31 Things Every New Yorker Should Do This Winter

We know it’s cold outside and you want to burrow under the covers.

But as of today, it’s officially winter in New York City!

It’s also one of the best times of year to live in NYC, thanks to all the twinkly lights, creative holiday displays, and surplus of delicious hot food and beverages.

Plus, those sub-par temperatures keep the majority of tourists at bay after the Christmas season.

So keep reading to see your seasonal to-do list, from ice skating to indulging at the best steakhouse in the city.

Head over to Rockefeller Center to take a picture with this year's Christmas tree. The Norway Spruce looks especially dazzling with 45,000 multi-coloured LED lights and a 9 1/2-foot-wide Swarovski star.

Feast your eyes on Fifth Avenue's holiday display windows. Everyone from department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue to stores like Juicy Couture compete for the prettiest window dressings on the block.

Do yourself a favour and have a fondue night at Taureau. Not only does this SoHo restaurant have three different prix fixe options starting at $US41, but their Perigord cheese in unbelievable. Plus, it's BYOB.

Hit up the winding SoHo neighbourhood for all the best holiday sales in the city. From discount specialty shops like H&M to bigger brand name stores like Prada, there's plenty to splurge on.

Ogle the Rockettes at their annual and incredible Radio City Christmas Spectacular. With lots of high kicks and Christmas cheer, it's a fun performance with everything from Santa Claus to a live nativity scene.

Crowd into Times Square with around 1 million other people to ring in the New Year as the ball drops. If all the waiting around and crowds prove too much for you, just count down at your favourite neighbourhood bar.

Freeze your butt off at the Coney Island Polar Bear Club's annual New Year's Day swim. Hundreds of brave New Yorkers will jump into the Atlantic Ocean, with all proceeds going to a non-profit organisation called Camp Sunshine in Maine for ill children.

Let the dancers of the New York City Ballet mesmerize you this holiday season with their annual rendition of George Balanchine's 'The Nutcracker.' The performance runs until Jan. 4 with tickets on sale now.

Stop by Le Parker Meridien's atrium to see their Gingerbread Extravaganza. Benefitting non-profit City Harvest, top bakeries, restaurants, and pastry chefs around the city submit awesome gingerbread structures for the competition.

On display Dec. 6 through Jan. 6, 2014. Find out more information here.

See the amazing plant sculptures at the New York Botanical Garden's Holiday Train Show, going on now through Jan. 12. The exhibit features miniature New York landmarks built out of plants, including a Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge.

A perfectly grilled steak and a bottle of wine are the ideal heavy fare for a winter evening. One of our favourite steakhouses is Old Homestead, the New York institution that brought specialty Wagyu beef to the U.S.

Lace up and go ice skating at one of the city's seasonal rinks. There are options in Bryant Park, Van Cortland Park, Central Park, and many others around NYC. We especially recommend the outer boroughs for the less-crowded rinks.

Bare it all and participate in New York Improv's annual No Pants Subway Ride on Jan. 12. The idea is simple: Random passengers board a subway car without pants, but all wearing winter coats, hats, scarves, and gloves.

Take a winter stroll through one of NYC's best parks with a cup of hot chocolate. We suggest Prospect Park for its rolling hills and lack of tourists.

Cheer on your favourite team during the Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2 at one of NYC's many sports bars. A good option is 200 Fifth in Brooklyn, which has happy hour deals, bar food, and more than 100 TVs, so there's always a place to see the action.

Celebrate the Chinese New Year at the Lunar New Year Parade & Festival on Feb. 8 in Flushing, home to one of the largest Chinese and East Asian populations in NYC. Then enjoy some dim sum nearby on Prince Street afterward.

Party it up at The Standard Hotel's rooftop bar Le Bain during the winter months. Sure, the outdoor deck section might be closed, but the dance floor inside is adjacent to a hot tub that's open all year round.

Befriend the new 'Best in Show' dogs at the Westminster Kennel Club's 138th Annual Dog Show on Feb. 10 through the 11. Lots of dogs and competition drama will be brought this year to Madison Square Garden -- what's not to love?

Nix a boring dinner on Valentine's day and head to the American Museum of Natural History's annual Romance Under The Stars instead. There will be an open bar and hors d'oeuvres, followed by a night under the Planetarium's stars with an astronomer guiding you through the greatest romances of all time.

Plan a long weekend and head to the Windham Mountain Resort in the Catskill Mountains for a ski getaway. It has 46 trails and nine lifts, not to mention fire pits to warm up by outside.

Dine around the city for less during New York Winter Restaurant Week. This year, it will span from Feb. 17 to March 7, with deals including $US25 for a three-course lunch and $US38 for dinner (before tax and tip).

Once the snow finally sticks to the ground, tap into your inner child and go sledding in one of New York's parks. There are tons of spots in the city's boroughs, from Crotona Park in the Bronx to Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn.

As winter's last hurrah before spring, break out your bright green clothes and go celebrate at the annual St. Patrick's Day parade on Fifth Avenue. Then make your way to a local Irish pub and order a pint of Guinness.

Now see some great places to eat in New York.

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