Reasons to Visit New York in Winter

Reasons to Visit New York in Winter

Hollywood can’t resist New York in winter, and neither can we. From Serendipity and You’ve Got Mail to the very apt Winter’s Tale, there is no denying that winter is New York’s season. Maybe it has something to do with Rockefeller’s iconic ice-skating rink (which, thankfully, likes to linger well into March) or Dick Clark’s New Year’s Eve ball drop, or how brightly Central Park gleams after its first fall snow flurry. Whatever the reason though, you can be sure that, despite the increasingly chilly temperatures, winter is the city’s most heartwarming season. Join in the celebrations at the annual Chinese New Year Parade, ogle at Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s elaborate window displays and snag the best seats in town at NYC Broadway Week. And forget about dry January. Thanks to cheaper flights and fewer crowds, you’ll have no problem getting into the city’s share of rooftop bars. In fact, we can’t think of a better way to beat the January blues. Can you?

Plenty of Elbow Room

It only takes a New York minute to realise the city is quieter at this time of year. Gone are the hordes of Christmas shoppers crowding Times Square and in are the sounds of sidewalk stomping, courtesy of its fast-talking fast-walking locals. Catch them in coffee shops in Greenwich Village shotting skinny lattes, at Union Square Greenmarket picking up produce and sipping cocktails in Soho rooftop bars. But the tourist sights? Well, you’ll have those to yourself. Forget about queuing at The Met and Natural History Museum, you’ll be able to waltz right in. And restaurants? No problem. Thanks to NYC Restaurant Week (17th January – 12th February), you’ll be able to bag a table at one of the city’s best foodie spots for a prix-fixe meal, no sweat.

New York hotel room

Image by Nuria Val and Coke Bartrina


Picture Perfect

The Naomi Campbell of cities, New York is well versed in front of a camera. But add a sprinkling of snow, iced-over lakes and bright bands of winter sun and you have New York in its element. Head into the sky at the Top of the Rock or Summit One Vanderbilt for a bird’s eye view of the perpendicular city and blow the cobs away on a brisk stroll along The High Line. Treat your camera lens to a tour of Brooklyn and Dumbo, where rows of brown stones shimmer under heavy snow dustings and steaming drains warm icy sidewalks. It’s Central Park, however, where the winter magic really happens. And if you time it right, you may just get the place to yourself. Grab a coffee and start in the North Woods. Meander down round the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, head over Bow Bridge and stop for a light lunch at Tavern on the Green. Christmas may be over but in New York in winter, you’ll have no trouble feeling like an extra in a holiday film.

Central Park


It's Party Season

Christmas may be done and dusted but in New York the party is really just getting started. After Dick Clark’s ball drop on New Year’s Eve, it’s all about Chinese New Year. Painting the town red with firecrackers, dragon dancing and martial arts performances during its annual Chinatown parade, it is New York’s sure-fire way to kick the January blues. Stop by one of its many karaoke bars to sing your heart out and refuel with fusion fare at the 90-year-old Chinatown stalwart Nom Wah Tea Parlor or Lan Sheng, the new face in town, that more than delivers in dishes like sliced lamb and dandan noodles. If you’re not ready to let go of Christmas just yet – don’t fear. Festive cheer is still loud and proud in New York in winter. Swing by the Lightscape at Brooklyn Botanic Garden for illuminations, s’mores and hot chocolates until mid-January and salivate over GingerBread Lane, the world’s largest gingerbread village.


Image by Faustine Poidevin


The Price is Right

Post-Christmas, there is usually just one thing on people’s minds – sales. Really, how else are you supposed to beat the January blues? Fortunately New York has learnt to follow suit. But this is no Next sale free-for-all. The chilly temperatures usually put most fair-weather travellers off, so indulge yourself in the season’s cheap flights and hotel rates and a decent pair of gloves. From Restaurant Week, Broadway Week and Must-See Week, New York in winter is awash with nickel-on-the-dime offers. From 17th January to 12th February, you can get two-for-one discounts on the Empire State Building, One World Observatory and more, as well as musicals and plays like Funny Girl, Wicked and The Book of Mormon. The perfect winter city break for two? We think so too.

Header Image by Faustine Poidevin