What to Do Every Season in New York City

What to Do Every Season in New York City

New York is a city that changes her mood with every season. You don’t know what you’re going to get when you travel, which is why so many of us enjoy the thrill of it. New York City changes her mind almost every day. Not to mention, her mood can be pleasant or bitchy depending on the time of year. Whether you’re up for dancing at 30 Rock and ringing in the new year with bubbles in Greenwich Village or strolling Chelsea Market on a spring day, say no more. We’ve got you covered. 

Since the Empire City changes her mind so often, air on the side of caution while visiting. She might be having a bad hair day and need to rain, snow, or just throw some sunshine your way. If that is the case, there are activities for all seasons and within each trip. Depending on your girl’s mood, you can adjust or navigate accordingly. 

NYC is a highly explorable city. For the most practical trip, be prepared with Plan A and Plan B for every season in New York. For example, when in doubt, book your Plan A tickets but have a back up Plan B. One World Observatory and Top of the Rock are both observation deck activities. However, the experience might get canceled on the days you have paid to visit. Why? If the weather isn’t cooperating (rain or clouds), the view is obstructed. Your girl, NYC, isn’t being nice, so make your other plan and switch this activity with an alternate day. Plan B may be a museum trip. Opt for an indoor activity and switch Plan A observation deck tickets to a different day with better weather. 

Ready to start making those plans? Here’s a beginner’s guide on what to do every season in New York City. 

Say Hello to New With a View in Winter

The Top of the Rock is a great tour in the winter. Plan this tour for New Year’s Day so you have that Instagram photo on the rooftop with the ball drop in the background. The top deck has a great view of Times Square and, if planned correctly, you can see the ball and the festivities from the night before. Get your best New Year’s Day attire on and get up there. It might be cold, but the view is stunning.

The iconic 1932 photo of 11 ironworkers eating lunch was taken on the 69th floor of 30 Rockefeller Center a.k.a. 30 Rock. It’s known as “the Beam Experience.” The history of  Rockefeller Center is on the VIP tour, and you’ll get to see the infamous Rainbow Room. Spoiler alert: it’s no longer in use for the public like you see in movies and TV shows. There are no future proposals up there. They do host private parties and events, though. New Year’s Day on the Top of the Rock never looked so good on you. Enjoy! 

When you finish with the tour, you’ll get a chance to explore on your own. Be sure to check out the complex. The ice skating rink and indoor cafe are great places to stop before heading out to your next adventure. 

Winter Lights Are Bright on Broadway

If the weather is icky and glum, or not, you definitely want to grab those tickets for a Broadway show. But don’t go until you have finished that beverage near the ice rink and you know which show you want to see. 

Check the showtimes and make sure there is a show playing on New Year’s Day. Then, head back to the theater on the day of the show to buy your tickets at a very low price. Do not buy them beforehand. Yes, you run the risk of not getting tickets, but this is what to do when in New York. Don’t pay absurd prices ahead of your trip. Go with the flow and head to the ticket box about an hour or so before the show, or purchase your tickets that morning online. Either way, your tickets are cheaper and you’ll get to see the show at the start of your new year. Pick a good one! 

Pro tip: If you’re looking for that stylish night out on New Year’s Eve and want to be a bit more trendy, check out Greenwich Village. Air’s Champagne Parlor won’t disappoint but be sure to make your reservation. It’s a small space with great bubbly. 

Experiencing this unique venue is getting a little easier in 2024. Earlier this year, Air’s Champagne Parlor became the Tokyo Record Bar & Tokyo Listening Bar. There’s still plenty of bubbles and an exclusive feel, but with expanded drink and dining options.

A Spring in My Step

Spring in New York City means more predictable weather. The winter’s cold has left and buds are blossoming. Bring a light jacket and expect some cooler temperatures at night. 

New Yorkers are out strolling places like the High Line and Chelsea Market in West Chelsea. The High Line is a 1.45-mile long elevated linear park. As you walk along the elevated path, you’ll see tourists and locals exercising or checking out the art displays. The “Old Tree” at the Spur, at 30th Street, and 10th Avenue, stands a 25-foot tall bright red and pink tree commissioned by Pamela Rosekranz. The sculpture symbolizes a connection between heaven and earth. It’s an exhibit that illuminates the city and changes during the seasons. It’s temporary and will update again in 2024. All the more reason to visit during another season. 

When your girl is in peak bloom, Chelsea Market coffee and shopping is a must. Sarabeth’s is a great spot for breakfast and coffee. Or, just a coffee. And be sure not to miss the iconic “And Just Like That…” themed spot. In season two, do you remember when Carrie attempts to give her neighbor a box of blondie brownies? She gets more than she gives when her neighbor’s boyfriend opens the door (wink wink). The store where those brownies are from is called Fat Witch Bakery. They’re New York’s legendary brownie! 

For a memorable springtime souvenir, book a private photo tour on the Brooklyn Bridge. A tour with Marc at PhotoTrek Tours varies but will take you from Manhattan across the bridge and into Brooklyn Heights and Dumbo. You walk the bridge with a local. Plus, you get to see another iconic Instagram spot once you walk into Dumbo.

Pro tip: Do this with a professional like Marc to get your souvenir photo to commemorate your memory and tour in NYC. Photos are the treasures that keep shining for years to come. Shine on!

Summer Is No Bummer

Suns out and that means buns are out. Hot dog vendors are out. Shorts are shorter and people are drinking as much as they can to stay hydrated. Your girl is getting thirsty this time of year. So, prepare to have fun but still plan accordingly. 

The Statue of Liberty is situated on the Upper New York Bay where the Hudson River meets the Atlantic Ocean. Check current information and alerts via the United States Park Service. Self-guided tours are available with headphones. For a guided group experience, NYC local Eric Mathern can assist. He is an expert tour guide. Be sure to tell him Dreams Abroad sent you. 

For a skyline view on the river, charter a cruise. Stop by the Chelsea Piers and purchase tickets ahead of time or book them online. The 1920s style boat tour is 90 minutes from start to finish at sunset. It includes a beverage, and some packages have wine and cheese plates (fancy!). Walk around the front of the boat to get the best views and open air seating with stunning one-of-a-kind views. The ticket prices vary depending on the package. (wine and cheese is a higher priced ticket) 

Note: The Statue of Liberty ferry will not take you to the same places the cruise does. These are two different experiences. Both are unique and great for hot weather since you’re catching a breeze on the water. 

Other summer ideas include outdoor music concerts, dining al fresco, or getting some AC at one of their many, many art museums. Be sure to apply your sunscreen!

Pro tip: Check the shows at Madison Square Garden. Your favorite band or performer might be playing at this iconic venue. NYC summer shows are like no other.

Fa La La Fall 

What to do in every season in New York? Fall is fabulous. She’s about to undress for winter. Therefore, she goes all out. She’s partying like it’s 1909 again. What a year in New York for female garment laborers! 

Visit the last few weeks of November and begin to see festive holiday decorations pop up. Bryant Park’s Winter Village is one of the first. It includes shops, an ice rink, and children’s activities. Check their schedule for updated activities any season in New York. 

Central Park is another must-see in the fall. It’s a good idea to start at the corner entrance near the Plaza Hotel. Then, meander through the park after getting “the photo” with the skyline in the background. You can never document this trip through the park too many times. Photos are keepsakes. Snap away! Once you walk past the lake, walk toward the boathouse. For all the SATC fans out there, does this look familiar? This is where Mr. Big and Carrie fell in the water. DYK: This accidental fall was unscripted and she rushed to the doctor after to get a tetanus shot? They kept it in the scene. Why wouldn’t they? 

After Central Park, walk hand-in-hand with your girl from Greenwich Village to Midtown. Watch the New Yorkers smile and interact with one another. From Washington Square Park to Rockefeller Center and beyond, the city shines bright. Christmas trees line the streets the day after Thanksgiving, and you may get lucky enough to hear a pair of college students bargain with the vendor for their first tree. The city is filled with different themes and hues of colors. It’s truly a sight to behold. 

Experience Every Season in New York 

New York is an old city filled with many new and upcoming trends. She’s blessed to have many nationalities visiting her regularly. Additionally, NYC has locals who effortlessly share their talents. She’s a true melting pot of cultures. There’s something for everyone. 

Pick a season and mix and match any of these activities with it. The beauty of the city is the vibe and mood you’ll get in return. No experience is the same, it’s what you want it to be. The season in New York City that grabs your attention will be the one you won’t stop thinking about for years to come. Happy travels!

Interested in learning more about how to plan your next visit to New York City? Check out this guide to 7 Things to Do in Greenwich Village next.

27 thoughts on “What to Do Every Season in New York City

  1. I love NYC, and it was really nice to see the seasons highlighted like this. There’s always something to do in the Big Apple no matter what time of year it is!

  2. There’s never any shortage of things to do in New York. It is one of my favorite cities. Especially since I grew up there.

  3. So fun! I have been snowbound this week so dreaming about travel was nice. Thanks for the tip about the Statue of Liberty ferry being different than the cruise. I also appreciate your clever subheadings. Adding more things to my bucket list!

  4. I have only been to New York City in summer. Nice to know it’s got something for you every season. Maybe i should live there!

  5. This is nice! There’s a lot of things to do in NYC and because there’s a lot you can’t choose what to do lol

  6. As a NYC resident for many years I appreciate this article. Additionally, I’ve found a few ideas of activities for myself and the family.

    1. Hi Stephanie,

      WOW! I am so happy to hear from you. Thanks for reading and please let me know which ones you decide to try. NYC is the best– enjoy each and every day.

      Cheers,
      Leesa

  7. New York is legit one of my favorite cities in the world! There are so many fascinating things to do each and every season! Summertime in NYC and Fall are my two favorite seasons!

  8. We’ve been wanting to visit New York for a while now just didn’t know when it’d be best. Winter or spring might be the answer!

    1. Hi Lavanda,

      There’s so much to see. Once you pick a season, you’ll know which one you prefer.

      Cheers and happy travels!
      Leesa

  9. I have never been to New York but I really want to go. There are so many unique places and beautiful views to see. Thank you for an inspirational guide.

  10. I can’t agree more with you, there is always something to do in NYC, such a wonderful city…I am lucky that I get to visit it every other month.

  11. New York is such a wonderful city! Great ideas for all seasons no matter when you’re visiting- there’s always something new to explore and try!

  12. New York City is such a magical place, all year round! Thank you for sharing this post of inspiration and stuff to do.

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