By: Chandler Presson By: Chandler Presson | October 6, 2022 | Lifestyle
With plenty of amazing museums, delicious restaurants and outdoor activities, there's a lot to do in New York City. Check out our recommendations of the best things to do in NYC for every occasion.
During Winter | By Yourself | With Family | In Central Park | As A Couple
There's something magical about NYC in the winter. The entire city comes to light with holiday cheer and stepping inside a warm and cozy restaurant feels incredible. Here are our recommendations for the best things to do during the winter in NYC.
600 5th Ave. / 212.771.7200 / Website
The Rink at Rockefeller Center is a classic NYC winter activity for a reason. Since 1936, the Rink has provided New Yorkers and guests with the classic NYC experience of skating while surrounded by Rockefeller Center’s gorgeous architecture. Be sure to make reservations online to secure your time slot.
NYC has plenty of amazing holiday markets to enjoy during the winter months, including Bank of America Winter Village and the Union Square Holiday Market. Stroll through the booths while sipping on hot chocolate or a hot mulled wine and enjoy the holiday cheer. The European-style Columbus Circle Holiday Market offers about 100 booths, providing plenty of room to explore.
There’s something magical about Broadway during the winter months, and this year promises to have a strong lineup of shows. Wicked, The Lion King and The Phantom of the Opera will all be showing. See the matinee and grab dinner after (Carmine’s and L’Adresse are great) or eat early and see the 8:00 PM show.
1000 5th Ave. / 212.535.7710 / Website
With tons of rotating and visiting exhibits, visitors can spend hours on end inside The Met, making it an excellent winter activity. NY residents pay what they wish as admission, while non-resident visitors can purchase tickets for $30. With over 5,000 years of art from around the world on display, The Met is a must-see in NYC.
Igloo dining offers the opportunity to feel like you’re outside while avoiding the freezing temperatures. A variety of spots around the city offer heated igloos, including 230 FIfth, Bryant Park, City Winery and Lucciola. Make a reservation in advance and enjoy the experience with your friends.
In a bustling city like New York, it's important to take time for yourself. Luckily, NYC offers plenty to do by yourself, and these activities will make solo days your new favorites.
Food tours such as Foods of NY Tours are a great way to meet new people while getting to know the city. There are dozens of food tours to choose from in NYC, offering the perfect choice for everyone. No matter if Chinatown, Nolita and Little Italy or Brooklyn is your neighborhood of choice, food tours are a great way to spend a solo day in NYC.
See also: The Best Food Tours In NYC, From Dim Sum In Chinatown, To Pasta In Little Italy
Treat yourself to a day full of R&R at one of NYC’s world-class spas. Head to The Well for dozens of wellness offerings, including acupuncture, massage and fitness classes, or the Ritz-Carlton Spa New York, NoMad for an incredible facial and massage.
See also: Where to Celebrate National Wellness Month in NYC
75 9th Ave. / 212.652.2111 / Website
Head over to Meatpacking District to stroll through the marketplace and enjoy the dozens of culinary offerings. We recommend grabbing a coffee and exploring and then trying one or more of the delicious eateries.
New York City has excellent public parks, such as Madison Square Park and Bryant Park. Grab a blanket, a book, and a coffee or juice and take advantage! Just be sure to read signage and only sit on greens that are currently open.
Rock climbing is a great workout in addition to being a ton of fun. Whether you're an experienced climber or new to the sport, NYC has tons of great climbing gyms. Check out our list of the best climbing gyms and enjoy some time on the wall.
Seeing the city through the eyes of a child is magical, and these activities appeal to visitors of all ages. Whether you are looking for cost-effective options or want to spend the day in the sunshine, NYC has plenty to keep families entertained all day long.
4 Whitehall St. / 212.839.3061 / Website
As an iconic New York City experience, the Staten Island Ferry is a great way to spend an afternoon with family. Point out landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty while you enjoy the ride. Even better? The City of New York provides service for free, so be sure to avoid scammers attempting to sell tickets.
212 W. 83rd St. / 212.721.1223 / Website
Located on the UWS, the Children's Museum of Manhattan offers tons of exhibitions appealing to multiple age groups, including Adventures With Dora and Diego, Dynamic H2O and Superpowered Metropolis: Early Learning City. Be sure to buy tickets ahead of time to ensure your entry.
200 Central Park W. / 212.769.5100 / Website
There's a reason the American Museum of Natural History is known world-over, as the exhibitions are truly jaw-dropping. Visit the biodiversity and environmental halls, enjoy the earth and planetary sciences halls and watch your family members' eyes alight as they learn about the wonders of the earth.
2900 Southern Blvd. / 718.817.8700 / Website
Let's be real: It can be difficult to connect with nature while living in NYC. Luckily for New Yorkers, the New York Botanical Garden will make you feel like you're miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city, all while being within the five boroughs. Enjoy the extensive programming, wander through the forest and learn about plant research and conservation.
602 Surf Ave. / 718.265.3474 / Website
Founded in 1896, the New York Aquarium has long connected New Yorkers to ocean wildlife. With over 500 marine wildlife species, 18 shark and ray species and 14 acres of grounds, there is tons to discover at the New York Aquarium. Be sure to check out the schedule to see when the Aquatheater shows take place.
Central Park is iconic for a reason, and all 843 acres offer plenty of activities to enjoy. Next time it's a gorgeous day in the city, head towards the Park to experience all that it has to offer.
E. 64th St. / 212.439.6500 / Website
There's always something to do at Central Park Zoo, whether it's visiting the snow leopard exhibit or feeding the penguins. Perhaps one of the easiest ways to experience wildlife in Manhattan, an afternoon at the zoo is time well spent.
Lawns make up 30% of the Park's 843 acres, making the Park a wonderful place to enjoy a picnic. Grab a blanket, your favorite meal, and head to your favorite lawn (we love the Great Lawn!) to get some fresh air and sunshine.
79th St. Transverse / 212.310.6600 / Website
The Ramble is the most famous of the Park's three woodland landscapes and is a wonderful spot to take a hike. The 36 acres were designed to look like the forests of upstate New York, and include winding trails, picturesque bridges, a stream and rock outcroppings. When the weather permits, the Ramble is a no-brainer.
Mid-Park at 79th / 332.213.3947 / Website
A miniature castle located in the middle of Manhattan? That's exactly what Belvedere Castle is, and was designed by Central Park co-designer Calvert Vauz and architect Jacob Wrey before being completed in 1872. The Belvedere provides incredible views of Turtle Pond and Great Lawn to the north as well as the Ramble to the south.
Park Drive N., E. 72nd St. / 212.517.2233 / Website
Boating at Central Park Lake is an iconic New York experience for good reason. The boats are first come, first served, and are available beginning at 10AM through November, so be sure to arrive early. Reservations are $20 per hour and are cash only, so be sure to hit an ATM before heading over!
NYC is doubtlessly one of the most romantic cities in the US, and there are plenty of great activities to get up to with your loved one. Check out our recommendations for the perfect way to give you and your flame butterflies.
NYC has tons of great comedy shows, such as Gotham Comedy Club and Comedy Cellar. Providing plenty to talk about and an activity to focus on, a comedy show makes for a great date. Be sure to buy your tickets ahead of time and arrive early to grab your seats.
See also: The Most Hilarious Comedy Clubs In NYC: From Stand-Up To Cabaret
Multiple entrances / 212.500.6035 / Website
The High Line makes for an excellent afternoon activity on a temperate day in NYC. Built on a historic, elevated rail line, the High Line offers the chance to walk through gardens, view art, enjoy delicious food and get some exercise. Choose one of the dozen of entry points on the West Side and walk for as long as you'd like.
Whether you'd prefer a sailboat or a yacht, NYC offers plenty of options for a gorgeous sunset cruise around Manhattan. Check out New York City Sunset Sail aboard Shearwater and Classic Harbor Line to find the perfect cruise for you and your significant other.
Little Italy has been a cultural destination in NYC since the late 19th century, making it a must-see for any and all NYC visitors and New Yorkers alike. Enjoy some of the best Italian food to be found on this side of the Atlantic, indulge in a cannoli or two from Ferrara and walk through the charming streets.
281 Park Ave. South / 212.433.3686 / Website
The Fotografiska Museum is one of NYC's best photography museums and is currently showing David LaChapelle's gorgeous make BELIEVE collection. We recommend booking a guided tour to experience everything the iconic museum has to offer.
No matter if you're looking to spend the perfect day alone in NYC or bring along your entire family, we've got you covered!
Photography by: NYC Skyline: Michael Lee / Getty Images
Ice Skating: Leung / Getty Images
Chelsea Market: Tetsuro Goto / Getty Images
Staten Island Ferry: Andrei Orlov / Getty Images
Central Park: Michael Lee / Getty Images
The High Line: Alexander Spatari / Getty Images