New York in December
Even when the snow falls on your New York holiday, streets still make you feel brand new, bright lights still inspire. Especially at Christmas time. The crisp air, clear blue skies and plenty of cafes and bars to hide in, New York in December is a destination like no other.
We’ve put together a 2017/18 winter guide for New York this December, from activities like ice skating in Central Park to festive food halls. Not booked yet? Find great rates at this time of year for flights to New York and start planning your winter trip.
Ice skating in Central Park
The Lasker Ice rink and the Wollman Ice rink (a swimming pool and an amusement park in the summer) are fun for the whole family (it’s cheaper on week days – under $20 per adult). Otherwise go sledging down Pilgrim Hill (just off 72nd Street and 5th Avenue) or, if you’d rather, take a horse drawn carriage around one of the park’s lakes.
New York’s Rockefeller Center
Visit the observation deck at ‘The Top of the Rock’ to get great views of Midtown and Central Park (it’s better than the touristy Empire State Building which you can see from The Rock’s deck). When you come back to terra firma, grab a tot of something hot and boozy and walk around the giant Christmas tree and decorations that are set up around the plaza.
Broadway & Times Square
There is always a huge selection of famous Broadway shows in December. But if you’re feeling more adventurous, why not try an off-Broadway production. During the Christmas period, some of Hollywood’s most famous actors leave the comfort of the LA back lots and perform at some of New York’s most intimate theatres.
Museum’s winter exhibitions
In the deep of winter, New York’s museums like the Guggenheim, MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) and the Whitney extend their open hours on Friday or Saturday or both. Either show up early or late to avoid the queues i.e. not mid morning or right when offices close and locals join the tourist hordes during the festive period. Our top pick is the Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and legacy in the Ancient Americas at the MoMA.
Food markets and City Bakery
The Big Apple has some of the cosiest and coolest places to eat on the planet. There’s the Pennsy Food Hall outside Penn Station which has a range of stalls. If you like cosy, Christmas cheer, try City Bakery on West 18th Street for its famous gourmet pretzels and hot chocolate. For something that’ll last further into the night, there’s NoMad Bar or The Raines Law Room. Think Midtown cocktail sophistication.
New York in the winter versus New York in the summer can be summarised in a word: cheaper. Especially hotel prices. So if it’s a short visit, stay closer to Manhattan for less or still stay further out of the city centre but for longer thanks to the low prices at this time of year. Take a look at our New York hotels and start planning your winter getaway.