Whether you’re a lifelong New Yorker or have adopted the city as your home, winter in the city can truly be a wonderland. From glistening snow dusting the tops of trees to the cozy feeling of escaping the cold with a warm cup of hot chocolate from Serendipity, New York is just as alive during the winter as any other time of year. We’re sharing some of our favorite classic winter activities in the city that actually never sleeps. 

Skating & Sledding 

Cabin fever is all too real, but you can fight it by heading outside to have the kind of fun you had as a kid. That’s right: it’s time to go sledding and skating – perfect for friend dates and romantic dates alike. Bryant Park is a great place to skate for free, especially during the week when it’s less crowded. If you want to avoid the winter crowds, head to the rink at Prospect Park. If you want to check out a newer spot, the Winterland Rink atop The Rooftop at Pier 17 is a must; a rink on a rooftop – what could be more New York?

We would be remiss, of course, not to mention the rink at Rockefeller Center, the perfect place for the classic NYC skating experience. Wollman Rink in Central Park is the biggest rink in the entire city; the hills of Central Park also make it one of the best places to go sledding – roam deeper into the park for less crowded hills.

Union Square Holiday Market

A beloved shopping staple, Union Square Holiday Market is a must – especially if you still have gifts left on your list. With over 100 booths, there’s easily an afternoon’s worth of eclectic wares to browse. This year, some of the locally-crafted items that we’re loving include the joyfully charming ceramic and enamel jewelry made by French-born, NYC-based designer Virginie Millefiori; Bee Raw's beautifully packaged honey (grab one for you and one for your foodie friend); and the cozy textiles of Texturables, made by Claudia Rosillo using wool from sheep raised on her family’s farm in Uruguay. 

Warm Up With Broadway or Radio City Music Hall

Maybe you think it’s cheesy, maybe it’s a family tradition you adore, maybe you’ve never been ‘cause it’s too obvious – however you feel about it, the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall are an NYC institution. Of course, there are plenty of other shows at Radio City as well if the Rockettes just aren’t your style. 

Another way to stay warm indoors while enjoying the culture of the city is, of course, to watch a spectacular Broadway production. This season, take your pick from theatrically-transformed versions of Disney classics like The Lion King and Aladdin, the neverending fan favorite that is Hamilton, or musical biographies like Tina: The Tina Turner Musical and Ain't Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations.

For an experience that’s a bit off the beaten path, Off Broadway shows are yet another great indoors option. This season, check out A Christmas Carol in Harlem, a modernized version of the classic Dickens tale; The Crucible, an inventive reshaping of Arthur Miller's 1953 drama about the Salem witch trials; and The Office! A Musical Parody, which is blessedly exactly what it sounds like.

Window Shopping

Every year, holiday décor seems to appear earlier and earlier, but this is one form of it that we’ll take as soon as possible. The seasonally decorated department store windows are mesmerizing enough to turn even the grouchiest Grinch into a holiday believer – much like the story told in the Who-filled windows of Bloomingdale’s this season, complete with a green-hued Grinch model. Stroll down 5th Avenue to take in Bergdorf Goodman’s #BergdorfGoodies theme, resplendent in candy-coated fantasies; Sak’s Fifth Avenue’s depictions of the “shopper’s dream,” a display they’re calling the Theater of Dreams; and Louis Vuitton’s intriguing “Trees of the World” array, featuring cacti, bonsai, and palm trees, all festooned in lavish ornaments. 

Whether you’re getting into the winter spirit with the city’s elaborate holiday displays, heading outdoors to cure cabin fever with some ice skates, or staying warm at an Off Broadway show, it’s always in style to make the most of New York in the winter! (And really, spring is just around the corner… right?)

Photo credits, in order of appearance:

Johnell Pannell on Unsplash

Caitlyn Wilson on Unsplash

Steve Harvey on Unsplash