We’re here to help you get the most out of winter this season. Enjoy winter in the city with these free NYC events!
What’s your favorite part of winter in New York City? Is it the holidays, the cooler weather, or snowy walks in the park? However you like to spend the season, NYC has lots of options to make it even more fun. Check out some of the free festivals happening this winter in New York City!
This is the 90th year of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! On Thursday, November 24, starting at 9am, balloons, floats, and performers will float, cruise, and march two and a half miles between West 77th and West 34th Streets. Grab a spot along Central Park West or Sixth Avenue for a look at local marching bands, clowns, Pokémon, Hello Kitty, the Pillsbury Doughboy, and more! Find out more about where to watch here.
Open now! Visit the rink at Bryant Park for free ice skating every day from 8am–10pm. Winter Village is bursting with holiday cheer and great eats, so stop by the pop-up shops and check out some of New York City’s best food trucks while you’re there.
Can’t make it to Bryant Park? Ice skate at one of these rinks in the city:
Take a walk along Fifth Avenue and enjoy the holiday window displays. Between 34th and 59th Streets, some of New York City’s ritziest stores will be strutting their stuff with dazzling lights and window designs.
Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, the annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting is a spectacular show! This year, the tree lighting will take place on Wednesday, November 30, with live musical performances from 7pm–9pm.
If you can’t make the show, don’t worry. The tree will stay lit until 9pm on January 7, 2017, and you can stop by anytime to see it.
Perhaps the most famous New Year’s Eve party in the world, the Times Square Ball Drop is completely free and open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis. There will be more than a ton of confetti thrown and performances by celebrities like Wiz Khalifa, Jessie J, Demi Lovato, and more starting at 8:05 pm.
If you’re going to the ball drop, plan to show up in the early afternoon for the best possible view. The ball is raised at 6pm and falls promptly at midnight! Get more info about staying safe and healthy during the celebration here.
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“2016 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting,” RockefellerCenter.com. Accessed October 10, 2016.
“Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” Macy’s.com. Accessed October 10, 2016.
“New Year’s Eve,” TimesSquareNYC.org. Accessed October 10, 2016.
“NYC events calendar for 2016,” Time Out New York. October 3, 2016.
“NYC events in November 2016,” Time Out New York. September 23, 2016.
“NYC events in December 2016,” Time Out New York. October 7, 2016.
“The Best Christmas Window Displays in New York City,” Time Out New York. December 8, 2014.
“The Best Places to Go Ice-skating in NYC This Winter,” Time Out New York. November 19, 2015.
“Winter Village at Bryant Park,” WinterVillage.org. Accessed October 10, 2016.