Top 10 Things To Do In Winter In New York City, USA - Updated 2021

things to do in winter in nyc

New York City is an exciting place to be, whatever the weather. What with Times Square, Bryant Park, the Rockefeller Center, Central Park and more, the Big Apple is just as exciting in winter as it is in the warmer months. If it’s chilly outside, visit The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) or head to the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Head to Broadway to enjoy the latest show, take in a concert or the latest films or dine on the finest cuisine in the city’s restaurants. There are also plenty of outdoor activities available. Scroll below to find out things to do in winter in New York City, USA, including sledding and snowshoeing, carnivals, music festivals, the Statue of Liberty and so much more.

1. Head to the Winter Carnival at Bryant Park

Bryant Park Winter Village (61329)
Source: Photo by user Rhododendrites used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Winter Carnival at Bryant Park was previously held over a weekend, but has been extended to nine days. It’s a time to dress warmly and embrace the cold weather​ while enjoying a variety of attractions and events. Among the attractions on offer is a Silent Disco, an Ice Ball, free curling and skating lessons, an outdoor Winter Brew House, a doggie meet-up event and a cozy warming lodge.

Winter Carnival at Bryant Park

Address: Bryant Park, New York City, USA

Website: Winter Carnival at Bryant Park

2. Don't miss out on Winter Jazzfest

The Ladybugs at NY Hot Jazz Fest Stage at Winter Jazzfest 2015 We had an absolute blast last January at our Hot Jazz...

Posted by New York Hot Jazz Festival on Thursday, 7 January 2016

Held from January 4 to 12, New York’s Winter Jazzfest is a must for fans of the music genre. With a huge line-up of performers, the Winter Jazzfest also supports gender equality, social and racial justice and immigrant rights, all important topics in today’s world. Each socially engaged artist of the jazz event shares musical messages, standing in line with #metoo, #blacklivesmatter and #wehavevoice. They address all the issues threatening the jazz music community and the world.

Winter Jazzfest

Address: New York City, USA

Website: Winter Jazzfest

3. Stroll in snowy Central Park

Central Park walkway under snow, NYC, February 2010
Source: Photo by user Ralph Hockens used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Wrap up warm and get away from the bustling city streets this year. Head to the Central Park winter wonderland. Experience the hush in the air as snow falls and coats the park in a dazzling white scene. Here you can enjoy cross-country skiing, sledding and snowshoeing, right in the heart of the city. There’s also Lasker Rink and Wollman Rink if you are in the mood for ice-skating. Take a trip to Central Park Zoo to visit the snow leopards, penguins, sea lions and seals. Take the kids for a ride on the famous Carousel, with its 57 horses and calliope music.

Central Park

Address: New York City, USA

Website: Central Park

4. Take a ferry to see the Statue of Liberty (from USD 59.0)

Enjoy a four-hour tour of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island this winter. Start off by catching the ferry to Liberty Island where you can enter the statue and head up to the observation decks. Experience an incredible view across New York City. Get back on the ferry and head to Ellis Island, where you can learn about the history of immigration to America between the years 1892 and 1954. The Great Hall of the Immigration Museum has many interesting exhibits to view.

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Guided Monument Tour NYC

Duration: 3 to 5 hours

10 reviews

5. Shop ‘til you drop at the Grand Central Holiday Fair

The Grand Central Holiday Fair is now open through December 24! 🎁 Come to Vanderbilt Hall to shop thousands of one-of-a-kind gifts from 40 artisan vendors. #gctholidayfair

Posted by Grand Central Terminal on Monday, 12 November 2018

Running from Monday, November 12, 2018 to Monday, December 24, 2018, the Grand Central Holiday Fair is a one-stop, magical shopping experience. 40 talented and unique artisans will feature a range of American-made, handmade products made with locally-sourced materials and often with a socially-conscious business model behind them. The fair will occupy half of Vanderbilt Hall, selling clothing for everyone, accessories, home goods and art work.

Grand Central Holiday Fair

Address: Grand Central Terminal, 89 E 42nd Street, New York, USA

Website: Grand Central Holiday Fair

6. Enjoy the festive activities at Brookfield Place

Brookfield Place (formerly the World Financial Center), Battery Park City, New York City.
Source: Photo by user John Wisniewski used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Brookfield Place is the perfect spot to enjoy all the holiday traditions, great shows and shopping for your loved ones. Between November 30 and December 2, enjoy “The Nutcracker” in the Winter Garden. Experience the glowing lanterns, activated by your special wish for the holidays. Funds raised will benefit a Brooklyn-based non-profit organization. Gaze at the fashions on the Designer Runway from November 19 to January 4. Enjoy free ice-skating on the Brookfield Place waterfront and the dulcet tones of the Dickens Carolers. No family trip would be complete without a visit to Santa.

Brookfield Place

Address: 230 Vesey St, New York, USA

Tel. No.: +1 (212) 978-1673

Website: Brookfield Place

7. Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden (from USD 23.0)

The Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden is fun for the whole family. Located in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, model trains run past more than 175 New York City landmarks, all surrounded by natural materials. The G-scale locomotives can be seen passing the Rockefeller Center, Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and the One World Trade Center.

New York Botanical Garden Admission Ticket

Duration: 2 hours

10 reviews

8. Witness the Times Square Ball Drop (from USD 999.0)

See in the New Year in the most iconic way possible by witnessing the Times Square Ball Drop. Your Ball Drop Pass experience includes admission to parties held in Times Square and its surrounds, free drinks, free food and a live DJ at each party.

New Year’s Eve Times Square Ball Drop Indoor Viewing Party

Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes

7 reviews

9. Ice skate at The Rink at Rockefeller Center (from USD 138.0)

The perfect addition to a winter vacation in New York City is ice skating at The Rink at Rockefeller Center. A mix of locals and visitors twirl away the night or day on the ice at the base of midtown Manhattan’s iconic Christmas tree. The atmosphere is perfect when enjoying a Christmas vacation in New York City. If you get chilly, you can then enjoy a hot chocolate or coffee at a nearby cafe.

NY Christmas Rocketts, Rockefeller Center and Holiday windows

Duration: 3 hours

1 review

10. Browse the holiday markets of New York City (from USD 44.0)

browse the holiday markets of new york city

With more shopping in mind, enjoy a tour that takes you to the major markets in New York City. The tour also includes a visit to the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, festive displays in Union Square and the wonders of Fifth Avenue. Take in the Bryant Park Christmas Market and get a view of the beautifully decorated St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

NYC Holiday Sights and Markets Tour

Enjoy all the winter activities in New York City this year

Whether looking for entertainment, original gifts to buy or wishing to ice skate​ or snowshoe, New York City is the perfect winter destination.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

Still Need Travel Insurance?

You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.

*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101

*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.

Anne Sewell was born in England, but has spent most of her life in Africa - Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa - and now resides on the beautiful Costa del Sol in southern Spain. She loves writing...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore New York City
Good things are meant to be shared!