NYC:  Bryant Park Winter Village

NYC:  Bryant Park Winter Village

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Planning a trip to NYC or other metropolitan city? Think of getting a city pass!
It will save you big time on sight seeing! Definitely worth the investment ahead of time.

As a transplant living in NYC the last 12 or so years, I’m from not so far away.  Rhode Island to be exact.

Just a short train ride or drive away, NYC is the perfect day trip or weekend getaway for many Rhode Islanders and people from other parts of New England.

What this means for me is, I see A LOT of pictures from people’s trips to NYC and I’m always wishing I could have given them advice to make their trip that much better.
During the holidays I see an influx of pictures from Rockefeller Center, the window displays on 5th Avenue, and Times Square, but I rarely see some of the other great places that make the holiday season in NYC so exciting.

One of these places happens to be one of my favorite holiday season activities:  the Bryant Park Winter Village.

Located literally one block from Times Square, Bryant Park is basically the backyard of the New York Public Library.  During the rest of the year, this space is home to outdoor movies, fashion week, a beautiful carousel, and is a great spot to rest, relax, throw a blanket down and have a picnic or get started in a book you just picked up from the library.

However, during the holidays is when Bryant Park really comes to life.  The lawn space is transformed into an outdoor skating rink surrounded by shops and food stands.

In this post, I’ll break down the four things that will cement the Bryant Park Winter Village on your holiday to-do list.

1.  The Skating Rink

Bryant Park has its very own outdoor ice skating rink!

The cost to skate is… free!  You just have to pay for your rental skates.  This rink is bigger than Rockefeller Center as well.

Skate around to your favorite holiday tunes surrounded by beautiful views of the New York Public Library and Empire State Building.

2.  The Holiday Shops

Handmade jewelry, warm and cozy winter accessories, trendy clothes for kids, artwork by local artisans, Christmas and other holiday ornaments… the list of different types of shops could go on for this entire post.

There’s even a Russian themed shop featuring beautiful Russian nesting dolls and another shop led by an artist named Melsey featuring all of her trendy artwork (some of which I have hanging in my home).

3.  All. Of. The. Food.

If you typically lead a healthy eating lifestyle, then you better plan on having your cheat meal here because the food and drink options are amazing.

Pork buns, tacos, melted cheese, French fries, churros, cookie do, macaroons, hot chocolate, apple cider, mini warm doughnuts,… let’s just say you definitely have options.  And some vendors get pretty creative with their food so you probably won’t find many of these options anywhere else. Well, not all in one place, anyway.

Browse the food stands and have a seat at some of the tables and chairs set up around the park.  You can even sit next to the rink and watch the skaters as you sit your hot chocolate.

Getting cold?  Head into the Public Fare building alongside the rink and warm up with a glass of wine from their bar.

The best hot chocolate?  Max Brenner’s, hands down.  No Chewing Allowed is pretty good as well and they give free samples of chocolate as you walk by their stand!  Do offers a hot chocolate topped with roasted marshmallows with a scoop of classic cookie dough on the bottom!

Grab some pork buns and/or chicken buns at Bao By Kaya with a Thai apple soda and some spring rolls on the side!

French fry fan?  Grab a cone of truffle fries with curry ketchup on the side.

Love cheese?  Stop by Raclette for a sandwich on fresh, crunchy French bread filled with cheese melted right off the wheel  as you stand watching.  Add some pickles and prosciutto and you are ready to go!  (Sorry no picture, but take my word for it, it’s delicious!)

Craving something sweet?  Stop by Do for some delicious raw, edible cookie dough. Or, pass by Woops and pick out  one (or a few) of their many different flavored and very colorful macaroons. They have some very creative flavors including peanut butter and jelly macaroons!

4.  The Christmas Tree

Bryant Park has its very own Christmas Tree.  No, it’s not as big as the one in Rockefeller Center, but it’s still beautiful and makes for some very nice pictures!

Skate, shop, eat, drink,… if you are visiting or in NYC for the holiday season, then the Bryant Park Winter Village is a must-go spot for you!

Keep it mind, it’s pretty much all outdoors so if it’s going to be cold then bundle up!  I suggest hand and toe warmers for those super cold days and nights (I’ve had some numb toes on a few very chilly nights!).

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Thanks for reading!



For more about what to do in NYC during Christmas and the holiday season, follow the link!

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  1. Nancy Hillner
    November 13, 2017 / 1:59 am

    My daughter Amy was engaged on the Bryant Park Ice Rink! Her boyfriend put together an intricate plan, complete with someone videotaping the whole thing! Bryant Park will always have special memories for me.

    • November 13, 2017 / 3:07 am

      That must have been beautiful! I love Bryant Park. It has its own charm especially during the holidays! Beautiful spot!

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