After the Christmas decorations have disappeared from store windows, and the Rockefeller Christmas tree has come down, it is still not too late to visit New York in the wintertime.
It is often hard to figure out what to do in a city so jam-packed with activities and sights, so it’s smart to make a plan beforehand. For those of us who visit New York, we may find ourselves already there with not much to do, which can turn your whole trip into confusion and lots of aimless walking.
High Line Park stretches from West 34 Street to Jane Street near 12 street, and offers a view of the streets of Manhattan from above. High Line is a park built on top of old railroad tracks constructed above New York streets. The 1.45 mile scenic walk will take you through the bustling streets of New York while being surrounded by trees and blooming flowers. Some segments, such as the Chelsea Market Passage between West 15 and West 16 street , go through buildings, while other overlooks on the path let you experience the Manhattan hustle and bustle from a different perspective. There are 16 entrances to the former railroad tracks where you can access or leave the park.
Though the small kiosks Winter Village at Bryant Park are now closed, ice skating will still be open until March 6. General admission to the rink is free, and skate rentals , if you do not have your own, are $15. The beautiful rink is nestled among skyscrapers and by the New York Public Library. Even after the large Christmas tree and small holiday shops are gone, you can still cozy up to a bowl of soup at Celsius, the Brant Park restaurant. The all glass eatery, Celsius, is actually a pop up restaurant and is constructed every year for the Winter Village, and then taken down again. Celsius offers anything from grilled cheese and tomato bisque to short-rib pasta, and chai spice donuts for dessert. The outdoor area is heated with heat lamps, so you can watch ice skaters zip by while enjoying your meal. For a more formal dinner, Bryant Park is also home to Bryant Park Grill, with a dining hall and rooftop terrace.
Saturdays and Sundays, a different kind of flea market goes on inside of Industry City in Brooklyn. Brooklyn Flea features vintage items, clothes, hand-made crafts, furniture, and other novelties nestled in an industrial warehouse. Expect to see things like Art on Post-Its, or flowers in pots of crumbled brick. The markets also offer Smorgasburg, a variety of food vendors selling anything from Macaroons and Bubble teas to Ramen Burgers or Saltenas at a place called Bolivian Llama Party (sounds fun).
As we delve deeper into the month of January, and temperatures drop lower, snow is bound to sprinkle over the hills of New York, creating a perfect opportunity to go sledding. Some of the best places to go sledding are Inwood Hill Park, East River Park, Fort Greene Park, and Riverside Park. Sledding down Riverside Park, you will veer past trees and other sleds, and maybe spot the Hudson River. The most popular sledding destination in New York is Pilgrim Hill in Central Park. However, if you plan on sledding there, beware of crowds since the hill is deemed most popular for a reason. The hill is recognized by a large Pilgrim Statue at the top.
Visiting the city entails a lot of walking, or at least cramped subway rides, so after you’ve braved the cold touring the city, stop into one of Jacques Torres’s 8 locations for a cup of his famous hot chocolate. The Wicked spicy hot chocolate flavored with chili peppers and cinnamon is renowned all over the country. Other sweet treats include truffles, caramels, and milk chocolate Cheerios.
And, though, the holiday season is now far behind us, New York City never fails to provide new opportunities for fun.