Don’t let the cold weather keep you inside. Whether you’re here for a visit or have lived in New York your whole life, take a look at our top 10 list of the best things to do in the city this season. By Krissy Dolor.
Tour the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum
The city is full of history and this Bronx location is just one example. During the winter, you can take a guided candlelit tours of the Mansion and Carriage House. Complete your experience with refreshments, Christmas decor and a capella music.
Donate a Coat to New York Cares
Donate your clean, gently-worn winter coat from last season to a New Yorker who needs one now. Last year, 58,000 less fortunate residents received coats through the annual New York Cares Coat Drive. For more ideas on how to volunteer, check out our guide to local opportunities in the Tri-State area.
Visit Park Here at Openhouse Gallery
Travel to Soho’s Openhouse Gallery to enjoy Park Here, an indoor green space that opened earlier this year. The gallery will feature performers curated by Rolling Stone and famous food vendors, like the HK Street Cart. Or, soak up the “sun” from the Seasonal Affective Disorder therapy lamps and pretend you’re in the Bahamas.
See the Grand Central Terminal Light Show
Visit Grand Central Terminal and see the festive Kaleidoscope Light Show. Take a breather during the busy rush hour commute and view one of the six six-minute shows GCT has to offer, right above your head. They play every half hour between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Ice Skating at Bryant Park
Head to Bryant Park’s Citi Pond after work with friends or before a Sunday brunch date to get your glide on. Admission is free and rental skates are easily available. There are also lockers and a bag check to avoid getting your stuff iced up if you fall. And if your kid has a winter birthday, check out their Party Room package.
Check Out The Gingerbread House Extravaganza at Le Parker Meridien
We honor Le Parker Meridien on our Best Burgers in New York City list, but this holiday season, we’re recognizing them for their sweet tooth. Several big name bakeries and restaurants like Gramercy Tavern, Tu-Lu’s Gluten Free Bakery and the Cupcake Cafe will build over-the-top gingerbread-based masterpieces for display in the atrium of the swanky hotel. A $1 ticket to the third annual holiday display will benefit City Harvest. While you’re there, check out the hot chocolate at Knave – it’s an ideal indulgence on a winter day.
Take the Kids to FAO Schwartz
Treat the kids to a day at the iconic FAO Schwartz, where guards dressed up as toy soldiers will get you in the holiday spirit in no time. From oversized stuffed animals to the latest in gadgets, your little ones won’t know where to run to first! If you’re lucky, you might get to try out a tune on the giant floor piano, made famous by Tom Hanks in 1988′s Big.
Watch a NYCB Show at David H. Koch Theater
There’s no better time to take in a ballet than during the winter season. Many companies, like the New York City Ballet, roll out classic favorites like George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, or new programs from modern choreographers, like Christopher Wheeldon. It’s never too late to appreciate the arts.
When it’s too chilly to browse outdoor flea markets, head to Fort Greene, where you can shop in the comfort the former Williamsburgh Savings Bank. Brooklyn Flea has vintage treasures, everything from costume jewelry to mix-and-match furniture. The best part is that you can enjoy the indoor location through March.
Warm Up with Whisky at Char No. 4
And if you simply need something to warm up the soul, sip on some whisky. Cobble Hill’s own Char No. 4 will hit the spot with its vast selection of bourbon, rye and scotch. If you (or your date) isn’t a bourbon fan, don’t worry – they carry wine, too.