The Best Things to Do in NYC in Winter

If you're visiting NYC in winter, there are plenty of options for fun, and you'll be dodging some of the worst of the tourist crowds. While natives might be looking to get out of town, seeking the best winter day trips from NYC, we know there's plenty to enjoy in the city even during the cold weather. We've rounded up some of the most fun things to do in NYC in the winter for all kinds of people. Check out these suggestions, then take advantage of them with our convenient tours. TopView offers the best NYC tours in winter, spring, summer, or fall, featuring all of the highlights and most popular attractions!

Best Things to Do Indoors

  • Go to a Museum: NYC is home to some of the greatest museums in the word. Whether you love art, science, or history, you can find an amazing museum with exhibits and artifacts that you'll find nowhere else in the world.

  • Go to a Movie: New York doesn't just host the blockbusters. Now is your chance to see something off the beaten path that might not even be shown at home, like a documentary or an independent film.

  • Visit the Paley Center for Media: This unique location is sure to entertain digital media junkies with a huge public library of TV shows, radio shows, and commercials. Many screening events take place here, too.

Fun Things to Do in NYC in the Winter Outside

  • Dyker Heights Christmas Lights: If you're in town during the holidays, don't miss this one-of-a-kind lights display in Brooklyn. You can wander around and take in the spectacle between dusk and 9 pm.

  • Winter Jam: This free festival is the best of the best for NYC outdoor winter activities. The day-long event in Central Park includes skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and warm, tasty food. If you miss it, though, keep in mind that Central Park is always a great location for sledding, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.

Best Places to Visit in NYC in Winter on School Break

  • Lunar New Year Festival: New York City public schools close every year to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Get out there and enjoy the festivities! Chinese communities are celebrating all across the city with food, dancing, storytelling, parades, and other cultural activities.

  • Hot Chocolate Festival: Another fun event that takes place over the school break is City Bakery's Hot Chocolate Festival in Chelsea. They serve a range of hot chocolate flavors to try, like banana and salted caramel.

Best Attractions in NYC in Winter for Families With Children

  • City Treehouse: Check out this play center in Chelsea for children up to 8 years old and you'll find a play space that includes a treehouse and a cave, the biggest indoor water play area in the city, and fun classes.

  • VR World: This experience is especially exciting for teens and tweens. You'll find it on 5th Ave. right near the Empire State Building. You and your family can experience the largest selection of VR games and activities in the country!

Best NYC Attractions for Families With Babies and Toddlers

  • National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey: Infants and young children will be amazed by the lights and colors of this Times Square ocean adventure exhibit. These simulations will make your children feel like they've taken a deep dive into the ocean.

  • Big Apple Circus: Children will be enchanted by this circus at Lincoln Center: It's fun for all ages! The acts include all of the classics that children dream of when they think of the circus.

Best Winter NYC Activities for Couples

  • Ice Rink Date: Few things are as romantic in the winter as ice skating. You won't lack for options all over the city, from Rockefeller Center to Brookfield Place to Central Park.

  • Carriage Ride: Enjoy beautiful natural views as well as cityscapes on a horse-drawn carriage ride through Central Park. Nothing could be more romantic than a carriage ride together!

  • Winter Jazzfest: Make your date a classy one and take in some live jazz. This two-night event occurs every January in Greenwich Village and is said to be one of the best concerts the city has to offer.

The winter months can bring on the blues, but as the ideas show, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy New York City all winter. We think these are the best things to do in NYC in winter, but don't just take our word for it! Experience some of these for yourself and do your own exploring of the best winter activities NYC has to offer. The city is full of endless opportunities for fun and discovery!