If you make it to the Big Apple this winter, you’re likely to run into some chilly weather. It can be tough to find things to do this time of year, especially when a lot of the popular tours involve walking around outside, or spending time in Central Park. But don’t worry, New York has more than enough to do indoors. Here’s a list of our favorite places to visit in New York in winter. From high art to wacky fun, this handpicked selection has it all!
The American Museum of Natural History is a legend in the museum world – and for good reason. It’s not only one of the most popular attractions in New York City, but it’s also one of the largest museums in the world. It’s particularly notable for its extensive collection of dinosaur fossils and accompanying educational exhibits. You can even take a number of self-guided tours to help you get through the museum while making sure not to miss exhibits you’re most interested in. These tours include the popular “Night at the Museum Tour,” the “Earth and Space Tour,” the famous “Dino Tour,” and of course, the classic “Highlights Tour.”
If you prefer painting and sculpture to pterodactyls and stegosauruses, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is the place for you. The MoMa features the best and brightest of modern classics, as well as a fine selection of cutting edge work from New York and around the world. Current seasonal exhibits that you won’t want to miss include: Tokyo 1955–1970: A New Avant-Garde, which features pieces from multiple media that captures the experience of living in Tokyo during such turbulent times (until February 25); Inventing Abstraction, 1910–1925, which showcases the work of modern abstract artist to honor the centennial of the first exhibition of this bold new style (until April 15); and Edvard Munch: The Scream, which displays a pastel-and-board version of the piece from 1895, the only copy of the painting remaining in private hands (until April 29).
For those travelling with some little ones, perhaps a large art museum is not the place for you. For the best interactive and kid-friendly experience in New York, visit Discovery Times Square and check out Harry Potter the Exhibition. Experience all the magic and dazzle of the Harry Potter movie franchise with more than 200 props, costumes, and artifacts from the film series, including many never-before-seen pieces. The displays are designed to mimic famous settings from the series, such as Hagrid’s Hut and the Gryffindor Common Room. Visitors can even enter a mock Quidditch arena and play around with a Quaffle; unfortunately, brooms aren’t provided! It’s a great way to spend an entire afternoon, and there are plenty of excellent restaurants that cater to families in the Times Square area, so you can grab dinner or lunch nearby.
If you’re still looking for more to do after getting your fill of Harry Potter, the nearby Ripley’s Believe it or Not NYC is full of fun and extraordinary galleries and exhibits. With more than 20 separate gallery spaces, there are countless rare artifacts, video installations, and priceless treasures. Ripley’s is also home to Ripley’s Sideshow Wonders, a group of twelve special performers that put on strange and fascinating live shows that you have to see to believe. Shows cover everything from “The Incredible Lizardman” with his 30 different acts (think sword-swallowing, and fire & bug eating), to the crew’s newest addition-Tyler Fyre & Thrill Kill Jill, daredevils who perform a fast-paced series of incredible stunts. To top it all off, make sure to take a shot at the exciting laser maze!
New York is also home to a number of television studios. For the truly curious, the NBC Studio Tour is your all-access ticket to behind-the-scenes fun. Shows like Saturday Night Live, The Today Show, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon are all filmed here – and you’ll get to see exactly where the magic happens. Starting in the NBC Experience Store, the tour will take you through the NBC Sharp Globe Theatre, the Broadcast Operations Center, the Make-up Room, and on to the studios of some of the most famous producers in NBC history. You can even produce your own news and weather program in the High Definition Mini-Control Studio. This tour is the real deal.
Of course, these attractions are open year round, so you don’t have to visit only in the winter. They are ideal attractions that combine family fun with quality education and entertainment. So the next time you’re planning a trip, take along this list of our favorite places to visit in New York! New York has something for everyone to love.