There are still more than one month to the official start winter date, but as I know that there are a lot of people coming to New York during this period, there is nothing better than a help in the planning with tips of what to do in the coldest season of the year. In fact, cold weather already starts even before the official winter date and many of these tips are also great for Fall! Remember that I already wrote a post with 10 other things for the winter in the city – if you have not seen, click here.
Wine tasting at Red Hook Winery – Red Hook Winery is a winery that is in Red Hook. Located on the banks of the river, its focus is on viticulture in the state of New York. That is, the grapes used for the production of wines are all of the state itself origin, from 15 different producers in the regions of North Fork, Long Island and Finger Lake. The place has a social area, rustic decor, where you can taste wines from a selection of 70 types. You can order a glass or a bottle or else try the tasting. You choose 4 wines to taste and pay $ 15. The menu also has a selection of cheese and chips. The atmosphere is very nice, the staff are super attentive and the wines are a delight.
Address: 175 Van Dyke St. You should use Water Taxi to get there. Click here for more information about the winery and how to get there.
Little Italy, The Bronx – winter is good for… eating! And if you wanna enjoy a delicious and different experience, not obvious, you should get the subway to The Bronx and exploring the real Little Italy in New York. Generations of Italian families have given the area a special small-town character unique for an urban setting, while at the same time establishing traditions that permeate the neighborhood like the sweet smell of sausage and peppers. It’s the best place for bread, pasta, meat, pastries, the only place to buy Italian sausage, and more. The quality and values are tops – a recent ranking confirmed once again by critics like the Zagat Survey whose readers repeatedly give “Best Buy” status to more Arthur Avenue shops than any other neighborhood in New York City. Click here and check out a post with tips on what to do there.
Holiday Train Show – this exhibition happens every year at New York Botanical Garden, The Bronx. Enchanting model trains zip through a display of 150 landmarks, each re-created with bark, leaves, and other natural materials—all under the twinkling glow of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Marvel at G-scale locomotives humming along among familiar sights such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, and Rockefeller Center on nearly a half-mile of track. The recent exhibition expansion continues with more trains and a true New York finale featuring a whimsical tribute to the iconic Coney Island amusement park’s architecture and attractions.
Address: 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx.
SantaCon – it’s a convention of santas – groups of men & women dressed as Santa. After Halloween, this is probably one of the best days to observe people in New York. Every year, many people, men and women enter the Christmas atmosphere and dress as Santa Claus and other typical figures. This year, SantaCon will be on 10 December. It is typical that all the Santa Clauses meet in pubs and bars. The event details can be checked on this site.
Winter Flea + Smorgasburg – Smorgasburg is famous and crowded during the summer. Don’t worry: in the winter, you also have a chance to check this fair. 100 vendors will sell every weekend at the landmarked interior, with 75 “Flea” vintage and craft vendors in the Main Hall and Mezzanine and 25 Smorgasburg food vendors on the lower level Vault. From the mosaic on Skylight One Hanson’s 63-foot ceiling, to secret iconography hidden throughout the space, the story of New York’s past can be discovered in this unparalleled environment for shopping, eating, and sightseeing. Saturdays + Sundays, 10am-6pm, from November through March. More information here.
Address: 1 Hanson Pl.
Grand Central Holiday Fair – winter or summer, you have to visit Grand Central once you are in New York. This station has an amazing architeture and has been featured in a lot of movies and series. In December, you have another reason to visit the place: Grand Central Holiday Fair. It is one of the finest, longest-running indoor holiday fairs in New York City. Highly selective about the artists chosen to participate, planners spend the year looking for unique vendors with a focus on American-made and handmade products with locally-sourced materials or a socially-conscious business model. About 40 vendors will take over half of the historic Vanderbilt Hall for almost six weeks to sell artwork, clothing for all ages, men’s/women’s accessories, children’s clothing/toys and home goods. A range of products and price points guarantees that New Yorkers, commuters, and tourists alike can find interesting gift items for others as well as covet-worthy items for themselves. Since 1993, the Holiday Fair has been a must-shop destination during the holiday season. This year, the event will happen from November 14th to December 24th. Check out the details.
Foundue – if during the summer we want frozen drinks, ice cream and beer, during the winter it’s good to drink some wine and having warm food. How not relate winter and foundue? I searched some options in New York. One is Taureau, a French bistro in Soho. They offer a price fixed menu with two options: $43 per person with cheese and chocolate and $53 per person with meat, cheese and chocolate. They only accept cash or Amex. More details and reservations here. Anothere place to eat foundue is Cafe Select, Nolita. Season starts in December and you can check details on the website. There is also Foundue Chalet, Williamsburg, a pop up restaurant. In 2016, it opens on December 4th and you can check the Fan Page for updates.
Addresses: Taureau – 558 Broome Street / Café Select – 212 Lafayette Street / Foundue Chalet – 125 Berry Street.
Restaurant Week – if you like to explore restaurants when traveling, Restaurant Week is a great opportunity to eat well in renowned restaurants. The idea is to enjoy a full meal – starter, main course and dessert – for fixed prices – $29 for lunch and $42 for dinner, on average. It happens twice a year – once in the summer, between July and August and another edition in winter, between January and February. The 2017 edition rolls from January 23th to February 10th and you can click here to check out the details.
Winter Jazzfest – every year in January, Winter Jazzfest promotes a special jazz week with amazing line up. The schedule includes the classic two nights marathon in Greenwich Village. There are 150 groups in performances at various locations. You buy the pass and can explore them all. There are also tickets for other nights. For those who enjoy music, it’s certainly amazing. Click here to check out more details.
New Year’s Day Swim – Coney Island is definitely not the same place in the winter. The parks are closed and the place is much more empty. But if you want a reason to go there, there is a good excuse on January 1 st! The Polar Bear Club, the oldest organization of winter bathing in the United States, promotes the New Year’s Day Swim, a special New Year bath. The colletive bath happens at 1pm and must be at least funny to watch. Oh, and the group swims in the Atlantic Ocean at Coney Island every Sunday from November to April. More details here.
Did you like these ideas? Don’t forget to check part 1, with more suggestions on what to do in NYC during the winter.
Laura Peruchi is a Brazilian blogger, author, and entrepreneur. She has lived in Manhattan with her husband since 2014. Since then, she has shared on her blog varied content about the Big Apple. From travel tips, including unusual things to do, shopping tips, etiquette, restaurants, and a lot more, her blog has become a reference in Portuguese (also available in English) for anyone planning a trip to New York City.