots of visitors from all over the world.
As fun winter activities in New York, an afternoon at one of the amazing holiday markets is an unforgettable experience when you’re visiting NYC. Also, don’t miss out the Winter Village in Bryant Park where you can find everything from cute shops with locally handcrafted gifts to delicious food from the city’s best restaurants.
To give you an overview of NYC’s Holiday markets, we made a list for you.
Go check out the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas TreeChristmas Tree in Midtown Manhattan
The Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center is probably the most famous tree in the world. The tree lights up on the Wednesday after Thanksgiving with a huge party and ceremony.
As one of the most fun stuff to do in NYC in winter make sure to come early to grab a good spot with a view, enjoy the live music and of course the unforgettable moment when New York City officially starts their holiday season. The famous Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center stays until January which gives you enough time to enjoy it to the fullest.
Visit Dyker Heights in BrooklynBus Tour in Dyker HeightsOur Highlight
Each neighborhood decorates its block differently and it so much fun to explore all the different Christmas decoration in the wintertime in NYC. One of our highlights of fun things to do in New York in the winter is a tour trough Dyker Heights. One of the most visited neighborhoods during this time.
The Dyker Heights Christmas lights are located in Brooklyn. Here, countless homes are beautifully decorated with lights and props. The whole neighborhood is pretty much lit up which becomes a sight to see. There is no limit to creativity. Often there are even small competitions in the neighborhood such as whose house is the best decorated.
Have a drink at one of the Rooftop IgloosRooftop Bar in Midtown Manhattan
To me having a drink at one of the rooftop bars in NYC is high on my list of fun activities in nyc in the winter. It’s amazing how rooftop bars are still a great place to go even though it’s cold out. At 230 5th Ave, they have rooftop igloos where you can stay warm while enjoying the breathtaking city views.
Starting every year in November New York City’s largest indoor and outdoor rooftop bar offers the igloos until May of each year. Don’t miss out on this fun stuff to do in NYC in winter.
Get lost at FAO SchwarzOther Shopping in Midtown Manhattan
It’s the most popular toy shop in New York and it simply belongs to the city just like the yellow taxis and the Empire State Building. Since November 2018 FAO Schwarz shines brightly from its new location at Rockefeller Center and is a great thing to do in the winter in NYC for a good reason.
FAO Schwarz has been making children’s hearts beat fast for over 150 years. They have a large selection of teddy bears, barbies, books, and international toys.
If you want to see the FAO Schwarz NYC’s toy shop in Manhattan and do not want to be pushed through the store like sardines, come early in the morning. For children, this place is, of course, unique and should definitely be on the list.
Visit one of the best museums in NYCMuseum in Upper West Side
With many of the most famous museums in the world, New York City offers a huge variety for everyone. From the Museum of Natural History to art museums like the MoMa or the Metropolitan Museum of Art, these iconic places are something you should have on your list of fun stuff to do in New York in the winter.
Especially when it’s really cold outside, the museum can be a great place to warm up again, get a break from the freezing temperatures and enjoy the exhibits at the same time. Most museums are included in one of the sightseeing passes.
Get a ticket for the Radio City Christmas SpectacularBroadway Show in Midtown Manhattan
Every year from November through January, over 140 sensational dancers and singers perform in pure Christmas spirit at the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. The entire show lasts for 90 minutes and is one of the most fun things to do in New York City during the winter. Why?
You will see sparkling costumes, a unique stage set and loads of Christmas songs that inspire audiences. The stars of the show are Santa Claus and his elves, the Rockettes. The female dancers are one of the best dance groups in the world. My favorite part of the show is the Toy Soldier Performance. Every move they make is seemingly perfect. At one point you will see them lined up so flawlessly, you can only see one soldier.
Enjoy Holiday Window ShoppingOther Attraction in Garment District
Last but not least on our list of fun winter activities in New York is the beautiful holiday windows which are being decorated right after Thanksgiving.
Each year, New York City department stores design their entire window displays and usually has a theme. You can tell department stores put time and effort into these decorations and it’s such a great time to stroll around and admire them all. There is a lot of detail that goes into the Holiday Windows in New York. Of course, this is not just something special for the New York tourists.
As far as routes go, we recommend walking from Central Park on Fifth Avenue towards Herald Square to see the most beautiful holiday windows. The city is adorned with wreaths and bright lights everywhere. You’ll be able to pass by the Rockefeller Center’s Christmas Tree along the way. Once you arrive at Herald Square, don’t miss out on Macy’s holiday department on the very upper level. It’s an entire floor full of Christmas decoration.
More Fun Things to Do in New York City
New York City has so much more to offer than its must-sees. In order to inspire you with not so typical activities, we’ve compiled a list of the top fun things to do in NYC for you. Also, you’ll find the most fun activities in New York City in different categories on this overview page. We made sure there’s more than enough fun stuff to discover for everyone!