Ultimate New York City Family Winter Bucket List 2022-2023
Many New Yorkers have a love-and-hate relationship with winter. We love the first day of snow but then hate it when we are lugging groceries in a snowstorm or, even crazier, pushing a stroller. But we are also big on forgiveness, and it happens fast after we sip a delicious cup of hot chocolate, hear the oohs and ahhs of the kids when they see the holiday department store windows, visit Dyker House lights or ice skate in one of NYC’s many ice rinks.
So whether you are visiting New York for the first time or are a seasoned New Yorker, we have a list for you to check off, get you out of the house (or hotel) and enjoy winter in the city!
1. Ice Skate under the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center.
2. See the world-famous Rockettes at the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular.
3. See the lighting of the world’s largest menorahs at Grand Army Plaza in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and Midtown, Manhattan, every night of Hanukkah.
4. DREAM BIG at the Big Apple Circus with fantastical performances featuring King of the High Wire Nik Wallenda, comic daredevil Johnny Rockett, and aerialist Alan Silva.
5. Visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden after dark to explore the beauty of nature in winter on an enchanting trail featuring over a million dazzling lights
6. Visit the NYBG’s Holiday Train Show—a favorite holiday tradition—and see model trains zip through an enchanting display of more than 190 replicas of New York landmarks.
7. Holiday Lights at the Bronx Zoo brings you immersive light displays, custom-designed animal lanterns, festive entertainment, seasonal treats, classic holiday music, and more.
8. Visit the Bank of America Winter Village where you can ice skate, shop, dine, and play!
9. Experience the world of Encanto x CAMP at 110 5th Ave., Chelsea complete with secret passages, interactive magic, live music, and surprises behind every magic door.
10. Satisfy your sweet tooth at a hot chocolate spot in New York like Max Brenner in Manhattan or the Chocolate Room in Brooklyn.
11. Admire the stunning views of the city all lit up for the holiday season from one of NYC’s observation decks like The Empire State Building.
12. Visit the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) to see their famous 13-foot Origami Holiday Tree, featuring over 1,000 intricately designed origami models. ‘
13. Hop aboard the Staten Island Ferry (for free!) and catch a showing of the annual Christmas Show at the historic St. George Theater.
14. Visit The Oculus, the central epicenter of the World Trade Center and a modern architecture of beauty that will have you oohing and aahh-ing
15. Check out the elaborate holiday window displays outside department stores like Macy’s, Saks, and Bloomingdales.
16. Head to Dyker Heights (between 11th to 13th Avenue or 83rd Avenue to 86th St.) for the gorgeous holiday light displays.
17. Head to the now-open year-round Governors Island. Rent a bike and sled and enjoy a crisp winter day.
19. Enjoy Central Park-and visit the Central Park Carousel ( located mid-park at 65th street) and Zoo (East Side between 63rd and 66th) both are open during winter when weather permits.
20. Tour the Grand Central Terminal. Check out the oak leaves and acorn architectural details, the zodiac ceiling in the main concourse and the famed glass clock .
21. Show Broadway love and support, and check out a matinee the kids will love and treasure for years to come.
22. Stay warm on a cold day and visit the iconic Flagship New York Public Library to check out books and the Beaux-Arts architecture building.
23. Make a day of it and head to Ellis Island to visit the Statue of Liberty Museum. Take a ferry from either Battery Park in Manhattan or Liberty State Park in New Jersey.
24. Take the kids to the Harry Potter Store (935 Broadway) and thoroughly enjoy an hour or two of magical adventure and fun.
25. Take advantage of the Culture Pass (culturepass.nyc) and visit the amazing participating institutions for free admission.