Things to Do in New York, NY
|Tropical... warm! Warmer than home!
Which is the best season to visit NYC? Ask four different New Yorkers and get four different answers. NYC is great in every season.
New York City is magical in winter: Midtown turns into a wonderland of skaters making figure eights, the towering tree sparkles with thousands of lights in Rockefeller Center, the world’s largest menorah lights up Central Park South at Fifth Avenue, Rockettes kick up their heels at Radio City, Sugar Plum Fairies dance across stages, store windows create magical worlds of their own, and holiday lights, music, and decorations spread joy and peace.
If you’re lucky enough to be here for a big snowfall, there’s nothing like strolling through Central Park surrounded by quiet broken only by the sounds of children laughing as they sled down hills. Just try to resist making snow angels.
Grab a seat by the fire and make your plan. Paint the Town is a citywide, winter celebration of special events and values on hotels, restaurants, theaters, and more. Winter Restaurant Week offers $20.04 prix-fixe lunches ($30.04 dinners) at more than 100 of the city’s top eateries, a great way to eat sumptuously on a budget. Performing arts are in full swing and there are special events such as the National Boat Show, Winter Antiques Show, Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, and the International Cat Show. There’s Kid’s Week, celebrating activities designed to enthrall young and older with tours of the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, and the chance to make friends with clowns and elephants at Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus.
Enjoy beautiful outdoor ice skating at:
- Central Park
- Wollman Rink
- Lasker Rink
- Chelsea Piers
- Sky Rink at Chelsea Pier Sports and Entertainment
- Rockefeller Plaza
- Riverbank State Park
- Prospect Park
Springtime in New York City marks the return of championship baseball to Yankee and Shea stadiums and the start of a second season for their A teams the Staten Island Yankees and Brooklyn Cyclones. The parks and botanical gardens in every borough burst into bloom. Daffodils and azaleas crowd Central Park, tulips parade up Park Avenue’s center mall, and there are glorious flower shows such as Macy’s Flower Show, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens’ Cherry Blossom Festival, and the Greater New York Orchid Show.
A little known fact: New York is America’s greenest city, based on percentage of total land comprised of parkland.
If you love a parade, we’ve got ‘em, uptown, downtown, all around town for all occasions: St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Greek Day, Cuban Day, Salute to Israel, and Puerto Rican Day to name a few. May brings Bike New York -- a five-borough bike tour, and Fleet Week, when ships from all around the world dock in New York Harbor.
Summer brings New Yorkers and visitors outdoors to enjoy free outdoor film festivals, opera and popular music performances, and the many parades, parks, gardens, and beaches throughout the five boroughs.
Many of New York’s finest restaurants offer $20.04 three-course prix-fixe lunches throughout the summer as an extension of our popular Summer Restaurant Week.
The baseball season continues; tennis fans cheer at the U.S. Open Tournament in Queens. Summer fun also includes Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center, a citywide beach volleyball tournament, Harlem Week, the Taste of Times Square, food festivals, crafts fairs, street fairs, and much, much more.
New York City bursts with blockbuster exhibits, world-class music and Broadway shows not to mention great sightseeing, shopping, and special events.
Opening nights for the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera are in September, and October brings such highlights as the Columbus Day Parade, Belmont Park’s Breeder’s Cup, and the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade.
Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular kicks off November, followed by the New York City Marathon, the New York Chocolate Show, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the New York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Garden Train Show, and the lighting of the tree in Rockefeller Center.
Other great fall events include the Mid-Atlantic Skating Championships, New York Film Festival, and parades for Steuben Day, African American Day, and Hispanic Day.
Sports fans rejoice – the Knicks Basketball Season begins and runs through Spring, and the ice skating rinks open at Rockefeller Center, Central Park’s Wollman Rink, and the rink in Prospect Park. At the Central Park Zoo, you can feed “fishsicles,” peanut-butter smeared balls, and turkey legs to the four resident polar bears.
Visitors in the know spend the evening before Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade watching the gigantic floats being filled with helium in preparation for the holiday promenade along Central Park West and down Broadway.
Get into the holiday spirit with a performance of The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, A Christmas Carol, The Nutcracker, or any of many other special holiday performances. New York City is also the Shopping Capital of the World – so get a head start and find something for everyone on your list.
As you can see, there truly is something for everyone, no matter what time of year you choose to visit!