(aka There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather, Only Bad Clothing). We get it. It’s (probably bitterly) cold outside, and nothing sounds more inviting than curling up on your sofa, ordering your favourite ramen, and having a Netflix binge session. But if you’ve got the right clothing (we wrote about this if you need tips!), you can get out and enjoy the city just as much as you do when it’s warmer.
OK, you won’t be drinking an Aperol spritz on a cool rooftop bar with a balmy breeze, but you’ve got lots of options to keep you busy (and cosy).
1. Check out the museum or art gallery you’ve been too busy to visit
There are the classics like MoMA and The Met, but have you visited the other (just as impressive) museums hidden around the city? The lesser-known gems are often forgotten about in the shadows of their famous cousins, but we think they’re equally awesome! We highly recommend Museum of the City of New York1, Tenement Museum2, American Folk Museum3, The Morgan Library & Museum4, New York Transit Museum5, Fotografiska Museum NYC6 and El Museo del Barrio7.
2. Slay the slopes
There are companies that pick up skiers and snowboarders from the city and take you upstate for a day on the slopes. It means getting up at the crack of dawn, but that adrenaline rush from a day on the slopes will make up for it. You also get to catch up on some sleep while someone else takes care of the driving (and traffic chaos).
3. Hit the trails (bear and bug-free!)
You’d be surprised by how many places there are to hike that are close to the city (and accessible via public transport!). If you’ve got the right gear and know what you’re doing in the cold, winter is an awesome time to hit the trails. If you’re not confident about heading out, companies like Adventure Untamed have experienced guides who will help you navigate the trails and weather safely.
4. Check out the city’s green spaces
Wrap up warm and take a brisk walk around one of the city’s beautiful parks and gardens. (Astra Lumina looks cool!) Governors Island is holding Winter Dog Days, so you can take your four-legged bestie out there to shake off the winter blues together.
5. It’s snowing?! Head out to see NYC in all her glory
You’ll want to experience all of that virgin snow before it turns into a slushy pile of muck (or before you get knee-capped by a six-year-old on a runaway sled), so we recommend heading out as early as possible. Ensure you have your waterproof boots on before launching into the snowy depths (we want you to keep your toes), and send us your best snow day/snowball fight/snowman-making pics!
6. Take refuge in a cute cafe
Want to get some feeling back into your extremities? Find a cosy cafe, grab yourself a hot chocolate and stare wistfully out at the (hopefully still white) snow-covered streets before everything begins to look like an environmental disaster.
7. Grab your favorite person and head to the day spa
The city has a heap of great day spas (for all budgets) to indulge in. Sign up for a day pass, massage, sauna, or whatever is your idea of heaven. Check out AIRE Ancient Baths Spa, Bathhouse, QC NY Spa on Governors Island or for something a bit different, Vessel Floats.
8. Join a food tour for all the yums
So much food, so little time. NYC can be intimidating when you’re faced with so many delicious options to shove into your gob. There are some awesome food tours available in the city that concentrate on specific neighbourhoods or cuisines that are sure to keep you warm. We recommend (fellow Aussie) Ben Gollan’s excellent A Man and His Sandwich tours, or check out one of these options.
9. Warm your tootsies in front of an open fire
We bet you don't think New York City and cosy fireplaces at the same time, right? Unless you’re lucky enough to live somewhere that still has a functioning fireplace (in that case, when can we come over?), then head to one of the city’s bars with a fireplace to curl up in front of for a good meal or a glass of wine.
10. Check out Winter Jazzfest
If you're looking for bustling nightlife Winter Jazzfest is one of NYC’s best options. Considered to be the country's best jazz festivals, you’ll see an awesome lineup of talented musicians across 12 venues.
If all else fails (we get it, it’s cold!), go and embrace hygge. You deserve it!
- This museum is dedicated to preserving and presenting the history of New York City and its people. It's unique for its extensive collection of art, photographs, and historical artifacts. Visitors typically spend 1-2 hours here. It's ideal for history buffs and those interested in urban development. ↩︎
- This museum offers a unique experience by showcasing the immigrant and working-class history of New York through restored tenement apartments. It's a must-visit for those interested in social history and storytelling. A visit usually takes about 1-2 hours and is especially enlightening for families and students. ↩︎
- Specializing in the art of the self-taught, this museum displays traditional folk art alongside contemporary pieces. Its uniqueness lies in its focus on folk and outsider art. Visitors often spend around an hour here, and it appeals to art lovers and those interested in non-mainstream art forms. ↩︎
- This museum is famous for its collection of rare books, manuscripts, and artworks. It's a paradise for literature and history enthusiasts, offering a glimpse into the world of classical literature and arts. A typical visit lasts about 2 hours, targeting book lovers and art historians. ↩︎
- Dedicated to the history of New York's public transportation system, this museum is unique for its location in a decommissioned subway station. It's a fun and educational experience, taking about 1-2 hours, perfect for families and transportation enthusiasts. ↩︎
- This museum focuses on contemporary photography, showcasing works by both established and emerging photographers. It stands out for its dynamic exhibitions and interactive experiences. A visit usually takes around 1-2 hours, appealing to photography enthusiasts and contemporary art fans. ↩︎
- Celebrating Latin American and Caribbean culture and art, this museum offers a vibrant mix of exhibitions. It's unique for its focus on Latino artists and cultural heritage. Visitors typically spend 1-2 hours here, and it's particularly engaging for those interested in cultural and ethnic art. ↩︎