Winter in New York with Kids

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With the colder weather, the snow and the ice, New York takes on even more of a magical appearance. Bundle the kids up warm and you may just find that the Big Apple is one of your favorite places in the US for a winter break. Festive decorations adorn shop windows, ornate Christmas trees inspire a sense of wonder, and there are lots of seasonal foods and drinks to enjoy.

Some top things to do and see in New York over the winter months include:

Ice Skating

Photo by By Beyond My Ken / CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0

There are several places around New York where you can hit the ice and get active with some fun ice skating. You’ll find ice skating opportunities both indoors and outdoors. If you’re trying to cut costs head to the pretty outdoor skating rink at Bryant Park. Free to enjoy, you and the kids are sure to have lots of fun! Other popular places for skating include Central Park’s Wollman Rink, the rooftop City Ice Pavilion, Staten Island, McCarren Park, Prospect Park, and the Rockefeller Center.

Watch the Nutcracker

A charming winter-themed show, well-known around the world and an incredibly popular ballet, the Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky will enchant old and young alike. Be transported to a wintery wonderland and observe toy soldiers, fairies, dolls, mice, drummers, and more perform their magic on stage and be enchanted and spellbound from start to finish. The New York City Ballet is a traditional choice, but several companies offer a more contemporary spin on the classic show.

Nibble on Roasted Chestnuts


Phoeto by Achromatic / CC BY 3.0

Tasty and incredibly popular, street sellers come out in force during the colder months, dishing up bags of warm roasted chestnuts. Enjoy chewing on the treats as you wander around and explore.

Rockefeller Center’s Tree

The towering tree at the Rockefeller Center really is a marvellous sight to behold. Complete with hundreds of twinkling lights and beautiful decorations and rounded off with a shimmering crystal star on the top, watch your little ones’ eye light up as the feat their eyes on this beauty.

Dyker Heights

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Photo by By Jim henderson

Perhaps the best place around all of New York City for seeing some wonderful seasonal light displays, the attractive and large displays at Dyker Heights cannot help but impress. There are also many other Christmas decorations, including large Santas, reindeer, candy canes, trees, Nutcrackers, and more!  Tours are available or you can visit independently.

Holiday Walk

A stroll along Holiday Walk is sure to captivate your kids (and probably the adults too!) The shop windows are brimming with fabulous snowy displays and charming nativity scenes. They are a true delight to see.


Photo by Daniel Schwen / CC-BY-SA-3.0

If there is snow on the ground you can find some excellent sledding spots around the city where your kids can have fun whooshing and swooshing down slopes and playing in the soft white snow. Some great places for sledding include Pilgrim Hill in the large and iconic Central Park and Clove Lakes Park on Staten Island.

Grab a deliciously sweet cup of hot chocolate, wrap up in hats, scarves, and gloves, and find out what makes New York so special during the winter. Don’t forget your copy of the Kids’ Travel Guide – New York!

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