Things to Do in NYC in the Winter for Tourists

By Go City Expert

It may be cold outside, but you'll have a great time in New York City. In fact, winter is a great time to visit the Big Apple. Imagine seeing Central Park lightly dusted with freshly fallen snow. Or catching an event that only occurs a few times a year. Indeed, winter in New York City is a magical time to visit, and there are lots of things to see and do. Here are some of our favorites:

  • The Museum Mile
  • Restaurant Week
  • Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum
  • Fashion Week
  • Madison Square Garden
  • 9/11 Memorial and Museum
  • New York Botanical Garden
  • and more!

Free Entry with The New York Pass®

Free entry to many of these popular New York attractions and activities are included on The New York Pass®. Used by over 3.5 million travelers, the New York Pass is the ultimate sightseeing pass, which includes admission to 90+ attractions, Fast Track Entry at select attractions, a free guidebook, & much more. Learn more about the New York Pass benefits & how to save up to 70% off attractions.

Experience world-class art along the Museum Mile

The Upper East Side's bevy of art museums offers shelter from cold temperatures and a chance to see some of the finest artwork collections in the world. Along the Museum Mile you'll find world-renowned cultural institutions including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Jewish Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, the Museum of African Art, the National Academy Museum, Neue Galerie, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum and El Museo del Barrio. Admission: Museum of the City of New York tickets, Guggenheim tickets, and the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum tickets are included with The New York Pass; admission to the MET, the Jewish Museum, the Museum of African Art, the National Academy Museum and Neue Galerie is separately ticketed and not included with The New York Pass.

Treat yourself during Restaurant Week

Each winter, some 400 of New York City's finest restaurants offer three-course, prix-fixe menus that allow you to experience fine dining at a fraction of the cost. The Restaurant Week promotion is usually held in late January and early February. If you can't get to the city for Restaurant Week, you can get a taste of New York flavor with a Food on Foot tour. Visit iconic neighborhoods that specialize in specific cuisines and experience all the different flavors that make New York such a culinary delight! Admission: Guided Food on Foot Tour tickets are included with the New York Pass.

See Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum

A tourist favorite, Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum features likenesses of the biggest names in pop culture. Located in Times Square, the museum features more than 200 life-like wax figures. You'll find everyone from Marvel superheroes to Marilyn Monroe to Abraham Lincoln to Serena Williams. You should also plan to see Madame Tussaud's immersive exhibits like Kong: Skull Island, the Ghostbuster's: Dimension hyper-reality experience or the Fashion Experience where you can design clothing alongside Heidi Klum. Admission: Madame Tussauds tickets are included with the New York Pass.

Explore a legendary venue in the Winter

Some of the most notable sporting events and concerts take place right in New York City. As a result, the venues themselves are legendary in their own right. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of Madison Square Garden that's hosted everything from boxing matches to presidential birthday parties. Get the scoop on what really happens backstage at Radio City Music Hall, or go behind the scenes at your favorite baseball team's home field during a tour of Yankee Stadium. Admission: Madison Square Garden Behind-the-Scenes Tour tickets, Radio City Music Hall Tour tickets, and Yankee Stadium Tour tickets are all included with The New York Pass.

Visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum

September 11, 2001 was a turning point in the United States. Located on the grounds of World Trade Center, the memorial and museum pays tribute to to the 2,983 people who were killed in the terrorist attacks. No visit to New York would be complete without a visit to the 15,000 square foot museum. You'll get to view the exhibits and artifacts that tell the story of this defining moment in American history. Admission: 9/11 Memorial and Museum tickets are included with the New York Pass.

Take a Hop-On, Hop-Off bus tour

Jump on the Big Bus and let a knowledgeable tour guide show you around the city. If something sounds interesting, get off for further exploration. When you're done, you can catch the next bus and continue along the route. On colder days, you can grab a cup of hot cocoa and sit in the open air for a birds' eye view! Alternatively, you can also sit inside the heated cab on the lower level. Admission: Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Tour tickets are included with the New York Pass.

See where your favorite show was filmed

Many television shows and movies are filmed in the Big Apple, so check out some of the more iconic settings. A walking tour of Central Park will reveal many spots you'll recognize from films like Home Alone or Gossip Girl. Head right to the doorsteps of favorites like Seinfeld and How I Met Your Mother on a bus tour that travels north of Times Square. Admission: Guided When Harry Met Seinfeld Bus Tour tickets and Central Park TV & Movie Sites Walking Tour tickets are included with the New York Pass.

Get glamorous during Fashion Week

Each February, New York City buzzes as high-end fashion designers show off their latest creations during Fashion Week. The clothes are great; the people watching is better! If you can't make it to a runway show, consider a walking tour that explains why New York has become the fashion capital of the world and get the inside scoop on your favorite designers' places to shop! Admission: Fashion Windows Walking Tour tickets are included with The New York Pass. Please note: admission to Fashion Week shows are separately ticketed and not included with the New York Pass.

Explore a botanical garden

Yes, even in the winter, there's plenty to see and do at the city's botanical gardens. With interactive activities, learning experiences and one-of-a-kind treasures, the New York Botanical Garden and Brooklyn Botanic Garden are hot spots, even when it's cold outside. Admission: New York Botanical Garden tickets and Brooklyn Botanic Garden tickets are included with The New York Pass.

Come aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

One of the most interesting museums in the city floats in Hudson River. Visitors can view the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, a WWII-era aircraft carrier that doubles as home to exhibits, educational programming and really cool aircraft and historic artifacts. The boat has also been home to several notable concerts since 1982 when it was moored at its current location. Admission: Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum tickets are included with the New York Pass.

Get lost in the American Museum of Natural History

Where else can you see a Titanosaur other than the American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side? With 2 million square feet of space, the museum is one of the largest in the world. The space is made up of 28 interconnected building featuring 28 exhibit halls, a library, and a planetarium. You can easily spend the day here! Admission: American Museum of Natural History tickets are included with the New York Pass.

Remember to Save on Attraction Admission

If you're traveling to New York during the winter, then you may want to take some time to visit the wonderful indoor attractions in the city. You'll get a chance to view historic museums and tour iconic theaters throughout the boroughs. However, there's a lot of attractions to visit in New York so you'll want to stretch your dollar as much as possible. Purchase a New York Pass to save money on your trip and gain free entry to over 90 attractions in NYC. Click here for more information.

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About the Iconic Coney Island Luna Park

The famous Luna Park at Coney Island has resumed operations after its annual winter hiatus. The Luna Park has become an iconic New York City landmark, enjoyed by thousands of families every season. Its history is a little rocky but today it operates like a well-oiled machine. [caption id="attachment_468" align="aligncenter" width="599"] Post Card from Luna Park at Coney Island from 1912.[/caption] The Luna Park was originally built in 1903 and was a part of the three amusement parks on the South-East Brooklyn peninsula named Coney Island. The other two were the Steeplechase Park and Dreamland, neither of which is in existence today. The original Luna Park was a New York City favorite and brought joy and amusement to locals and visitors alike during difficult times like World War I, the Great Depression of the 1920s and World War II. Most of the premises were caught in a fire in 1944 resulting in destruction of the majority of the park. The park never re-opened. That is until 2010, after an initiative by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to rebuild the largely desolate Coney Island. The year 2010 gave way to the new Luna Park at Coney Island, an amusement park built on the premises of Astroland, another local amusement park operating from 1962 to 2008. [caption id="attachment_469" align="aligncenter" width="599"] Aerial photograph of Coney Island by Jeffrey Millstein (www.jeffreymilstein.com)[/caption] Today, the Luna Park at Coney Island is home to many iconic rides and sites. Perhaps the most famous, the grand Cyclone roller coaster, is made out of wood and was originally opened in 1927. The track of the Cyclone is 1640 feet long and 85 feet tall at its highest point It was awarded National Landmark status in 1988. In 2016, the Cyclone got a fresh coat of paint and was refurbished to welcome the new season. [caption id="attachment_474" align="alignleft" width="434"] Thunderbolt[/caption] [caption id="attachment_473" align="alignright" width="385"] The Tickler[/caption] [spacer height="20px"]Apart from the famous Cyclone, the Luna Park is home to other iconic rides such as The Tickler, a crazy, funny spinning roller coaster that doesn't take itself too seriously, the scary Thunderbolt roller coaster with a nausea-inducing free-fall drop, or the kid friendly Tea Party. There are dozens of other rides, carousels, human sling-shots, as well as shops, beaches and the original Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs shop. The Luna Park is now officially open for the 2016 season and will operate every weekend until Memorial Day (May 30th, 2016), after which it will be open every day until September 2016. For more information about rides, history and hours of operation, visit the Luna Park website.
Go City Expert
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$500 B&H Gift Card Giveaway

Fend off those winter blues in style. Everyone who places an order between 00.01 Monday 23 December to 23.59 on Wednesday 1st January will have the chance to win a $500 gift voucher from New York’s leading electronics store B&H electronics. If you’re not from New York, you may not have heard of B&H. With over 40 years’ experience, B&H is an iconic electronics retailer, teaming state-of-the-art technology with expo-style displays and incredible customer service. So, if you love to get hands-on with the newest innovations and enjoy talking to staff who are as passionate about technology as you are, you’re in the right place. Unrivalled selection So, what’ll it be? Are you looking for a new, professional-grade camera to better document your trip? How about a drone to take exciting images of New York’s sweeping panoramas? B&H stock nearly half a million items, daily. Its incredible range of products (11+ football fields’ worth) is what has made it such a trusted resource for photographers, musicians and creative professionals around the world for decades. Get inspired If you’re struggling to think of things to do with a $500 technology voucher, B&H has a few stories to give you some inspiration (which could perhaps last a lifetime). Their latest campaign, For the Love of the Craft, follows incredible musicians, artists and photographers who have found an outlet for their passions through B&H’s unbelievable selection of tech. *Terms and conditions apply. Orders between 00.01 Monday 23 December to 23.59 on Wednesday 1st January on Wednesday 1st January will qualify for entry into the draw.
Suz Pathmanathan
Crowd in MoMA, New York
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New York museums: free entry with the New York Pass®

New York is home to over 170 top-notch museums in art, architecture, media, natural history, and technology. With your  New York Pass® in hand, you can visit: The Natural History Museum The Guggenheim Museum Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Van Courtland House Museum The Museum of Sex and many more. You'll also enjoy savings of up to 50%, compared to buying individual attraction tickets.   ✈️ Buy The New York Pass® ✈️  Arts museums and galleries 🎨 MoMA PS1 Located in Long Island City, the MoMA PS1 is one of the oldest and largest nonprofit contemporary art institutions in the United States. It's family-friendly, engaging, and packed with vibrant events and installations all year round. 🎨 Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) This iconic, world-leading museum of modern art offers a rich program of exhibitions at 11 West 53rd Street. It's filled with permanent collections, special exhibitions, and iconic masterpieces by the likes of Vincent Van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and many more. 🎨 Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Designed by visionary architect Frank Lloyd Wright and completed in 1959, the Guggenheim Museum is masterpiece of modern architecture, and now part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy one of the finest collections of 20th-century art, spanning Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Early Modern and contemporary works.  🎨 Whitney Museum of American Art The Whitney Museum of American Art is the leading institution of American art and culture of our time, housed in a Marcel Breuer-designed building that is a landmark of modern architecture. See works from newer and upcoming artists, and legends like Georgia O'Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Jasper Johns, and Jackson Pollock.  Media, architecture and design museums 🏛️ Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is the nation’s only museum dedicated to historical and contemporary design, with a collection of over 210,000 design objects spanning thirty centuries. 🏛️The Skyscraper Museum With the skyline of Lower Manhattan as a backdrop and the panorama of New York harbor at its front door, The Skyscraper Museum occupies a site of breathtaking beauty, and offers a rich history of New York. 🏛️The Paley Center for Media Here you'll discover some of the most popular and cutting-edge forms of media dating back to the 1920s. Over a two-hour visit, you can see some of the 100,000 radio and TV programs — some showing incredible historical moments like the moon landing. Great museums for children... 🍭 Staten Island Children's Museum Founded by a group of parents in 1974, The Staten Island Children's Museum is a place to exercise little minds, bodies, and imaginations at New York's only indoor-outdoor interactive museum. It's located in an 84-acre park, within a historic building on the grounds of Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens. 🔭 The New York Hall of Science With more than 450 interactive and engaging exhibits, The New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) is New York’s only hands-on science and technology center.  It's dedicated to inclusivity, running programs for children with special needs, and excels at sparking curiosity and learning for all visitors. 🦕 American Museum of Natural History The American Museum of Natural History is one of the largest and most innovative natural history museums in the world. See the 122-foot-long Titanosaur skeleton, the the Hall of Biodiversity, and explore the Human Origins and Cultural Halls ...and one that's definitely for the adults 🔞Museum of Sex As the raunchiest museum in New York, the mission of the Museum of Sex is to preserve and present the history, evolution, and cultural significance of human sexuality through exhibitions, experiences, and programs. It's popular and tickets are extremely limited - so book in advance if you're visiting on a weekend, or else visit on a weekday for the best experience. Social history museums 🏛️Fraunces Tavern The oldest building in NYC, the Fraunces Tavern® Museum (with bar and restaurant) immerses you in American Revolutionary history, and you can eat and drink in the same space as the Founding Fathers. It's here, in the famous Long Room, where George Washington bade farewell to officers of the Continental Army on December 4th, 1783. It's now a complex of five buildings, with nine galleries. 🪖 Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Built in 1943, the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid and her crew have a distinguished history of service, including tours of duty in both World War II and Vietnam. Now a floating museum, you can explore the Intrepid, and you can see the space shuttle Enterprise up close, a British Airways Concorde, and submarine Growler. Wander through interactive exhibitions, explore historic artifacts, and discover the history of American innovation and bravery. 🏛️Museum of the City of New York The essential introduction to New York City, the Museum of the City of New York explores the past, present, and future of New York, through groundbreaking exhibitions that offer a behind-the-scenes look at what gives the city its singular character. 🏛️New York Historical Society A trip to New York wouldn't be complete without a visit to the New York Historical Society, where four centuries of history, art, and artifacts tell the story of America through the lens of New York. Cultural and religious museums 🏛️ Museum at Eldridge St. Rediscovered by an academic in the 1970s and meticulously restored over the following three decades, the museum has been described as “gasp-inducing” by The New York Times. It's housed in the 1887 Eldridge Street Synagogue, now a magnificent National Historic Landmark. 🏛️Museum of Jewish Heritage Explore the broad tapestry of Jewish life in the 20th and 21st centuries—before, during, and after the Holocaust. The third-largest Holocaust museum in the world, the museum is located on the southernmost tip of Manhattan, rounding out the cultural and educational landscape it shares with the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Visit New York museums for free with The New York Pass® With The New York Pass®, you can explore not just the museums, but also the big-name landmarks, local hotspots, and epic tours — all on one pass, all for one price. Not only that, but you'll enjoy savings of up to 50%, compared to buying individual attraction tickets.   ✈️ Buy The New York Pass® ✈️ 
Shashia Mitchell

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