Warm Up with Winter Fun in NYC

Don’t let the cold and snow throw you: January is a great time to be in New York. The city’s wealth of indoor attractions makes it easy to entertain and educate the whole family, with the added bonus of not having to deal with the crowds of warmer seasons.

rock center rink 

The most natural way of embracing winter is by getting out in it, as in a visit to The Rink at Rockefeller Center, the world’s most famous patch of ice. This year marks the rink’s 80th anniversary and to celebrate Rock Center will be flashing back to opening year with nostalgic touches. The rink will play Billboard #1 songs from the last 80 years and Rock Center Café will serve the throwback specialty cocktail “The Preakness.” To further bring the mood of opening year, the skate house is decorated with historic photos. Take advantage of a package deal, like Après Skate (appetizers and drinks), Afternoon Tea & Skating, or a Starlight Skate on the night’s last session.

new york winter things to do

Image: Anthony Quintero/Flickr

Although sometimes it’s hard to admire all of the grandeur from ground level. There’s no place better to take it all in than the Top of the Rock, with an indoor viewing area (nice and cozy for colder days) and unobstructed views of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Also in Rockefeller Center, the FDNY Fire Zone has great souvenirs of New York’s Bravest, including toys, shirts, and outerwear. It’s also a multimedia fire safety learning center where kids pick up fun, lifesaving lessons from real live FDNY firefighters. Try on FDNY “Bunker Coats,” explore a life-like fire engine, and bring home one of the fantastic collectibles.

ripley's times square tunnel

There aren’t many attractions that appeal to three generations of a family at once, but Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square is that welcome exception. With over 500 exhibitions, many of them world-famous relics, there’s something to hold anyone’s attention. Kids can work on their mental powers with a ball game driven by their brain waves, or a laser challenge where they can make like Catherine Zeta-Jones. Right next door is Madame Tussauds, which invites you to pose with over 200 wax figures of A-list stars, sports legends, world leaders, and more. Get your selfie sticks ready!

holiday express train show new-york historical

Holiday Express: Trains and Toys From the Jerni Collection at the New-York Historical Society will delight and inspire children of all ages. Items date from 1850 to 1950, and the show modernizes the miniatures with multiscreen, multimedia displays. Kids can crawl through a transparent bubble to get an up?close?and?personal view of a display that suggests an early 20th-century toy department. Also at the N-YHS is the DiMenna Children’s History Museum, which presents 350 years of New York and American history in ways that are sure to engage kids.

The Blue Man Group first arrived on the NYC scene 25 years ago and it hasn’t lost any of its charm. Come in from the cold for a performance that somehow incorporates creativity, music, comedy, art, and audience participation all under one roof.  

Part show, part tour, THE RIDE is a unique way for families to take in the icons of Times Square and midtown. You’ll cruise in heated comfort on the world’s only moving theater, complete with floor-to-ceiling windows, stadium seating, and state-of-the-art monitors and sound. Along the way you’ll encounter a true cross-section of New York creativity, as an ensemble cast of singers, dancers, musicians, actors, and comedians performs just for passengers on THE RIDE.

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