The holidays may be over, but there’s still plenty to see and do around New York City to kick off the new year with a bang. Make the most of your trip to Manhattan with our Big Apple winter bucket list.
Whether you’re looking for quintessential cold-weather experiences, trendy restaurants or an inviting place to warm up, these spots are worthy of braving the polar vortex.
Where to Stay
For a home away from home, check into Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Loews Regency New York, a posh Park Avenue escape boasting residential-style accommodations that feel like pieds-à-terre.
Upgrade your stay with the hotel’s Suite Deal for spacious digs and a daily $125 food and beverage credit. Start your day with a power breakfast at the property’s Regency Bar & Grill (eggs Florentine and brioche French toast are hits) before heading out to explore the sights.
If you prefer a taste of the Big Apple’s sumptuous side, check into Baccarat Hotel New York. Recognized as one of the 2018 World’s Most Luxurious Hotels in our inaugural Verified Lists, this Five-Star stay delivers unapologetic, ostentatious opulence. Book its Gourmet Getaway package to indulge in the finer things, including two Signature Touch cocktails at The Bar at Baccarat Hotel and a six-course chef’s tasting menu at Gabriel Kreuther, an elegant French restaurant serving up contemporary takes on classic cuisine.
New York’s winters may be charming, but the frosty air and wet snow can take their toll. Warm up in the glow of your own flames when you book the Fireplace Package from Four-Star The Lowell. Check into this Upper East Side manor and cozy up in your lavishly appointed accommodations with a choice of scented wood, a bottle of wine and a fireplace butler who will get everything squared away. And after you fall asleep in front of the flickering, wake up to a full American breakfast for two in the European-inspired Pembroke Room.
If you enjoy the brisk weather, glide into Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Conrad New York to score its Conrad Skate with the Greats package. Once you’ve settled into your Hudson River View Suite, head to The Rink at Brookfield Place to receive a private, one-hour lesson with former U.S. Olympic ice skaters Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov.
Post-workout, opt for an off-the-ice meet-and-greet with the duo or continue skating alongside the pros. A slew of Olympic-branded goodies and autographs help you commemorate the experience.
Where to Eat
While New York City has endless iconic restaurants to try, there is also a constant influx of worthy newcomers to savor as well.
Reserve a table at RH Rooftop Restaurant, a chic space above the popular design store. The Meatpacking District venue is (predictably) impeccably decorated with an impressive glass ceiling and elevator, and crowned with crystal chandeliers. The eatery is the latest see-and-be-seen hot spot where the well-heeled dine on American staples among gorgeous art installations.
Seafood junkies must book a reservation at Atomix, the fine-dining Korean restaurant from the husband-and-wife pair behind breakout star restaurant Atoboy. The 10-course tasting menu features a mix of classic fare and avant-garde flavors. Don’t miss a Korean-inspired cocktail and bites at the ground-floor bar; the walk-in only space is an excellent backup if you can’t snag a spot at the 14-seat chef’s table.
Travel uptown to Eléa, the newest venture from the same team behind Greek restaurant Kyma. Journey to Mykonos in this sprawling, bright white dining room while noshing on staples like braised octopus and chargrilled lamb chops.
Where to Drink
Escape the freezing streets of New York and soak up incredible views at one of the city’s winterized rooftop bars — an unexpected perk of Manhattan during colder months.
Crowning historic Beekman Tower, Ophelia Lounge’s swanky rooftop is one of our favorite places for libations during winter — the glass greenhouse makes you feel like you’re in a snow globe. Admire the glittering ambiance while you sip from expertly mixed cocktails like White Lightning, a warming tipple made with Manhattan Moonshine Whiskey, lychee liqueur, Cointreau, wormwood bitters and rambutan.
Serra Alpina by Birreria, Eataly NYC Flatiron’s rooftop restaurant, has undergone a seasonal makeover, too, complete with twinkling lights and a rustic Alpine feel. Admire the view with the soul-warming Vin Brulé, a spiced Italian wine.
A standby sitting within The McKittrick Hotel, The Lodge at Gallow Green transforms into a log cabin in the clouds each year. Outdoor fire pits and plenty of trees give the sense that you’ve escaped to an après-ski in the sky. Note that this winter favorite is closed through January, but will be warm and welcoming come February 1.
What to Do
Have the ultimate snow day in Central Park during Winter Jam at the Bandshell. On January 26 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., experience cold-weather sports like ice skating, sledding, snowshoeing, snowboarding and more without having to leave the city limits.
Upstate ski destination Gore Mountain brings the activity to life no matter the weather — with a little help from its snow machines, of course. Sign up for complimentary equipment rentals, and ski and snowboarding lessons before warming up in a heated hut with a steaming mug of hot chocolate.
If you can’t make it to either of those venues, you can still come bask in the beauty of a snow-covered Central Park with an ice-skating session at Wollman Rink. Or if you’re looking to take kids sledding, some of the top spots are Pilgrim Hill (enter at 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue) and Cedar Hill (enter at Fifth Avenue and 76th).
Art lovers should visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue and catch “Jewelry: The Body Transformed” through February 24. Discover more about this universal art form through more than 230 historical gems from across the globe.
Or go downtown to the Whitney Museum of American Art, which hosts an Andy Warhol retrospective, “From A to B and Back Again,” through March 31. This exhibition is the first organized by a U.S. museum on the famed artist since 1989.
Perhaps our favorite way to warm up is with a little pampering, especially at Four-Star L. Raphael Beauty Spa. Tucked within Five-Star Four Seasons Hotel New York, this stylish Swiss sanctuary provides seemingly endless ways to refresh winter-weary skin, but the Oxy Star Anti-Pigmentation Treatment is a standout. Using ingredients like white truffles and a collagen mask, this oxygen-infused service hydrates, diminishes wrinkles and evens skin tone to leave you glowing — try it before a big night on the town.
For families looking for something fun to do, we recommend checking out shows for smaller audiences, like Pinkalicious the Musical (through May 18) or the Big Apple Circus (through January 27).