NYC's Ultimate 2021 Winter Bucket List
NYC's Ultimate 2021 Winter Bucket List

NYC's Ultimate 2021 Winter Bucket List

We’ve checked our list twice—here are all the holiday events and winter actives you can't miss this season! 🎁🔔🎄


Published November 08, 2021

The city that never sleeps has worked tirelessly to get iconic sights, winter activities, outdoor markets, and more ready for the holiday season. You'll feel the festive spirit whether you opt for timeless traditions at Rockefeller or dinner reservations in a private rooftop igloo. 

Here’s a round-up of NYC’s holiday must-do’s to close out 2021.

Note: To ensure safe and social distant exploring, please check with each venue to see if they are open before crossing off your bucket list. Updates to city-wide COVID guidelines and restrictions can be found here.

 

Attend the Winter Lantern Festival

Attend the Winter Lantern Festival

Kick off the holiday season with an unforgettable display of festive holiday lights and lanterns with three locations to explore! The NYC Winter Lantern Festival highlights the culture and craftsmanship of traditional Chinese lantern festivals. View the handmade lanterns, sip on hot chocolate, and eat festivie food from around the world. 

When: Dates vary by location
Where:
📍 Queens
📍 Staten Island
📍 Long Island (Drive Thru)

location_on Snug Harbor Cultural Center, NY

Winter Lantern Festival: Escape

From$25 $20 20% off
book

Kick off the holiday season with an unforgettable display of festive holiday lights and lanterns with three locations to explore! The NYC Winter Lantern Festival highlights the culture and craftsmanship of traditional Chinese lantern festivals. View the handmade lanterns, sip on hot chocolate, and eat festivie food from around the world. 

When: Dates vary by location
Where:
📍 Queens
📍 Staten Island
📍 Long Island (Drive Thru)

Venture to an Alice In Wonderland Themed Bar

Venture to an Alice In Wonderland Themed Bar

You don't want to be late to this epic Alice In Wonderland themed cocktail adventure! Come along on a 90 minute topsy-turvy journey into the magical realm of Wonderland. For those both curious and curiouser – this will be the tea party to end all tea parties.

When: Times Vary
Where: Pekarna, 594 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

You don't want to be late to this epic Alice In Wonderland themed cocktail adventure! Come along on a 90 minute topsy-turvy journey into the magical realm of Wonderland. For those both curious and curiouser – this will be the tea party to end all tea parties.

When: Times Vary
Where: Pekarna, 594 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

Take a Hands-On Cooking Class

Take a Hands-On Cooking Class

There's nothing better than a meal you make yourself! Choose from tons of different cooking classes like bagels, sushi, Spanish tapas, gnocchi, and other handmade pastas for a fun group outing or date night. 

location_on Hyatt House Chelsea, NYC

Handmade Gnocchi Making Class

$59 $56 5% OFF
book

There's nothing better than a meal you make yourself! Choose from tons of different cooking classes like bagels, sushi, Spanish tapas, gnocchi, and other handmade pastas for a fun group outing or date night. 

Attend Drunk Shakespeare

Attend Drunk Shakespeare

Does the perfect date night include watching a Shakespearian play at a tipsy improv show? If you said yes, you're in luck. While one professional actor downs five shots of whiskey, four sober actors attempt to keep on track of the script for a night of hilarity and comical genius. No two shows are alike!

Where: 711 7th Ave (look for the LOL Comedy awning), 2nd Floor

For more information on tickets go here. Entry is strictly 21+.

location_on The Gallery, NYC

Drunk Shakespeare Experience

From$55 $29 47% off
book

Does the perfect date night include watching a Shakespearian play at a tipsy improv show? If you said yes, you're in luck. While one professional actor downs five shots of whiskey, four sober actors attempt to keep on track of the script for a night of hilarity and comical genius. No two shows are alike!

Where: 711 7th Ave (look for the LOL Comedy awning), 2nd Floor

For more information on tickets go here. Entry is strictly 21+.

Check Out the New ARTECHOUSE

Check Out the New ARTECHOUSE

At the crossroads of art, science and technology, the experimental Artechouse NYC has reopened with an awe-inspiring new exhibit: Machine Hallucination. In collaboration with award-winning media artist and pioneer in the aesthetics of machine intelligence Refik Anadol, it will also feature an exclusive location drop of exhibition-based experiential NFT art, a collection composed of 1,000 unique NFTs from Anadol available to visitors on-site only.

When: Now until January 17, 2022, Mon - Fri 12pm - 10pm, Sat & Sun 10am - 10pm
Where: 439 W 15th St. New York, NY 10011

location_on Chelsea Market, NYC

The new ARTECHOUSE NYC has reopened

$24
book

At the crossroads of art, science and technology, the experimental Artechouse NYC has reopened with an awe-inspiring new exhibit: Machine Hallucination. In collaboration with award-winning media artist and pioneer in the aesthetics of machine intelligence Refik Anadol, it will also feature an exclusive location drop of exhibition-based experiential NFT art, a collection composed of 1,000 unique NFTs from Anadol available to visitors on-site only.

When: Now until January 17, 2022, Mon - Fri 12pm - 10pm, Sat & Sun 10am - 10pm
Where: 439 W 15th St. New York, NY 10011

Let it GLOW at The New York Botanical Garden Experience

Let it GLOW at The New York Botanical Garden Experience

With lots of room to spread out, explore a glowing world of color and light at GLOW. The experience features NYBG’S landmark landscape and Haupt Conservatory’s iconic exterior as a glittering canvas. Washes of brilliant colors, thousands of dazzling lights, and picture-perfect installations fill the Reflecting Pool and enliven surrounding gardens and collections. Visitors can also enjoy artistic ice carving displays, roving dancers and musicians, plus grab-and-go food service. Tickets for the event go on sale Tuesday, November 10, at 10 a.m. EST.

When: November 24, 26, 27; December 2-4, 9, 11, 16-18, 23, 26-30; January 1, 6-8, 14-15, 21-22 | 5 PM–10 PM
Where: 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10458-5126

For more information on GLOW.

location_on New York Botanical Garden, NYC

New York Botanical Garden

$22
book

With lots of room to spread out, explore a glowing world of color and light at GLOW. The experience features NYBG’S landmark landscape and Haupt Conservatory’s iconic exterior as a glittering canvas. Washes of brilliant colors, thousands of dazzling lights, and picture-perfect installations fill the Reflecting Pool and enliven surrounding gardens and collections. Visitors can also enjoy artistic ice carving displays, roving dancers and musicians, plus grab-and-go food service. Tickets for the event go on sale Tuesday, November 10, at 10 a.m. EST.

When: November 24, 26, 27; December 2-4, 9, 11, 16-18, 23, 26-30; January 1, 6-8, 14-15, 21-22 | 5 PM–10 PM
Where: 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10458-5126

For more information on GLOW.

Take the NYC Mountain Creek Ski & Board Bus to a day on the slopes

Take the NYC Mountain Creek Ski & Board Bus to a day on the slopes

Grab your board – and your buds – and head to Mountain Creek on the Sourced Adventures Ski & Board Bus. Departing from several points in the city, the bus transports snow savants to Mountain Creek for a day on the slopes.

When: Trips run most Fridays, Saturdays, & Sundays all winter long starting December 31, 2021
Where:
📍Pick up Locations:
1st Pickup: 41 Union Square West (Corner of 17th & Broadway)
2nd Pickup: W 45th and 11th Avenue (directly across the street from Gotham Market)

location_on Sourced Adventures, NYC

Mountain Creek Ski Bus from NYC

From $129
Book now

Grab your board – and your buds – and head to Mountain Creek on the Sourced Adventures Ski & Board Bus. Departing from several points in the city, the bus transports snow savants to Mountain Creek for a day on the slopes.

When: Trips run most Fridays, Saturdays, & Sundays all winter long starting December 31, 2021
Where:
📍Pick up Locations:
1st Pickup: 41 Union Square West (Corner of 17th & Broadway)
2nd Pickup: W 45th and 11th Avenue (directly across the street from Gotham Market)

Hop on the NYC Snow Tubing & Brewery Bus

Hop on the NYC Snow Tubing & Brewery Bus

Tube and brews are the ultimate winter activity duo. Don’t believe us? Time to check out the NYC Snow Tubing & Brewery Bus. Getaway for an evening and spend your Saturday night (or afternoon!) on an adventure. Hop on the bus and enjoy a 2-hour night snow tubing session at Mountain Creek followed by a visit to a local brewery with dinner and round-trip transportation from NYC included. Mountain Creek snow tubing is one of the best ways to escape the city for an adventure-filled evening away from the hustle of bustle of NYC.

When: Trips run most Saturdays & Sundays all winter long starting January 1, 2022
Where:
📍Pick up Locations:
1st: Adventure Cafe, 85 Delancey St, Lower East Side
2nd: West 45th & 11th Ave

location_on Adventure Cafe, NY

NYC Snow Tubing & Brewery

$149
Get Tickets Now

Tube and brews are the ultimate winter activity duo. Don’t believe us? Time to check out the NYC Snow Tubing & Brewery Bus. Getaway for an evening and spend your Saturday night (or afternoon!) on an adventure. Hop on the bus and enjoy a 2-hour night snow tubing session at Mountain Creek followed by a visit to a local brewery with dinner and round-trip transportation from NYC included. Mountain Creek snow tubing is one of the best ways to escape the city for an adventure-filled evening away from the hustle of bustle of NYC.

When: Trips run most Saturdays & Sundays all winter long starting January 1, 2022
Where:
📍Pick up Locations:
1st: Adventure Cafe, 85 Delancey St, Lower East Side
2nd: West 45th & 11th Ave

See the Holiday Lights in Dyker Heights on a Bus Tour

See the Holiday Lights in Dyker Heights on a Bus Tour

More is more when it comes to over-the-top holiday light decorations in Dyker Heights. Marvel at the abundance of life-size Santas, snowmen, and sleighs throughout this Brooklyn neighborhood and discover hundreds of homes decorated with the best lights and sounds in all of New York.

When: Every Night of December 2021 (Except the 24th, 25th and 31st)
Where: Pick up/Drop off in Bryant Park Area; Destination: Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, NY

location_on Times Square, NYC

Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Bus Tours

$55 $50 9% OFF
book

More is more when it comes to over-the-top holiday light decorations in Dyker Heights. Marvel at the abundance of life-size Santas, snowmen, and sleighs throughout this Brooklyn neighborhood and discover hundreds of homes decorated with the best lights and sounds in all of New York.

When: Every Night of December 2021 (Except the 24th, 25th and 31st)
Where: Pick up/Drop off in Bryant Park Area; Destination: Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, NY

Set Sail on a Holiday Cruises Around Manhattan

Set Sail on a Holiday Cruises Around Manhattan

Enjoy the grand salon of the Manhattan Yachts in their rich full Holiday decor while taking in NYC skyline during this magical time of year. Choose from options like the Holiday Brunch Cruise, Champagne & Cheese Pairing Cruise, Cocoa and Carols Cruise, and more!

When: Various Dates
Where: Chelsea Piers (Pier 62)

location_on Chelsea Piers, NYC

Holiday Cruises around Manhattan

From $48
book

Enjoy the grand salon of the Manhattan Yachts in their rich full Holiday decor while taking in NYC skyline during this magical time of year. Choose from options like the Holiday Brunch Cruise, Champagne & Cheese Pairing Cruise, Cocoa and Carols Cruise, and more!

When: Various Dates
Where: Chelsea Piers (Pier 62)

Celebrate "Pinkmas" at the Museum of Ice Cream

Celebrate "Pinkmas" at the Museum of Ice Cream

Turn your dreams of sugarplums and candy canes into a reality – "Pinkmas" is returning to the Museum of Ice Cream for the holiday season. Ever-changing with seasonal themes, this year's Pinkmas is a special winter-scape where guests can gather, connect, and feel the magic of the season. Explore a wonderland of holiday-themed spaces and installations. Enjoy special treats, festive surprises and visit the whimsical shop for exclusive holiday merch.

When: November 18th to January 9th
Where: 558 Broadway, New York, NY 10012

location_on Museum of Ice Cream, NYC

Museum of Ice Cream: Night at the Museum

$49 $46 6% OFF
book

Turn your dreams of sugarplums and candy canes into a reality – "Pinkmas" is returning to the Museum of Ice Cream for the holiday season. Ever-changing with seasonal themes, this year's Pinkmas is a special winter-scape where guests can gather, connect, and feel the magic of the season. Explore a wonderland of holiday-themed spaces and installations. Enjoy special treats, festive surprises and visit the whimsical shop for exclusive holiday merch.

When: November 18th to January 9th
Where: 558 Broadway, New York, NY 10012

Take a Seamore’s Mixology Class to impress your holiday guests

Take a Seamore’s Mixology Class to impress your holiday guests

’Tis the season – for drinking! 🥂🥃🍸 Seamore’s Nolita welcomes you inside for a 7-week mixology series. In each class, Seamore’s master mixologist will take you through the steps for making three craft cocktails, differing in both flavor and spirits. Each week offers a new theme and three entirely different cocktails, allowing you to quite literally pick your poison – and come back more than once! The recipes & skills you’ll acquire in this class are particularly perfect for: Showing off at holiday gatherings, cozying up on cold winter nights, surviving family dinners & more.

When: Every Tuesday now through December 28th, 2021
Where: Seamore’s Nolita, 390 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

location_on Seamore's Nolita, NYC

Seamore’s Nolita: "Mixology with the Masters"

$90
book

’Tis the season – for drinking! 🥂🥃🍸 Seamore’s Nolita welcomes you inside for a 7-week mixology series. In each class, Seamore’s master mixologist will take you through the steps for making three craft cocktails, differing in both flavor and spirits. Each week offers a new theme and three entirely different cocktails, allowing you to quite literally pick your poison – and come back more than once! The recipes & skills you’ll acquire in this class are particularly perfect for: Showing off at holiday gatherings, cozying up on cold winter nights, surviving family dinners & more.

When: Every Tuesday now through December 28th, 2021
Where: Seamore’s Nolita, 390 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

Meet for Happy Hour Drinks at Rolf's

Meet for Happy Hour Drinks at Rolf's

The holiday season in New York City isn’t complete without a visit to this Gramercy gem. The German restaurant bodes 100,000 lights, 15,000 ornaments and 800 dolls filling every inch of the small space from November 1st through spring each year and has become a staple part Christmas culture in NYC.

When: Through Spring 2022
Where: 281 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10010

click here for more information

The holiday season in New York City isn’t complete without a visit to this Gramercy gem. The German restaurant bodes 100,000 lights, 15,000 ornaments and 800 dolls filling every inch of the small space from November 1st through spring each year and has become a staple part Christmas culture in NYC.

When: Through Spring 2022
Where: 281 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10010

click here for more information

Donate Your Time or Money to a worthy cause such as Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

Donate Your Time or Money to a worthy cause such as Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

Due to the pandemic, NYC’s largest soup kitchen increased their weekly average meals served from 840 per week in 2019, to a staggering 22,000 meals per week last year. Consider volunteering to distribute food, or make a donation if possible. Contributing $28 feeds a guest every weekday for a month and they also have Thanksgiving donations available too.

When: Volunteers have shifts available Monday-Friday from 9:15am-1:15pm, and on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 1pm-3pm.
Where: 296 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY 10001

click here for more information

Due to the pandemic, NYC’s largest soup kitchen increased their weekly average meals served from 840 per week in 2019, to a staggering 22,000 meals per week last year. Consider volunteering to distribute food, or make a donation if possible. Contributing $28 feeds a guest every weekday for a month and they also have Thanksgiving donations available too.

When: Volunteers have shifts available Monday-Friday from 9:15am-1:15pm, and on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 1pm-3pm.
Where: 296 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY 10001

click here for more information

Stroll the Holiday Shops in Bryant Park to Find the Perfect Gift

Stroll the Holiday Shops in Bryant Park to Find the Perfect Gift

Lining the allées and terraces of Bryant Park, the open-air market featuring artisans from around the world is back. This is the perfect spot to search custom-designed kiosks for local crafts, delicacies, and gifts or just spend the day walking around.

When: Friday, October 29, 2021 - Sunday, January 2, 2022 Daily from 11am-8pm
Many Shops are open on holidays and keep later hours after Thanksgiving
Where: View their map here.

click here for more information

Lining the allées and terraces of Bryant Park, the open-air market featuring artisans from around the world is back. This is the perfect spot to search custom-designed kiosks for local crafts, delicacies, and gifts or just spend the day walking around.

When: Friday, October 29, 2021 - Sunday, January 2, 2022 Daily from 11am-8pm
Many Shops are open on holidays and keep later hours after Thanksgiving
Where: View their map here.

click here for more information

Go Ice Skating in Central Park

Go Ice Skating in Central Park

Figure eight your way into the holiday season at one of NYC’s many ice rinks. One of our favorites is the iconic Wollman Rink, where you can skate amongst the epic views of the NYC skyline. (We also recommend checking out Pier 17’s rooftop ice skating rink—for stellar views of the Brooklyn bridge!)

When: Opening dates are still TBD
Where: 830 5th Ave, New York, NY 10065

click here for more information

Figure eight your way into the holiday season at one of NYC’s many ice rinks. One of our favorites is the iconic Wollman Rink, where you can skate amongst the epic views of the NYC skyline. (We also recommend checking out Pier 17’s rooftop ice skating rink—for stellar views of the Brooklyn bridge!)

When: Opening dates are still TBD
Where: 830 5th Ave, New York, NY 10065

click here for more information

Recreate the Piano Scene from ‘Big’ at the new FAO Schwarz

Recreate the Piano Scene from ‘Big’ at the new FAO Schwarz

Step into one of the largest toy stores in the world. Slip into the shoes of Josh Baskin and do a little dance on the keyboard! Make Tom Hanks proud. You can also knock some items off of your holiday shopping list. 

Where: 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10111

click here for more information

Step into one of the largest toy stores in the world. Slip into the shoes of Josh Baskin and do a little dance on the keyboard! Make Tom Hanks proud. You can also knock some items off of your holiday shopping list. 

Where: 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10111

click here for more information

Visit All of the Year-Round Rooftop Bars in NYC

Visit All of the Year-Round Rooftop Bars in NYC

Why let summer have all the fun? There are plenty of NYC bars that boast stunning views of the city all from the comfort of the heated indoors. And yeah, maybe the sun does set at 5pm now, but one could argue Manhattan's views are even more magical in the dark.

click here for more information

Why let summer have all the fun? There are plenty of NYC bars that boast stunning views of the city all from the comfort of the heated indoors. And yeah, maybe the sun does set at 5pm now, but one could argue Manhattan's views are even more magical in the dark.

click here for more information

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

This February, NYC will set off fiery colors and festivities in honor of the Lunar New Year. Manhattan's Chinatown will play host to the Firecracker Ceremony and Chinese New Year Parade. The vibrant affair celebrates Chinese culture and tradition, and is a must-see event if you've never attended before. 


When: February 1-11, 2022
Where: Various locations

click here for more information

This February, NYC will set off fiery colors and festivities in honor of the Lunar New Year. Manhattan's Chinatown will play host to the Firecracker Ceremony and Chinese New Year Parade. The vibrant affair celebrates Chinese culture and tradition, and is a must-see event if you've never attended before. 


When: February 1-11, 2022
Where: Various locations

click here for more information

View the Rockefeller Christmas Tree

View the Rockefeller Christmas Tree

Tourists and locals alike can see the iconic Christmas totem, the gigantic Rockefeller Tree, return this holiday season! Be the first to know details surrounding this year's lighting ceremony by joining the Rock List.

When: The tree will arrive November 13th and will be lit on December 1st
Where: 30 Rockefeller Plaza New York, New York

click here for more information

Tourists and locals alike can see the iconic Christmas totem, the gigantic Rockefeller Tree, return this holiday season! Be the first to know details surrounding this year's lighting ceremony by joining the Rock List.

When: The tree will arrive November 13th and will be lit on December 1st
Where: 30 Rockefeller Plaza New York, New York

click here for more information

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