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7 Best Winter Activities in New York City

7 Best Winter Activities in New York City

Visiting NYC during December and looking for the best things to do in the city?

Shay and I decided to go on a girls’ trip to New York City for 5 days over the winter break.

It was actually my first time flying anywhere, and since the flight was under an hour, it wasn’t so bad!

Christmas in New York City

We spent 5 days exploring and eating our way through NYC, and it was a lot of fun.

Since we were staying with Shay’s family, our schedule wasn’t jam-packed with activities, and it was just a nice and relaxing little getaway.

If you’re planning a visit, here are some of the best things to do in NYC during December!

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Plan your trip to NYC

Planning a trip to NYC? You might find these posts helpful:


Best things to do in NYC during December


Times Square in New York City

Wander around Times Square

Times Square is like Toronto’s Dundas Square, but with a hundred times the displays and a hundred times the people.

It is a really cool area to explore, but it is truly madness!

Times Square in New York City
Shay and I at Times Square.
Disney characters at Times Square in New York City
We ran into these Disney characters who tried to charge us after offering to take photos with us lol.

We ran into some costumed Disney buskers while at Times Square, which was fun.

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They tried to charge us after offering to take photos with us, so that was not fun 😛


Christmas in New York City
A giant Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center.

Check out holiday decorations around NYC

New York City is absolutely gorgeous during the holiday season.

There are so many beautiful holiday decorations around the city, and it’s absolutely magical!

If you’re in the mood for a little ice skating, there’s a lovely rink at the Rockefeller Center that’s so nice with the giant Christmas tree.

Christmas in New York City
Radio City Music Hall in New York City
Not holiday decor, but still a cool building to see.

We had a lot of fun just wandering through the streets and peeping out all the festive holiday lights.

Do be careful of where you wander off to, because we did find ourselves on some questionable streets!


Central Park in New York City

Stroll through Central Park

Although all the trees were dead, it was still really nice exploring Central Park during the winter.

Shay’s aunt and uncle lived around the corner from Central Park, and it was really cool being able to walk right over!

Central Park in New York City
Pretty views in Central Park.
The Friends fountain in Central Park, New York City
What we thought was the Friends fountain.

We spent most of our time trying to find the Friends fountain, before we found out it actually didn’t exist in real life, and was just part of a set.

It was also fun checking out the view of Central Park from Belvedere Castle (a literal castle in the middle of the park).

John Lennon Memorial in Central Park, New York City
The John Lennon memorial in Central Park.

There was also a memorial dedicated to John Lennon, which was cool to see.

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Broadway theatre in New York City
Seeing Finding Neverland on Broadway.

See a show at the Broadway Theatre

Outside of performances from school field trips, I’d never seen a live theatre show before.

And when in New York, you’ve gotta check out a show on Broadway!

We decided to watch Finding Neverland, and it was such an incredible performance.

Broadway theatre in New York City

The decor of the venue was also really beautiful – we loved everything about it!

LOCATION: 1681 Broadway, New York, NY


Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City

Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Met has so many cool exhibits and works of art, and it’s the perfect spot to visit on any extra cold days in December.

Admission was pay-what-you-can, which was nice ’cause we were students on a budget.

The museum was huge, and there was a lot of beautiful art and unique works to see!

Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City

We had a lot of fun just wandering around the museum and checking out the cool artwork.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City
I never watched Gossip Girl, but Shay wanted a photo in front of the Met steps.

Of course, we had to take a cute photo on the steps of the Met.

LOCATION: 1000 5th Avenue, New York, NY


The Highline in New York City

The High Line

We visited the High Line, which was such a nice little walk and definitely one of our favourite areas of New York City.

The High Line is an elevated freight rail line turned public park, and it’s super nice!

The Highline in New York City
The High Line in New York City

There were so many picturesque views along the walk, and it runs from Hudson Yards to Chelsea!

New York City
Posing somewhere in Chelsea.
Art gallery at the High Line in New York City
We checked out an art gallery in Chelsea.

Start at Hudson Yards, and then peep out all the cool shops and galleries in the hip neighbourhood Chelsea.

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Vegan restaurant in New York City

Dine at the best New York City restaurants

The food scene in NYC is absolutely incredible, and warming up your belly is the perfect way to escape the winter cold.

We particularly loved SoHo – it’s a chic neighbourhood in New York City, known for their high-end shops, restaurants, and art galleries.

We spent some time wandering around the area and ate at an amazing Spanish tapas restaurant called Boqueria.

Sprinkles Cupcakes in New York City

Afterwards, we stopped by Sprinkles for some cupcakes – they were so delicious!

If you don’t know what Sprinkles is, they’re a cupcake bakery known for their ATMs where you can order cupcakes through a machine.


Best things to do in NYC during December:

  1. Wander around Times Square
  2. Check out holiday decorations around NYC
  3. Stroll through Central Park
  4. See a show at the Broadway Theatre
  5. See artwork at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
  6. Walk along the High Line
  7. Dine at the best New York City restaurants

We also took a roundtrip ferry to Staten Island so we could see the Statue of Liberty, though it was nothing all that special.

It’s actually a free ferry, but scalpers kept aggressively trying to sell us tickets and even swore at us!

Anyway, we had a lot of fun exploring NYC during December, even as students on a budget.

MTA subway in New York City
We mostly walked, but we did take the subway a few times.
Corrado Bread & Pastry in New York City
A cute café we visited in Manhattan called Corrado Bread & Pastry.

You can watch my NYC vlog on YouTube to see more of our trip!

Have you been to New York City? What are the best things to do in NYC during December in your opinion? Let me know on Twitter or Instagram!

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Jessica Lam | Toronto lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and travel blogger | Diary of a Toronto Girl, a Canadian lifestyle blog

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