We know it’s cold outside and you want to burrow under the covers.
But winter in New York City is actually one of our favourite times of year, 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 tonight’s Christmas tree lighting at Rockefeller Center to indulging at the best steakhouse in the city.
Pile into Rockefeller Center with 250,000 other spectators to watch this year's Norway Spruce light up with a flick of the switch. There will also be performances by Mary J. Blige, the Goo Goo Dolls, Mariah Carey, and Kelly Clarkson.
Join drunken revelers around the city and dress up for SantaCon on December 14th. Or stay as far away as possible -- certain bars and restaurants in Midtown will be banning Santas for the annual 'holiday.'
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 January 4th 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.
See the amazing plant sculptures at the New York Botanical Garden's Holiday Train Show, going on now through January 12th. 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 January 12th. 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 February 2nd 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 in Flushing, home to one of the largest Chinese and East Asian populations in NYC. Then enjoy some dim sum nearby on Prince Street afterwards.
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 February 10th through the 11th. 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 Catskill Mountains for a ski getaway. It has 46 trails and 9 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 February 17th to March 7th, 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.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.