One of the wonderful things about New York is that we get to experience all four seasons in all their fullness. While each season has its (literal) highs and lows, there is one thing that every season in New York can proudly boast: there is always something to do. No matter the time of year, no matter how hot or cold or rainy or snowy, in the city that never sleeps, there is always an abundance of events, festivities, happenings, and to-do’s. It’s winter now, and the first day of spring isn’t until March 20. That means there’s still plenty of wintertime events to enjoy. Read on to find out how to make the most of the rest of your winter this year.
Plans for right now
Still feeling the holiday spirit? Not to worry, holiday-spillover events are still here for the taking.
Now through the end of March
When it comes to whizzing around a rink, music playing, scarf flying, people laughing, just pick your spot, all the way through March. Would you like to be in Central Park? Enjoy the spectacular skyline view at Wollman Rink or the less crowded, skating-lessons-available option at Lasker Rink. In Manhattan, of course there’s the Rink at Rockefeller Center and the Rink at Bryant Park, but you can also choose alternate views of New York at the Rink at Brookfield Place with views of the Statue of Liberty or, alternately, the Riverbank State Park Ice Skating Rink in Upper Manhattan. If you’re in Brooklyn or Queens, head over to Prospect Park’s LeFrak Center Ice Rink, which offers open skate as well as lessons for toddlers to beginner adults. Enjoy rooftop skating at The City Ice Pavilion in Long Island City, or have more than just summertime fun in Coney Island at the Abe Stark Rink at the Coney Island Boardwalk.
Now through February
Model trains are quintessential holiday delights, and mesmerizing for the aficionado and the casual passerby alike. Fascinating as they are, the New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show offers something even more. A half-mile of track runs through miniature replicas of 150 New York landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, and Yankee Stadium, all designed entirely out of plant parts. While that exhibit runs through January 21st, you still have more time to catch the Holiday Train Show at Grand Central Terminal, which runs through February 24th. The Grand Central model train navigates through a miniature NYC, continuing on through the countryside, all the way to the North Pole.
Festivals, Shows, & Parades
Valrhona Hot Chocolate Festival
January 19 – February 3
Support a worthy cause and get your hot chocolate fix this season at the Valrhona Hot Chocolate Festival. You’ll get the chance to try new and exclusive hot chocolate recipes made by the pros at eleven of the city’s most celebrated bakeries. As a bonus, $.50 from every cup goes to the non-profit “Food Tank”, whose aim it is to alleviate hunger, obesity, poverty, and food waste. Don’t miss the KickOff party January 17 at Ladurée Soho, where you can taste some of the best and most inventive hot chocolate elixirs, as well as experience a world renowned Latte Artist.
Lunar New Year Parade and Festival
February 5 – 17
The Chinese New Year is February 5th this year, ringing in the Year of the Pig, the symbol of wealth and good fortune. New York will start festivities that day with the annual Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival from 11AM-3:30PM in Chinatown (Sarah D. Roosevelt Park at Grand Street). Celebrations continue for two weeks, culminating in the spectacular Chinese New Year Parade on February 17th, featuring dragon dancing, martial art performers, and much more. Get there by 1PM and bring your appetite – it’s said that the more dumplings you eat during the celebrations, the more wealth you’ll bring in during the year.
Westminster Dog Show
While the Year of the Dog may be coming to a close, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is just getting started. With around 3,000 dogs from around the world showing off their perfected wags and jumps, dog lovers worldwide can get a look at some of the rarest and most well-trained canines, either on screen or in person. The games begin on February 9th with the Meet the Breeds event and agility competition, and culminate on February 12th with the best-in-show judging at Madison Square Garden.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Everyone’s a little Irish on St. Patty’s Day, and many New Yorkers are revelers in the parade and pub parties that ensue afterwards. This year’s parade will be on Saturday, March 16th (in religious observance of the 17th, which falls on a Sunday), starting on 44th Street at 11AM, marching up 5th Avenue, past St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and ending around 5PM at 71st Street. Be sure to get there early, be ready for bagpipers and marching bands, and for your own sake, be sure to wear green.
If you’re still looking for more to do, check out this great NYC events website which features widely-known and lesser-known events happening month by month all over the city.