nyc in winter

11 Local Experts Share How To Escape (And Enjoy) The Cold In NYC

Alicia Giardina Discover NYC, Manhattan, Travel Tips Leave a Comment

NYC in winter can be hard to handle, though for those that make the trip during this chilly — okay, freezing — season you’ll be well-rewarded with fun activities, festive decorations, fun festivals and more. To help you survive (and enjoy!) a New York City trip in winter, we asked our fellow New Yorkers for their best tips and tricks for surviving the cold. See below for their responses.

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Tips To Stay Warm During A NYC Winter

1. “My favorite way to escape the cold during an NYC winter is stopping into the City Bakery for their annual Hot Chocolate Festival. Each day of February they offer a special unique flavor of hot chocolate, from Chili Pepper to Vietnamese Cinnamon. What’s awesome is it’s also real hot chocolate, meaning melted chocolate vs powder mix. Yum!”

-Jessica Festa, NYC Tours & Photo Safaris founder & editor of Jessie on a Journey

2. “Our favorite place to escape the cold is The Gramercy Park Hotel. A creative revamp in 2003 has respected the bohemian past of this legendary hotel (Humphrey Bogart and James Cagney lived here; past guests include Bob Dylan, The Clash, and David Bowie) while injecting some modern high-end glamour. Settle in for some people-watching as you shoot some pool in the main lounge, or sip on a cocktail in an oversized armchair by the fire.

Continue indulging in good taste and worldly sophistication at the Gramercy Tavern a few blocks away. It is a cozy and refined spot, with its high ceilings, dark-wood beams, dramatic floral arrangements, subdued lighting and mature buzz in the air. The bartenders are well-informed and will help you choose the right wine or dish from the top-notch menu. Or, sit in the main dining area or in the more secluded (and expensive) back room and spoil yourself by ordering the gourmet tasting menu.”

-Insight Guides’ Experience New York City Guide/ 


3. “I believe one of the best ways to escape the cold in NYC is by staying active and working out. During my last visit to the Big Apple in winter, I filmed a workout right in the middle of Times Square (shown above).

When I start moving around, I don’t feel the cold.  Once the workout is over, I treat myself to a warm cup of coffee and traditional Ukrainian varenyky at one of my favorite restaurants, Veselka. Fitness and homemade food is a perfect combination and the way I escape the cold during winter months in NYC.”

-Anastasiya Gorshkova/

Visiting #NYC this winter? Check out these tips to have fun and stay warm! #nycinwinter Click To Tweet

4. “Unlike other destinations, when the snow falls in the city the town comes to life. So slip into your puffer, slide on your boots and hit the streets. New York is a walking town and there is nothing like a saunter into Central Park, or a stroll down Madison Avenue in the falling snow to make you feel alive.  There is the point when traffic stops, drivers retreat and left behind is a glorious quiet, shared by fellow citizens and canines in the city that never sleeps. But step inside some favorite haunts like le Bilbouquet or Sant Ambroeus and you will see all of the city, celebrating. The sense of esprit de corp is palpable.  We are here, together, weathering the storm!”

-Karen Klopp/ 

5. “Winter is the perfect time to see outdoor sites like the Brooklyn Bridge or Ellis Island because the crowds are smaller. For these tours practical and stylish cold weather gear is a must. Even if it doesn’t seem that cold, it will be. You’ll be outdoors for longer periods of time. Bundle up and wear a coat, hat, scarf, and gloves to start the day off. You can always remove items if it gets too warm. ”

-Meg Cale/


6. “My best tip for escaping the cold in NYC is use the chance to explore the many museums. Top Tip: Many of the NYC museums are “pay what you wish,” so don’t be fooled by the sign saying the MET is $25 to enter. That is just suggested — you can literally pay $1 to get in. I use this site to keep up with how much each museum is.”

-Tessa Juliette/

7. “One of my favorite ways to escape the cold in NYC is to find a warm and cozy bar or lounge with an entertainment factor. There’s nothing like a rustic spot with a fireplace or a dimly lit lounge with live entertainment to transport you to another place.  Here are some spots frequented by New Yorkers in the know. All are completely different experiences, but are sure to make you forget about the cold outside.

  • The Lodge @ Gallow Green is a rooftop hideaway above The McKittrick Hotel. It’s modeled after a rustic country lodge and offers both indoor and outdoor experiences (note: fire pit!), as well as brunch if you’re so inclined.
  • Rolf’s is a must-see from October through January to view the completely over the top decorations in place for the holidays; so be sure to get there early for the bar and make a reservation for dinner. It’s tiny, and usually packed, but well worth the experience.
  • Bemelman’s Bar/Café Carlyle @ The Carlyle Hotel – experience “old New York” while visiting the piano bar or cabaret/supper club; keep warm with the best martini in the city while enjoying the live performances.  If you choose Bemelman’s you’ll also be able to see the famous “Madeline” murals.”

-Denise Foley/

Here are some things fellow New Yorkers do to escape the cold in #NYC. What's your favorite? Click To Tweet

8. “For many New Yorkers, when it’s cold out you don’t want to leave your apartment; however, when your apartment is the size of a Honda Accord, you need to get out.

How did I escape the cold? I faced it head on. Bundling up, I walked everywhere. I was a block from Central Park and nothing was going to keep me from walking through it. Sure I also went to the usual — movies, theater, museums, the gym — to sometimes escape the cold, but the city in winter glistens. The air feels cleaner, the streets less congested, and the walking warms you up. There are many places to stop for hot chocolate, coffee, or soup, but soon enough you are bundled up again, heading out into the cold, feeling stronger with each step.”

-Felice Cohen/

What’s your favorite way to escape the NYC in winter cold? Please share in the comments below! 

Featured image via Pexels/ Pixabay


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