The ‘city that never sleeps’ is perhaps the ultimate urban paradise, but it truly comes to life during the winter months. A snow-covered New York City has been the setting for several Hollywood movies, and it still provokes a sense of wonderment and romance that is difficult to find in major cities. While temperatures can drop well below zero, the city continues unabated; in fact, there are several reasons why winter is the best time to pay a visit to the Big Apple.

Outdoor skating 

Imagine skating hand in hand with the person you love – under the shadows of New York’s spectacular skyscrapers. Every year, the Rock Center and Central Park become home to open-air skating rinks, and people from around the world flock to both facilities just to get a taste of this incredible experience. The Wollman Rink in Central Park is particularly popular during Christmas, as its picture-postcard beauty is the ideal backdrop for romantic moments and spectacular photos.

A selection of museums

As the cold, New York air starts to bite, the museums of New York continue to give visitors a warm welcome. The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History are open throughout the winter and the festive period, and they are a great places to take shelter from the icy New York air for a few hours.

Macy’s Thanksgiving parade

On the fourth Thursday in November, the stunning Macy’s parade takes place – signalling the unofficial start of the New York festive season. Beginning at 77th street, a procession of lavishly decorated floats, giant inflatables and marching bands make their way through the streets of New York, arriving at Macy’s, Herald Square for an awe-inspiring finale.

A winter wonderland of shopping

New York is a hugely popular tourist destination throughout the winter months – particularly in the run up to Christmas. This is because the Big Apple’s main department stores create their very own winter wonderlands filled with festive cheer, tempting bargains and luxury purchases. Macy’s is particularly popular in November and December, as people come from far and wide to admire its famous window displays. Other popular winter shopping destinations in the city include the Columbus Circle Holiday Market and the Grand Central Terminal holiday fair. However, if you are looking for something more traditional, the Union Square Holiday Market with its myriad of handcrafted gifts simply can’t be missed.

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