Whirlwind NYC Winter Weekend Travel Guide

Winter is a magical time in New York City

The temperatures may be at rock bottom, but the city looks and feels its best. New York really knows how to get festive, and the seasonal celebrations in the city are some of the best in the world. Plus, New York looks glorious covered in snow, a true NYC winter wonderland.

There’s so much to do in New York it can sometimes be hard to work out what the best things to see are, and the freezing winter temperatures make it all the more important to know how to get the best out of the city.

So whether you are flying in for a weekend in the city, popping in from out-of-town to see the bright lights, or preparing to set off on a cruise from New York, the Big Apple in the winter is a wonderful, joyful and picture-perfect place to be.

Christmas trees

New York’s Christmas trees are the stuff of legend. The tree at Rockefeller Center is usually close to 100 feet high, and its thousands of lights create quite the spectacle. Don’t miss the opportunity to hit up the Rockefeller Ice Rink, in the shadow of this magnificent tree. 

The tree at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is usually quite a sight too and hosts a traditional Christmas creche in its Medieval wing. Finally, you can’t fail to be charmed by the American Museum of Natural History’s tree, with its delightful origami decorations.

See a play

Broadway’s world-famous theatres are worth seeing at any time of the year, but from mid-January to early February prices drop dramatically, and you can pick up some amazing bargains. Plus, an afternoon or evening in the theatre is a great way to get out of the cold!

Holiday shopping

Renowned for its shopping scene, New York really takes it to the next level over the winter period. Its winter markets are magnificent, some of the best in the country, and offer a huge variety from long-standing favorites to DIY pop-ups.

Whether you are exploring the hipster delights of Brooklyn Flea Market, the classic European-style offerings at Union Square Holiday Market, or something more alternative like the Renegade Craft Fair, you’ll be in for a serious dose of holiday cheer.

Snowy walks

If you are looking for a New York experience that won’t break the bank, then a walk in Central Park could be just the thing. With bare trees, twinkling lights and snow-capped Manhattan in the distance, it truly is a winter wonderland. 

Window displays

Every year, New York’s biggest and most famous department stores strive to outdo each other with their extraordinary festive displays.

Shoppers willing to brave the hustle and bustle of Fifth Avenue will be transported into a world of grand spectacle and dazzling lights from Saks, Tiffany’s, Macy’s, and countless others. At this time of the year, the phrase ‘window shopping’ never meant more.

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