There’s a reason why people say that winter is the most wonderful time of the year, especially in NYC.
If you’ve never visited NYC in the winter, you’re missing out. For those that already live here, you’re aware of the beautiful things we get to witness every year. NYC is magical this time of the year. Sure, it’s cold and there are some train delays sometimes, but all of that is worth it to experience NYC in winter.
We know you’re tempted to fly off to some Caribbean island this season to escape the cold, but we’re telling you to stay and enjoy the magic. If you need more convincing, here are 13 reasons why winter in NYC is magical.
1. Decorations Everywhere!
Ornaments, and lights, and angels, oh my! Everywhere you go in the city, you’ll see beautiful decorations. Times Square is beautifully lit up in the winter. I usually don’t like tourist areas during the holidays because they’re always crowded. However, I always make sure to visit Times Square in the winter.
Visit Brooklyn and Queens for some of the most beautifully decorated residences. No one decorates better than a New Yorker (I’m fully prepared to argue this).
2. Huge Window Displays
Speaking of decorations, walk past any department store in NYC and you’ll see the huge window displays. Macy’s does it best every year. Right now, they have life size toys in their window.
Bloomingdale’s also has a wonderful window display. You can see some of the biggest ornaments hanging out front. Don’t forget your camera when you go to look at all the window displays NYC has to offer.
3. Rockefeller Christmas Tree
Are you obsessed with Christmas trees as much as I am? Then you’ll adore the Rockefeller Christmas tree. It’s over 80 feet tall and weighs 12 tons. That’s huge! It’s lit up at night and I swear you can see the lights from a mile away. It truly is magical.
4. Ice Skating at Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center doesn’t just have a huge Christmas tree. It also has ice skating! It’s an experience that can’t be missed. Of course, you’ll have to worry about busting your ass on the ice, but again, TOTALLY WORTH IT! You’ll be surrounded by lights and decorations, so no one will even notice you falling.
5. Gingerbread Lane
Inside the New York Hall of Science lies Gingerbread Lane. It’s a village of edible gingerbread houses. The display is the record-holder of the Guinness World Records for the largest gingerbread village. Gingerbread Lane is free with your museum admission, so it’s the perfect weekend activity.
6. Empire State Building Lights
The Empire State Building is the most beautiful during winter. Each night, the building emits colorful lights that you can see from across the city. From pink to red to blue, you can catch every color this season. Even though it’s a tourist destination, locals can’t help but visit the building during winter.
7. Bryant Park Winter Village
The Bryant Park Winter Village offers over 170 boutiques! You can get all your gifts in one place. You’ll find some of the most delicate and unique jewelry pieces at this winter village. There are also over 20 food vendors available to serve your cravings. Take the whole family to this winter village for food, shopping, and entertainment.
8. Christmas Music Everywhere!
From the subway to the store, there’s Christmas music sounding off. I know that some of the music can get annoying, but I love it! Music just puts you in the holiday spirit. It’s great to hear some holiday joy while you’re shoving people out the way for that last handbag on the shelf.
9. World’s Largest Hanukkah Menorah
We understand that not everyone celebrates Christmas. Don’t worry, NYC during winter isn’t all about Christmas. We have the world’s largest Hanukkah menorah located in Manhattan. It’s 32 feet high and weighs 4,000 pounds! There are lightings at the menorah Sunday – Thursday. You can also visit the other large menorah in Brooklyn.
10. Best Holiday Shows
When in NYC, you have to watch a Broadway show. During winter, Broadway is spectacular. If you love ballet, check out The Nutcracker. It never gets old, but the best holiday show is the Christmas Spectacular starring The Rockettes. You must see those girls in action. I wish I was talented enough to be a Rockette.
11. Central Park in Snow
One of the best destinations in NYC is Central Park. It is the location of many shows and movies and is absolutely beautiful covered in snow. The snow-white benches and trees catch everyone’s eyes. It’s the perfect place for a winter photo shoot. I know I’m going to take some holiday photos in the park.
12. Cozy Bars with Fireplaces
While most of us don’t have fireplaces in our homes in NYC, there are so many bars that do. NYC bars are super cozy in the winter. Smells of cider and wine fill the air. You can go to one of these bars for an intimate date night with bae or for some fun under heaters.
13. New Year’s Ball Drop
If the reasons above don’t explain how magical NYC in the winter is, let this reason convince you. The New Year’s ball drop is the most wonderful celebration in the city. You’ll be surrounded by beautiful people and lights. You might even get a chance to see one of your favorite celebs. Make sure you get near the ball early in the day and bring plenty of snacks. You don’t want to leave your spot and miss out on the ball drop.