Travel Inspiration

The Best Things to Do in NYC: A Seasonal Guide

The Best Things to Do in NYC: A Seasonal Guide

It’s the great debate among New York City locals and frequent tourists alike: When is the best time to visit New York City? Some say summer, with trips to Coney Island and street fairs. For others, it’s the winter, with the tree lighting and ice skating. Of course, people wrote songs  extolling the wonders of autumn in New York, and the springtime in New York certainly has its fans. The truth is each season reveals different, equally amazing characteristics of the city. Here are our picks for the best things to do in New York City in every season.                       

The Best Things to Do in NYC in the Winter

Snow falling in Central Park, New Year’s revelers in Times Square, ice-skaters at Rockefeller Center, New York is truly a winter wonderland. Here are just a few of the best things a tourist or a local, for that matter, can do in New York during the winter.  

Shop the holiday markets

Looking for the perfect gift? Odds are you’ll find it at one of the many holiday markets in New York City. From the shop stalls in Union Square and Columbus Circle to Bryant Park’s Winter Village, anyone visiting the city during the holiday season will find the best gifts and souvenirs to take home. So the next time you visit New York in the winter, snack on cinnamon-roasted almonds and sip freshly made hot chocolate as you browse hundreds of one-of-a-kind handcrafted items.    

Go ice skating 

When you think about ice skating in New York City, you probably think about Rockefeller Center’s famous rink. And while that’s a wonderful place to skate, it’s often the most crowded. For more space to practice your figure eights, you can try the Rink at Brookfield Place in Battery Park, head on uptown to Harlem to Riverbank State Park’s rink, or borough hop to Queens’ City Ice Pavilion. For a special treat, you can head over to Brooklyn and glide along on New York’s only rooftop ice rink.

Take in the department store displays

Starting right after Thanksgiving, the department store windows in Midtown pull out all the holiday stops. The store’s visual artists create amazing window displays guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit. 

Experience the magic of Broadway

While you can absolutely catch a Broadway show all year-round, seeing a world-class performance of a play or musical in the winter just makes sense. What better way to get out of the cold than being transported to another reality where song and dance is a way of life?!

The Best Things to Do in NYC in the Spring

Gardens in bloom, baseball season openers, outdoor art installations, free movies, when it comes to things to do in New York City in the spring the list is endless. Here are just a few of the amazing things you can do in New York in the spring.

Visit New York Botanical Garden

In the concrete jungle of New York City it can be hard to remember just how green the city actually is. While Central Park has enough greenery and green space to get lost in, there’s one place everyone should go when spring is in bloom in New York: The New York Botanical Gardens.   

Enjoy a rooftop bar

While a lot of big cities have rooftop bars, not every one offers you the skylines of New York City. What can be better than relaxing with a glass of wine after a day packed with sight-seeing and shopping?      

Catch a game at Yankee Stadium (or Citi Field)

Spring marks the start of baseball season. Whether you want to watch spring training or take in a season opener, you can watch the Yankees take the field at Yankee Stadium or cheer on the Mets at Citi Field. 

View outdoor art installations

Outdoor art installations are on display throughout the year, but spring marks the best time to catch them. As the city shrugs off the winter blues and the weather warms, there are a lot more art installations to experience. From Central Park and the Highline in Manhattan, Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn and Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens, there’s artistry waiting for you in every borough of the city.  

The Best Things to Do in NYC in the Summer

From street fairs and beach days at Coney Island, to picnics and canoe rides in the park, summer in the city has a lot to offer anyone who visits. Here are some of the best things to do in New York during the summer. 

SummerStage at Central Park

Free concert anyone? Every summer Central Park hosts its SummerStage Festival featuring live concerts from the biggest names in music. Some of the concerts are benefits and will require attendees to pay, but many on the schedule are free.      

Shakespeare in the Park

In Central Park’s Delacorte Theater something magical happens every summer. A-list Hollywood actors take to the stage to perform Shakespeare’s classics. And you can see them for free. While there’s always a line for free tickets and no guarantee that you’ll get one, an unforgettable night of Shakespeare and celebrities under the stars is worth it.         

Bargain at the Brooklyn Flea

The Brooklyn Flea is one of the biggest flea markets you’ll ever see. Located in DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), this market has everything treasure hunters, bargain hunters and do-it-yourselfers could want.  

Make it a movie night at Bryant Park 

Summer in the city means free movie time.  If you’re in New York City on a Monday night, there’s no better place to be than on a lawn chair or a picnic blanket in Bryant Park taking in a classic movie playing on a giant projector. It’s free, family-friendly and fun. 

The Best Things to Do in NYC in the Fall

Fall in New York City means sweater weather, optimal leaf-peeping, amazing sunsets and some of the best Halloween parties around. Here are some of the best things to do in New York during the fall.

Go for a stroll

Fall’s sweater weather makes it the perfect time for a stroll or a hike. New York City in the fall offers walkers many opportunities to sight-see and snap photos of the foliage. Whether you want to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge or walk through Manhattan proper, Fall is the best time to do it.

Visit the Queens County Farm Museum  

Farmland is probably the last thing you’d expect from New York City but located in the borough of Queens there’s a farm welcoming visitors from all over the globe: The Queens County Farm Museum.  Here you can explore orchards and greenhouse complexes, watch the animals, and enjoy other bucolic scenes. Established in 1697, this historical landmark is a must-see for anyone.

Shop the farmers’ markets

There are few things more quintessentially fall than fresh cider and homemade donuts, and New York City’s Farmers Markets. Whether you choose Union Square’s Greenmarket or Morningside’s Farmers Market or anywhere in between, you literally can’t go wrong here.   

Get your geek on at New York Comic Con

If you’re in New York City in early October, you might want to experience one of the biggest Comic Cons in the world. If you’re into superheroes, anime or anything in between, down for some cosplay and up for some fangirling, this might be the perfect place for you.   

There’s a reason New York City consistently ranks as one of the best places to travel in the USA. While you can visit the Statue of Liberty and Times Square throughout the year, there’s something to be said for experiencing New York City’s seasonal offerings. If you’re planning on visiting New York, you can start building your seasonal itinerary today. 

Get Trip Insurance in a New York Minute

If you’re an American resident getting ready for a New York adventure, trip insurance can keep your travels on the right track. Not only can it help cover costs related to trip cancellation and interruptions, missed connections and baggage loss, it can help make your New York layover a truly wonderful experience. To find out more, head over to VisitorsCoverage or reach out to one of our licensed trip insurance agents today.