Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, New York always has loads to offer! Our experts will help you to discover the seasonal sensations you can experience in New York City from Spring to deepest winter; a city for all seasons!
The life and action in New York City shift dramatically with every season; not just in terms of temperature or annual events or festivals, but the very essence of The Big Apple and the once a year experiences that make it so magical at every turn of the season.
We’re spotlighting the pinnacle of the four seasons for visitors of every hue – families; lovers; group trips; even business travellers with a couple of days in hand. This abundant metropolis bears fruit all year round – you just need to know when to pick it!
Winter in New York
To misquote Sinatra: It may be winter outside, but in the heart of New York it’s spring! Be it wet or snowy, winter in New York often sparkles under blue skies and the spirit of the New Yorkers shine through. More than any other global metropolis, the seasons in New York City are sliced into four distinctive ‘vibes’; rich in attractions and experiences to map every time of year.
Things to do
Make sure you kick off your New York Christmas festivities with the annual Christmas Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes and over 140 performers. Experience the magic that only the Rockettes can create with this one of a kind celebration that is perfect for the whole family. Make sure you book your tickets early, so you don’t miss this New York Christmas tradition.
The end of the year is always alive and welcoming for visitors, from Thanksgiving parades and the party spirit in November to Christmas celebrations and the unique experience of shopping among the twinkling lights of Fifth Avenue. If you’ve not yet experienced the ‘ball drop’ on New Year’s Eve in Times Square or got your skates on at The Rockefeller Plaza, then icy thrills await. Make sure you wrap up for those winter visits as you can expect wintry weather with a good chance of snow.
If possible, hang on or plan to visit in January or February, when NYC opens up into a Mecca of choice and bargains for shoppers – this is the time to take advantage of eye-popping discounts when the city opens its ‘Big Sale’ doors running major promotions on accommodation, retail, entertainment and dining, with Hotel Week, Broadway Week and Restaurant Week.
Spring in New York City
From mid-April, New York City literally springs to life! More than any comparable major metropolis, The Big Apple bursts into abundance and bustle as New Yorkers visibly shake off winter’s frost.
Spring is one of the best times to experience ‘the renewal’ of this great and diverse city. From some of the world’s most awe-inspiring cherry blossom in early spring to savouring hot dogs on the boardwalk, you can even hit the water as early as April as the rich waterways around Manhattan come alive and even the tall ships unfurl their sails. Street markets spring up in the most unlikely places and, of course, there’s always the world-class shopping – any time of year!
Things to Do
Early spring is prime time to experience the sensational Cherry Blossom Season at The Brooklyn Botanic Garden. It’s worth investigating seasonal and family tickets and check the calendar of blossom dates, which can vary year to year. Also on the nature trail, the city boasts one of the most extraordinary butterfly exhibitions at The American Museum of Natural History. This annual event showcases a vast array of indigenous and visiting Lepidoptera – ensure that your mobile is fully charged as you’re unlikely to capture such a kaleidoscope of fluttering colour in one place again.
Combining nature with nurture, Macy’s annual Flower Show is a blooming good excuse to go shopping! Every year the world-famous Herald Square department store lays out a sumptuous display of fashion and flowers.
Spring also sees the return of Major League Baseball, and there’s nothing like watching a home run in the home of The Mets at the Citi Field stadium in Flushing Meadows. The season pitches off in the first week of April.
Whilst you’re likely to have to dodge the odd spring shower, spring weather in New York is fairly guaranteed to sit at a comfortable 11°C to 20°C, early April nights may be chilly so worth picking up a bargain cashmere pashmina on arrival!
Summer in New York City
Nothing says ‘Sizzlin’ in the City’ like summer in New York. OK, it’s hot (mostly), but the heat is on for music gigs, food festivals, water antics and air-conditioned mall heaven. There’s something magical when the heat’s up in The Big Apple; locals get on to the streets with spontaneous music events, food and fashion markets thrive and all the traditional visitor attractions are in full swing – from Coney Island to the ‘Summer Stage’ music festival across all five boroughs and jaw-dropping fireworks and parades for 4th of July celebrations.
Things to do
Wherever you go, something amazing is happening, so you’ll be spoilt for choice - but here are our top picks of the coolest summer in the city.
First off, head to Central Park; from May to September it’s a hub of New York City summer action; packed with food, drinks & ice cream trucks, live music, kid’s entertainment and even theatre – Shakespeare in the Park runs all summer at the Delacorte Theatre.
For kids of all ages, nothing beats Coney Island for seaside action. Brooklyn’s famous beach resort bursts into life all summer long. Whatever your age a visit to Luna Park is a must, packed with street performers, circus sideshows and, in June, the spectacular Mermaid Parade. Take a leap onto the Wonder Wheel and/or a ride of a lifetime on Coney Islands infamous Cyclone roller coaster – best enjoyed BEFORE filling up on a Nathan’s hot dog or two.
The city is also famed for its outdoor music gigs, the most famous being The Summer Stage where top bands perform benefit concerts throughout the summer, and there’s plenty of free gigs and events running across all five boroughs with the main hub at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park where its been held for more than 30 years.
For sports fans, summer is the height of the baseball season and New York City is home to two of the most famous (and competitive) Major League teams; The Mets and The Yankees. From May onwards, you can catch the action and atmosphere at either stadium and if you’re lucky, you may even catch a ‘Subway Series’ game when the hometown teams play out their differences to the roar of a passionate crowd. May also marks the US tennis Open at New Yorks Flushing Meadows and there are several world-class golf courses a mere putt from the City Limits.
The Big Apple is the cultural capital of America! Starting with the world-famous Lincoln Centre, which stages its highly acclaimed arts festival in July, or enjoy a free classical concert during June and July when the New York Philharmonic Orchestra plays in parks all over the city. You can also catch a cult movie at one of the hundreds of rooftop venues in the cool of the summer’s evening. Of course, there’s plenty of famous site-seeing to be had and little beats a breezy boat ride across the harbour to Staten Island; the coolest way to take it all in the searing summer heat, which is typically an ambient 16°C in May, rising to a more sun-soaked 25°C-30°C in July and August.
Fall in New York City
As the temperatures begin to cool, The Big Apple switches pace as distinctly as the Fall colours set in, and, like the Fall colours, the city it takes on a spectacular array of new hues and seasonal ‘to do’s’.
From Harvest festivals and parading pumpkins to flagon-filled Oktoberfest Bavarian brews, NYC tunes into the new season with gusto! Every element of autumn is celebrated in true New York style. From mid-September through to early November, the city is awash with Fall action; food and music festivals, country fairs and quirky holiday events like Halloween. There’s nowhere on earth more geared up to apple harvest celebrations like The Big Apple!
Things to do
For our money, here are some of the ‘must-sees’, which only come around once a year. The Fall food event of the year is the Queen’s Country Fair at The Queen’s Country Farm Museum, which celebrates upcoming harvest time with live music, dance, livestock showcasing, pie-eating competitions, pig races, hay rides and corn husking contests – and the food’s pretty good too! This annual Hooley usually takes place the third weekend of September.
From barn dances to Bavarian beer – New York’s world-famous Oktoberfest is a lederhosen-clad knees-up not to be missed. A Wunderland of Austrian costumes, parades, music, sizzling bratwurst and brews. Celebrated at a variety of venues across the great city, with some of the largest events held in Central Park and Munich on the East River, all running from mid-September to early October.
Another must-see for Fall New York holidays is The Feast of San Gennaro when Little Italy celebrates the patron saint of Naples with a massive carnival, crazy cannoli-eating contests, street food and live music. The roads around Mulberry Street and between Canal and Houston Streets are positively painted red, white and green for the 11-day festival which kicks off around 14 September.
These are just the pick of the bunch for visiting The Big Apple in the Fall, there’s so much more going on but best to plan around the outdoor action when temperatures are a perfect 15°C on average for September & October.