Although pretty much everywhere else in the country is dead this time of year, there are still plenty of fun things to do in NYC during the colder months. Just ask Morgan Jae Cohen, an eight-year concierge who currently works at The Surrey (20 E. 76th St., 212.288.3700) on the Upper East Side. From holiday shows and cold-weather attractions to festive dining establishments, here Cohen shares her favorite winter activities in NYC.
In late November thru early January, the city welcomes a slew of annual holiday shows. “Take in a seasonal show like "ELF The Musical" at The Theater at Madison Square Garden or Radio City Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall,” Cohen suggests. “What better way to get into the holiday spirit than to see the famous Rockettes or your favorite Christmas movie come to life on stage? It only happens once a year!”
For a an extra special experience at Radio City Music Hall, ask your hotel concierge to arrange for a backstage tour, which includes the opportunity to meet a Rockette.
"ELF The Musical" runs thru Dec. 27, and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular graces the Radio City Musical Hall stage thru Jan. 3.
For outdoor fun, Cohen suggests a trip to Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park—an annual winter wonderland attraction in Midtown that includes shops, dining outlets and more.
“I can spend hours perusing the open-air market of more than 125 exclusive shops and kiosks to find something for everyone on my list,” Cohen says, adding that all of that shopping can work up an appetite, so “be sure to grab a delicious treat at one of the many food vendors.”
Winter Village visitors can also take a load off at the Southwest Porch—a heated outdoor area serving food, beer, wine and more, which is sure to keep visitors cozy. “You can also warm up with a few laps around the skating rink,” Cohen says. “Admission is free, you just pay for skate rental and bag check.” Cohen recommends taking in a later session, as the rink is open later than the shops, to avoid crowds. “The attraction’s beautifully trimmed tree is also great for photo-ops with family and friends.”
Winter Village will be open until March 6. The shops will remain open until Jan. 3. The Rink is open daily from 8 am to 10 pm.
For indoor dining, head downtown to Garage Restaurant & Café in Greenwich Village.
“This beautifully decorated restaurant has an extensive menu for all tastes, plus no cover live jazz every night,” Cohen says. “Garage’s comfortable and cozy atmosphere is perfect for warming up during the holiday season. The décor is always beautiful, but owner Sal Perillo pulls out all of the stops with his holiday trimmings.”
Cohen suggests also stopping by the restaurant on Saturdays and Sundays for its jazz brunch.