The Most Picture-Perfect Winter Wonderland Spots in Manhattan
New York City may get cold, but with a fresh dusting of snow, the holiday lights and the smell of roasted nuts on every corner, it’s one of the most magical places to visit during the winter.
Whether you’re here for the holidays or just braving the weather, discover a festive — and totally photogenic — part of New York City when you plan a winter trip to the Big Apple.
The Winter Garden Atrium at Brookfield Place downtown, across from One World Trade, is always a great place to escape the elements. But every holiday season, the 10-story glass pavilion is lit up by colorful lanterns as part of the interactive Luminaries display. Make a wish at a touch-activated station, and then bundle up to head outside. There’s an ice skating rink all season long and a pathway framed by trees decorated with white string lights — and it’s a totally underrated place to take a picture. Don’t miss an evening stroll along the waterfront, as long as you have your favorite hot holiday beverage in hand.
Central Park is always picture-perfect, but it’s especially true during the winter, when the green space is transformed by snow and ice into a real-life winter fantasy world. And no fairytale is complete without a castle, so head to this 19th-century decorative “castle” and be transported to a different time and faraway land. From this viewpoint, you’ll also get sweeping views of the entire park.
The Met Cloisters
Venture uptown to Fort Tryon Park to spend a perfect winter day at The Met Cloisters. The famous New York City museum has a satellite location in Washington Heights dedicated to medieval European art and architecture. The patchwork of various structures is always a beautiful escape from the city, but it’s especially lovely when there’s snow in the courtyard.
New York Botanical Garden
When there’s frost on the trees, head to the reflecting pool at the New York Botanical Garden and join a 45-minute Winter Wonderland Tree Tour, which focuses on the property’s extensive collection of conifers. There’s no better way to experience nature without ever having to leave New York City than a day trip to the botanical garden.
Winter Village at Bryant Park
For a healthy dose of holiday spirit, head to the Winter Village at Bryant Park. Arguably the most accessible and unabashedly festive place in New York City during the winter, visitors can ice skate, peruse the holiday shops and warm up with a pint at the outdoor beer garden — even join a fitness class in the observation deck. Just be sure to visit at night, when everything is illuminated and somehow even more fantastic.
DISCOVER MORE OF NEW YORK CITY
After your run, there’s so much more to explore in New York City. Check out our NYC Travel Guide for recommendations on where to eat and what to do here in New York.