5 Fun Things to do in New York City in the Winter

Winter finally decided to show up last week with snow, ice, and wind wreaking havoc across the northeast. I had to travel to New York City in between the storm last week and during the storm this week. I didn’t have time to go do a bunch of fun things this trip, but it did get me thinking about what I would do if I had a bunch of free time in New York City in the winter.

Sip a Hot Beverage in an Igloo

New York City in the Winter

Each winter, 230 Fifth sets up igloos on their rooftop. It’s first-come, first-serve, no reservations. Each igloo is big enough for ten people to enjoy all snuggled up by the electric fireplace. I spent a long, cozy evening there with three friends and we made five new friends by sharing our igloo. It’s easy to bond over the novelty of the igloo, the view of the Empire State Building, and the fluffy red bathrobes the bar provides.

New York City in the Winter

Janeen, me, Beth, and Scott in an igloo.

Drinks are a tad expensive, but worth the price for the experience. My Pumpkin Pie Hot Chocolate was $14, but it was so rich and decadent that I only wanted the one drink for the nearly three hours we spent there. A non-alcoholic coffee costs $5 and a draft beer is $9.

Find it: 230 Fifth, 230 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10001


Pet Cats at Meow Parlour

New York City in the Winter

Spending as little as fifteen minutes with a cat can make you feel happier and less stressed. Dark, stormy winter days make us all a little more prone to depression and some of us suffer from significant Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) so we all need to do a few extra things to boost our moods this time of year. When you spend time with cats, your cortisol levels go down and your serotonin levels go up. This combo makes you happier and less stressed. Doesn’t that sound nice?

New York City in the Winter

Reservations are recommended, but not required. It’s a popular place and walk-in access is limited, so book ahead if you can, but if you need to pet a cat on a whim it’s worth trying to visit. When you book, you’ll reserve a thirty-minute time slot for $6. You may stay up to five hours. You’ll be charged for each half an hour you spend there at the end of your visit. I found an hour and a half to be a nice length of time to visit. You can also visit for special events like Yoga and Kitties or Drag Bingo. And, if you fall in love with a new feline friend, all of the cats are up for adoption.

Update! Meow Parlour has let me know that both of the gorgeous cats in the photos above have found their forever homes! Happy lives to you and your new families YenYang and Lenu.

Find it: Meow Parlour, 46 Hester St., New York, NY 10002


Dig into Nostalgia Candy at IT’SUGAR


New York City in the Winter

Who else remembers Fruit Stripe chewing gum? How about Fun Dip? Or wishing you could get a giant bag of gummy bears in just your favorite flavor? All of these things are available at IT’SUGAR NoHo. There’s also giant candy, dirty candy, candy cereal, and funny t-shirts, pillows, and mugs. It’s a great place to go shopping for gifts to give your friends and family on a whim, just to make their winter a little bit better. And through the magic of laughter, nostalgia, gift-giving, and treating yourself to a little candy, you’ll be feeling better about winter, too.

New York City in the Winter

New York City in the Winter

Find it: IT’SUGAR NoHo, 665 Broadway, New York, NY 10012


Eat at Tacombi Fonda Nolita

New York City in the Winter

It’s cold in New York City in the winter, but it’s warm in Mexico in the winter, so pretend you’re in warm, sunny Mexico for awhile with a meal at Tacombi Fonda Nolita. Tacombi started as a tiny operation in Mexico, it was simply a VW Kombi bus setup to sell tacos, tortas, and fresh fruit drinks in Playa del Carmen. After a few years, the owners decided to bring traditional taco culture to NYC and opened this location on Elizabeth Street with a VW Kombi bus inside that’s still used as part of the kitchen.  Today, the menu is still small and simple. It’s tacos, tortas, fresh juices, cocktails, and just a few other items.

New York City in the Winter

Don’t rush through your meal here. Start with a cocktail or a fresh juice. Indulge in the chips and guacamole because both are homemade. Then, mix and match from the menu so you can try the dishes that most call to you. Pictured below are the crispy fish taco and the avocado torta with pureed black beans.

New York City in the Winter

Find it: Tacombi Fonda Nolita, 267 Elizabeth St., New York NY 10012


Enjoy a Hot Beverage and Buy Shoes at TOMS Roasting Co.

New York City in the Winter

The wonderful company that has given one pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of shoes purchased since 2006 has no expanded into protecting and restoring eyesight through eye wear purchases, providing safer birth experiences through bag purchases, and giving clean water through their roasting company. Each coffee or tea purchase from TOMS Roasting Co. provides clean water to someone in need, continuing their promise of “One for One.” Their Elizabeth Street location in New York sells shoes, eye wear, and bags in addition to coffee, tea, and donuts from Dough. Pick yourself up from the winter blues with a hot beverage here and you’ll also pick up someone else’s life by giving them clean water just by doing something you like to do anyway. The coffee and tea are delicious and the cafe has a few tables where you can relax with a good book.

New York City in the Winter

Find it: TOMS Roasting Co., 264 Elizabeth St., New York, NY 10012


What’s your favorite thing to do in New York City in the winter? Share in the comments! 



New York City in the Winter

24 thoughts on “5 Fun Things to do in New York City in the Winter

  • Hi Erin,

    Way cool!

    We were just by the arch in NYU in January; had a house sit on 14th and 6th so we walked through the area daily.

    All fun things to do. NYC amazes me. NJ native and even though we spent much of the past 6 years circling the globe, 2016 was mainly a NJ and NYC year. 4 house sits in NYC. We found a bunch of new things to do each time.

    I have been to NYC hundreds of times since I was a wee lad. I find more new, neat things out about this place every time I visit or read an awesome post like yours. Next winter I need to do the igloo bit!

    Thanks for sharing Erin.

    Signing off from Doha, Qatar.


    • Ryan,

      Thanks! That’s the wonderful thing about NYC. There’s always something new! I’ve been going to New York several times a year since I was 13 and I just never stop finding new things. I have so many places I enjoy and would love to go back to, but I almost never make it to those spots because there’s always something new. Like the igloos, I just discovered them and they are such a fun way to enjoy winter.

      Hope you’re enjoying Doha.


  • It’s rare that I read a blog and want to do everything on the list, but everything you mentioned sounds incredible. I think the $14 pumpkin hot chocolate would be totally worth drinking in an igloo, and now we can’t wait to go pet kitties the next time we visit NYC. Awesome post! 🙂

    • Thanks, Scarlett! I try to post just the best and worst of my experiences so it’s wonderful to hear that the best resonates with you!

    • It really was hard to leave. We only left because we wanted to get a cheap dinner. They do serve food though, so you don’t have to leave for that. 😉

  • Such an awesome list – I’ve eaten at Tacombi and it was soooo good! Love cat cafes and the IT’SUGAR place looks amazing as well! Love your suggestions and will keep them in mind when I next head to NYC!

  • Great tips here! Thanks we discovered a lot thanks to you! We know NY but we never thought of the cat bar and we never of the igloo one either! Will keep that in mind next time we go there 😉 Kepp up the great work! Patrick and Cécile from Travel4lifeblog;)

  • Love this post, great tips for fun and quirky things to do in NY. I would also add… go salsa dancing! New York is a great city for salsa dancing and it’s a surefire way to warm up on a cold winter night! 🙂

  • Great tips for the city to get out of the house in the winter or just visiting. The igloo experience is pretty cool. Haven’t heard of a couple of these places and always up for trying new places to eat. Thanks for sharing!

  • I have made it my mission to try and visit a cat cafe in most places I visit so I will definitely be petting a kitty in NYC if there is a cafe here! I would also have to sip a hot beverage in an igloo as we married in the Ice Hotel in Swedish Lappland and drank from glasses made of ice but haven’t been to anywhere similar to this since 😀 Great ideas for NYC in Winter – I am always torn between visiting in the summer for my birthday when it’s hot or in the winter when it’s cold and Xmas decorations have lit up the city 😀 #feetdotravel

  • As a major sweet tooth, I’m all for the candy bar and eating love hearts. Not sure about the last one though and might have to pass on shopping for shoes…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *