Although your friends might be soaking up the sun in Florida this winter break while you’re slumped on your couch, fret not. For those tri-state area dwellers, there are plenty of things to do in New York City to keep you occupied.
1. Chinese New Year parade
On Jan. 23, millions of people in New York will be celebrating Chinese New Year. This could definitely be one of the more interesting experiences to do during break. From the rampant firecracker abuse to music and dragon dances, this is a night you will want to be around Chinatown for.
2. Central Park
In the middle of the skyscrapers and nonstop hustling of Manhattan lies the biggest and most iconic park in New York City. Central Park is beautiful in the snow, and whether it is sledding, snowball fights, meditating or drinking at a nearby café, this park is always a fun time. Free guided walking tours of Central Park are available year round and more information can be found at www.centralparknyc.org/visit/tours/guided-tours/.
3. Ice skating
Ice skating in Manhattan is a popular pastime and there are plenty of options to get your figure-8s on. There are the classic options, such as the Rockefeller Center rink or the rink in Bryant Park, which is right next to the stunning and newly renovated New York Public Library. These are classic tourist choices, but the lines get really long if you are there during peak hours and the rinks get crowded. Instead check out the newly opened rink at the Standard Hotel, in the ever-so-trendy Meatpacking District, where the rink is sexy and there’s the off-chance you end up on the rink with some models.
4. The Highline Park
The highline used to run as a freight-train yard but has been abandoned for the better part of the past 50 years. In 2009, it was redeveloped into an aerial public park above street level, and is one of the nicest and hippest parks in Manhattan.
After you walk along the mile-long park, check out the Chelsea Market that lies under it at 23rd and 9th Ave., where you can get some quality grub and shopping done. Free walking tour information of the highline is available at www.thehighline.org/events/all/2011/6/every-saturday-saturday-tours. Also in the area is the heart of the Manhattan art world, with dozens of galleries peppering the blocks throughout the Chelsea neighborhood. Information about upcoming gallery openings can be found at www.artcat.com.
5. Museum of Sex
Sure, you know about MoMA and the Met, or maybe even the Whitney and the Guggenheim, which are obviously must-sees for tourists. But there are all sorts of museums in NYC, like the Museum of Sex. It’s a fun and information-filled museum about, you guessed it, sex. Don’t forget that you have to be 18 years old or older to enter.
Oh, Pacha, where to begin? The most love-it-or-hate-it club in Manhattan is also the house music capital of New York. Go there for the celebrated DJs, but be wary of how crowded it will certainly get. And in all likelihood you will be surrounded by sweaty guidos rolling on ecstasy. The calendar of events can be found on www.pachanyc.com.
7. Turtle Bay
Proclaiming itself as the “Best Hook-Up Bar in NYC,” Turtle Bay has a fun and affordable bar downstairs and a big dance floor upstairs. Think Scoreboard but nicer.
A guide of New York cannot be complete without some shopping recommendations. Check out the newly opened Uniqlo on 34th St., right by Penn Station. Being called the Japanese H&M, you can probably find some great potential holiday presents here for the fashion-conscious. Also worth checking out is the Yellow Rat Bastard in SoHo, which also makes for some really fun people-watching.