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Travel Planner: New York City In Winter
It may be the coldest months of the year but New York City in January and February can be a winter wonderland with plenty of great experiences for solo travellers or those looking for a romantic getaway. From picturesque snowfalls to lovely hotel fireplaces (best accompanied with hot cocoa), as well as rare moments such as shorter lines at museums, easier-to-book restaurant reservations and other conveniences unique to the cold-weather months, New York takes on a whole new dimension this time of year.
Each of the City’s five boroughs is a unique destination in itself, where free and affordable hidden gems and one-of-a-kind winter experiences await.
Here's a rundown of what to do in the Big Apple this winter:
1. Enjoy an espresso and feast on authentic Italian food along Arthur Avenue, the “real Little Italy,” located in the Bronx’s Belmont neighbourhood. The area is easy to get to on the Metro-North Railroad from Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan. Also consider exploring the Bronx Museum of the Arts, which is one of the City’s many free museums.
2. Take the family to Prospect Heights in Brooklyn, via the 2, 3, 4, 5, B, D, N, Q and R subway lines, where they can build snow forts in Prospect Park and then explore global exhibitions in the Brooklyn Museum. While in Brooklyn, walking the Brooklyn Bridge is an iconic free activity enjoyable in all weather.
3. In Manhattan, after ice-skating at Central Park’s Wollman Rink,the Rink at Rockefeller Center or the Winter Village at Bryant Park,head to the Museum of the City of New York to learn about the City’s history and future at the New York at Its Core exhibit. When hungry, warm up at one of many popular food halls, including the Great Northern Food Hall in Grand Central Terminal or the latest Eataly in Lower Manhattan.
4. Stay in Manhattan and head uptown to catch the latest jazz, dance or theatrical performance at Harlem’s iconic Apollo Theater, easily reached by the A, B, D and other major subway lines. Visitors can then enjoy a great soul-warming dinner at nearby Sylvia’s ‘Soul Food’ Restaurant.
5. Take a ride on the free and enclosed Staten Island Ferry to St. George, with frequent departures from Lower Manhattan, and explore the new Staten Island Museum at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, or warm up to an evening performance at the historic St. George Theatre. Both are a short cab or bus ride from the ferry terminal.
6. Hop on the 7 subway line (sometimes referred to as the “International Express”) for a Queens winter adventure, where Himalayan, Indian and Latin American cuisine are part of an authentic Jackson Heights experience, or head to Flushing and see an incredible scale model of New York City at the Queens Museum. Or, admire great art and skyline views from Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City.
7. Many of the City’s retail stores throughout the five boroughs offer great sales during the winter months. Those looking to snag a deal can enjoy new shopping destinations including the CityPoint shops in Downtown Brooklyn and both Brookfield Place and Westfield World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan; or they can browse one of the City’s many iconic department stores like Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor and Century 21. In addition, shoppers can enjoy boutique shops on Fifth Avenue, including Tommy Hilfiger, as well as the Shops at Columbus Circle, among others.
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