The Best Things to Do in NYC in the Winter

The Best Things to Do in NYC in the Winter
New York City is one of the greenest cities in the United States. For lovers of the outdoors, this means plenty of parks, water and open spaces to enjoy. Even in winter, when the temperatures often drop below freezing, you can still spend time outside and enjoy the best that nature has to offer. Once you're done shopping on Fifth Avenue and visiting the city's museums, it's time to get your body moving.

Ice Skating on Rockefeller Center

The ice rink at Rockefeller Center is probably the best known winter attraction in the city, especially when the Christmas tree and lights are up. During the holiday season (November and December), the rink is full of people at all times, so you will need to either arrive early or be prepared to wait in line. There's a small cafe on the side, where you can have a cup of hot chocolate while waiting for your turn on the ice. The ice rink can fit 150 persons and is often a mix of experienced and unexperienced people. If you can't skate well, you probably won't enjoy the crowded spaces and may be better off taking a private or group lesson, which last half hour and offered on a daily basis. Lunchtime skating sessions are half-price, so take advantage of that if you're trying to cut corners.

The Rink at Rockefeller Center
Fifth Avenue and 49th Street
New York, New York 10020
(212) 332-7654

Central Park

Central Park is one of the best outdoor destinations in the city, no matter what time of the year. In winter, Central Park is often covered by snow, making it an ideal place for cross-country skiing, sledding and ice skating. Monuments, bridges and lakes are accessible year-round, and you can always brave the cold and spend an hour or two exploring the park on foot. If you need a break from the cold, there are numerous events held in Central Park during the winter season, most of which are hosted at either Belvedere Castle on 79th Street or the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center at 110th Street. Events include concerts, workshops, holiday activities and exhibits.

New York City Department of Parks and Recreation
830 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10065
(212) NEW-YORK

Chelsea Piers

Chelsea Piers is New York City's largest sports center. While Chelsea Piers is open all year, the complex is especially popular in winter, when locals escape the cold water and take their passion for the outdoors inside. Located just against the Hudson river and extending from Pier 59 to Pier 62, this 30-acre complex offers activities for every taste, age and condition. There are five major sections to the club: golf course, ice rink, sports center, bowling and the field house. The field house offers adult programs in gymnastics, soccer, batting cages and basketball, all of which are indoors in heated areas. Chelsea Pier also is home to the city's largest indoor climbing wall and the only place where you can take classes in trampoline jumping and acrobatics.

Chelsea Piers
23rd St & the Hudson River
New York, NY 10011
(212) 336-6000

Article Written By Sarah Dray

Sarah Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including "Woman's Day," "Marie Claire," "Adirondack Life" and "Self." She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.