Winter is almost upon us and as temperatures dip, a new kind of fun emerges for city dwellers. Winter is the time to get inside, and the abundance of art, music, fashion, and food scenes make it a particularly fun time of year. It’s also a good time to be out and about in the cold, with some particularly daring adventures for the not-so-faint of heart. Here are some of my favorite winter activities happening around the city now and in the coming winter months.
Bryant Park Winter Village
41 W 40th Street and 5th Avenue
Skating hours: Daily 8am–10pm, Oct. 28 through Mar 4.
Holiday Shops: Mon–Fri 11am–8pm, Sat, Sun 10am–8pm, Oct. 28 through Jan. 2
There’s no better way to greet winter than by taking a lap around Bryant Park’s 17,000-square-foot outdoor ice-skating rink. Skating is free and you can either bring your own skates or rent a pair for $20. Afterwards, grab some hot chocolate and shop for holiday gifts at the 150+ shops which feature food, crafts, gifts and more. For more skating options, check out my previous ice skating post but be sure to call for updated opening days and hours.
New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show
2900 Southern Boulevard near Bronx Park Road
Bronx, NY 10485
November 22 – January 15, 2018, 10AM-6PM
Students & Seniors (65+): $25
Children (2–12): $12
Members & Children under 2: Free
Your kids will love exploring this 3,000 square foot space featuring over 25 model trains zipping along a quarter mile of track. Everyone in the family will be in awe of the display of 150 NYC landmarks including the Statue of Liberty and Grand Central Terminal made entirely from natural materials like moss, twigs and leaves.
Coney Island Polar Bear Club Plunge
Boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue, Coney Island
January 1, 2018, Arrive by 12:30 PM for the 1:00 PM Plunge
Recommended donation: $25
What better way to show yourself you’re committed to an awesome 2018 than to jump into the icy ocean on the first day of the year? The annual Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge benefits Coney Island organizations including the NY Aquarium and the Alliance for Coney Island, and it’s full of daredevils and people with joie de vivre, just like you (maybe)! You must register in order to swim; register on New Year’s day onsite starting at 10 AM or online here. Registrants also enjoy free all day admission to the NY Aquarium.
Full Festival Pass: $175
Individual show: $20 advance / $25 -$70 day of show
Now in its 13th year, Greenwich Village’s Winter Jazzfest attracts some of the Jazz world’s best veteran musicians as well as up-and-comers ready to share their musical talents. Choose from five nights of shows taking place in an array of cozy downtown venues.
9th Annual Latke Festival
200 Eastern Parkway near Washington Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238
December 18, 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
$55 – $120
This ninth annual celebration of Hanukkah’s most delectable treat will feature some of New York City’s best restaurants competing to win the title of “Best Latke.” With celebrity judges, a live DJ, and some healthy competition, it’s sure to be a “lat” of fun.
NYC Broadway Week
January 16th– February 4th
For one week only, purchase tickets to the hottest Broadway shows at 2-for-1 prices. Tickets go on sale January 5th.
Outsider Art Fair
January 18–21, 2018
125 West 18th Street near 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10011
Come look inside the minds of New York’s most talented self-taught artists creating work unlike anything you’ll see on museum walls. A gathering place for New York’s creative community, this is a chance to watch guest talks by big players in the art world while celebrating the independent spirit of art outside the mainstream.
NYC Restaurant Week
January 22 – February 9, 2018
Reservations open January 8
3 Courses: $29 Lunch /$42 Dinner
This semiannual city-wide promotion is an opporutnity to sample some of New York’s best gourmet dining at very-much non-gourmet prices. As part of the celebration, dozens of restaurants offer a three-course prix-fixe meal for lunch and/or dinner.
New York Fashion Week
February 8 – 16, 2018
Fall 2018 fashions will hit the runways during the second week of February. This year will be the 75th annual fashion week; stay tuned to the above website for a full calendar of designers and runway show locations.
The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
February 10, 12, 13, 2018
Madison Square Garden
$10 – $100
Now in its 142nd year, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is a NYC tradition. Whether you want to attend because you love show dogs, or because you love people who love show dogs, there are three days worth of events to take part in. Tickets range in price from $10 (for kids and particular events) to $100.
Cupid’s Undie Run
Saturday, February 10th 12PM-4PM
605 West 48th Street near 11th Avenue
New York, NY
This Valentine’s Day, join thousands of underwear-clad runners in a race to raise money for Neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder affecting 1 in every 3,000 babies born.
Lunar New Year Parade
Sara D. Roosevelt Park
East Houston Street to Canal Street (between Forsyth and Chrystie Streets)
New York, NY 10002
February 17th, 12 – 6 PM
Come ring in “The Year of the Dog” at Chinatown’s Lunar New Year Parade, complete with Chinese dragons, food vendors, and wildly festive performances.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Fifth Avenue from 44th Street to 79th Street
New York, NY 10036
March 17th, 11AM-5PM
This St. Patty’s Day event is older than the United States itself! Started during the Revolutionary War by a few homesick Irish soldiers in the British Army, it now attracts more than 2 million participants, making it the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the world!
Photo: New York Antiquarian Book Fair
New York Antiquarian Book Fair
643 Park Avenue between 66th and 67th Streets
New York, NY 1006
Thursday March 8th 5-9 PM
Friday March 9th 12 PM-8 PM
Saturday March 10th 12 -7 PM
Sunday March 11th 12-5 PM
Calling all book nerds! Peruse the stands of more than 200 obsessive collectors of old, rare books, manuscripts and ephemera dating back to the 14th century! You’ll be able to pick up first edition art books, photography books and maps for the literary fiend in your life.
Stay tuned for the next edition of my favorite NYC events which will include my top picks of things to do around New York City during the Spring.