In my life, you can never have enough excitement. Over two years ago, I attended a networking event on the rooftop of a popular NYC hotel when I was writing for Guest of a Guest. I showed up alone, and was mingling among the crowd. Tons of investors, real estate moguls, and celebs were in the crowd, and I ended up bonding with a lady named Anisa (over free food). We stayed in touch, and till this day, she's my second sister, my inspiration, my mogul, and the girl I can travel around NYC eating my way through with.
Some people may feel like hibernating in the winter when it's cold out-I totally get that. Occasionally, I'd prefer to spend my Saturday night cuddled up on the couch with takeout and a good movie, but this is New York City, and there are always too many events going on to stay home. Life's too short, right? Here is my guide to exploring NYC during the winter, whether you live here (like me!) or you're visiting.
1. Ice Skating
New York City has plenty of ice skating options, whether you're a beginner or an enthusiast. The most known are the Rockefeller Rink and the Wollman Rink in Central Park. Both are so iconic with great views and atmosphere.
A few years ago, they opened a rink in Bryant Park, where ice skating is free! You just have to bring your own skates, or pay for a rental. There's also McCarren Rink in Brooklyn. If you prefer to skate without a big crowd, try Trump Laser Rink, which is at the north end of Central Park.
If you're looking for more of a party atmosphere (you can get hot toddies!), try the small rink at the Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District. I know the Standard is one of Alexa's favorite holiday hotspots to hang out at. If the weather is really bad but you're in the mood for ice skating still, you can try City Ice Pavilion in Long Island City. It's indoors and open year around. It's easily accessible from the 7 train and affordable. If you don't know how to skate, it's never too late to learn: choose one of the many rinks NYC has to offer and get skating!
Of course, NYC has some of the best museums in the world. The dilemma is trying to choose which one to go to on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon! My favorite museum is the MOMA (The Museum of Modern Art), which is located right in Midtown. You can see some of Monet's famous water lily paintings, several Picassos, and much more. Also, if you've never been to the Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art) it's a must-see. If Blair and Serena ate lunch on the steps of the Met, you must too, right? The museum is massive, so allot a full day to spend there. The areas I recommend are the Temple of Dendur and the European Sculptures. If you're a science/history buff, you may prefer the American Museum of Natural History. If you visit, be sure to see an IMAX 3D show or visit the planetarium.
3. Broadway Show
Winter is a fantastic time to experience one of the many Broadway shows Manhattan has to offer. Whether you prefer musicals or plays, something serious or funny...there is always something for you. Many famous names are headlining shows lately, like Matthew Broderick, who is in the play Sylvia, which is super cute and funny. I'm hoping to see On Your Feet! and School of Rock in 2016. Broadway shows can be expensive, so here's my cheat sheet on how to score affordable tickets for shows.
4. Food Halls
When the weather is warmer, everyone flocks to outdoor food markets like Smorgasburg and Madison Square Eats. A new trend is to have food halls indoors so you can try unusual foods year round. At Hudson Eats, you can find some city favorites like Mighty Quinn's BBQ and Black Seed Bagels. In Midtown, there is Urbanspace Vanderbilt, where you can try some Brooklyn favorites like Roberta's Pizza or Dough Donuts, without crossing the river. Gotham West is another fan favorite, with Ample Hills Creamery offering some of the creamiest and most delicious ice cream (across the globe) in my opinion.
5. Satisfying the Thirst
A warm drink is nothing less than comforting and necessary when it's cold outside. If you're in the mood for something sweet, City Bakery has incredible hot chocolate ($5 for the cocoa and an additional $2 for a homemade marshmallow) and dessert. During the month of February, they host a hot chocolate festival which means a new flavor of hot cocoa everyday! Alice's Tea Cup, for the tea lovers, is another great choice. I visit the location on the Upper West Side, but they've got two more locations you can go to depending on your area. Since I frequently travel to Europe, I enjoy bringing my boyfriend in for a lazy Saturday afternoon with tea and fresh scones with clotted cream and jam. With a variety of tea flavors and scones to choose from, you'll never be bored here.
Those are just a few ideas I have for spending time in NYC during the winter. Hibernating is for the bears, so get out there and enjoy the Big Apple!