The sky reflected in the ice skating rink at Brookfield Place

Ice skating at Brookfield Place. Photo by Tracey Friedman.

Let’s be real: New York winters have a tendency to start out all sparkly and cute and end up...well, slushy and gray. With holiday lights packed away and excitement over the season’s first snow flurries faded, it can be daunting to come back to a frozen campus for the "spring" semester when daylight hours are still short and the first blooms—let alone park picnics and outdoor events—are only a distant dream.

It’s probably true that January, February, and March aren’t the months that sell anyone on moving to the Big Apple, and yet midwinter has its quiet advantages, especially for those looking to explore the city unburdened by peak-season crowds. For anyone who needs a little extra encouragement to pursue the season's cultural riches, the NYU News team put together some lesser known recommendations in three classic categories. All of our picks are accessible by public transit wtihin about a half-hour from Bobst library (because who needs long, frigid commutes?) and some are even closer to the Brooklyn campus.

Layer up and let’s go!

Ice Skating

People ice skate at Bryant Park rink

Ice skating at Bryant Park. Photo by Tracey Friedman.

Get your outdoor exercise, soak up some winter sunlight, and capture that perfect frozen aesthetic for your Instagram while you’re at it! Rockefeller Center and Central Park are in all the movies, but there are lots of other (equally, if not more) picturesque spots to try, too.

People ice skating on the rink at Glide at Brooklyn Bridge Park

The ice skating rink at Glide at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Photo by Tracey Friedman.

30 minutes from Bobst

Address: Emily Warren Roebling Plaza, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Getting there: Take the F, A, or C (or walk from the Brooklyn campus if you're feeling ambitous!)
Tickets: $15, $9 for NYC resident, $12 skate rental
Don't miss: Iconic bridge views, obviously!

People ice skate at the rink at the Winter Village in Bryant Park

The ice rink at the Winter Village in Bryant Park. Photo by Tracey Friedman.

20 minutes from Bobst

Address: 42nd Street and, 6th Ave, New York, NY 10018
Getting there: Take B, D, F, M, or R, W
Tickets: Admission is free, skate rentals start at $18
Tip: Not a skater? Try out the bumper cars on ice (yes, really!).

A person ice skating at the Rink at Brookfield Pace.

Ice skating at the Rink at Brookfield Pace. Photo by Tracey Friedman.

21 minutes from Bobst

Address: Three World Financial Center, 230 Vesey St, New York, NY 10281
Getting there:
Take the R or W
Tickets: $15 for admission, $5 skate rental on weekdays, $17 and $7 on weekends
Tip: Reservations must be made online

Ice skating rink at IC Ice Rink in Industry City

Ice skating rink at IC Ice Rink in Industry City. Photo by David Song.

35 minutes from Bobst

Address: 51 35th St, Brooklyn, NY 11232 
Getting there: Take the D (from Washington Square campus) or the R from MetroTech in Brooklyn (about 23 minutes) 
Tickets: $15 admission, $10 skate rental 
Tip: 
There's plenty more Inudstry City to explore—make a day of it with eating, drinking, and shopping too! 

Markets and Food Halls

Upstairs food vendors at Essex Market

Essex Market in the Lower East Side. Photo by Tracey Friedman.

For when you’re in the mood for window shopping but the forecast doesn’t cooperate, or you need a warm place to snack and stroll (alone or with friends), the city offers no shortage of climate-controlled markets—some historic, some new, some expansive, some intimate—to suit every taste. 

Upstairs at the Essex Market showing the meat and bakery stalls

Essex Market in the Lower East Side. Photo by Tracey Friedman.

15 minutes from Bobst

Address: 88 Essex St, New York, NY 10002
Getting there: Take the F or M (or a longish walk)
Tip: There's a Regal theater above the market, so dinner and a movie is possible if you're in the mood.

Tables and vendors at Artists and Fleas marketplace in Chelsea.

Artists and Fleas marketplace in Chelsea. Photo by Tracey Friedman.

18 minutes from Bobst

Address: 88 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011
Getting there: Take the A, C, or E, or walk through the Village
Tip: You can do this and Chelsea Market (below) in the same trip.

Urban Hawker food hall seating and food stalls

Urban Hawker food hall in Midtown. Photo by Tracey Friedman.

21 minutes from Bobst

Address: 135 W 50th St, New York, NY 10020
Getting there: Take the 1
Tip: Pair this Singapore street food sampling with a visit to MoMA, where NYU students get in for free

People walk in the hallway at Chelsea Market

Chelsea Market, Photo by Tracey Friedman.

18 minutes from Bobst

Chelsea Market: 75 9th Ave. New York, NY 10011
Getting there: Take the A, C, or E or a leisurely stroll
Good to know: You could pair this with a trip to the Artists & Fleas (above), the Whitney (below), a brisk winter walk on The High Line, or any combination of those. 

Museums

Outside brick facade of the Tenement Museum

Outside of the Tenement Museum. Photo by Tracey Friedman.

An inclement weather classic for a reason—go to immerse yourself in art and history, learn something new, see and be seen, daydream in the cafe, or all of the above. And don't stop with the Met and the Guggenheim! Several other NYC museums offer free admission for students, and most others offer educational discounts too.

An exhibit showcasing tenement living quarters with furniture and a dress form.

An exhibit at the Tenement Museum. Photo by Tracey Friedman

18 minutes from Bobst

Address: 103 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002
Getting there: Take the F or M
Tickets: $30 for a ticket and a tour; free for residents of the 10002 zip code
Tip: There are many tours to choose from—book online in advance to make sure you get the one you want, and make sure to leave time to browse the bookstore. 

The lobby of the Whitney Museum.

The lobby of the Whitney Museum. Photo by Tracey Friedman.

18 minutes from Bobst

Address: 99 Gansevoort St, New York, NY 10014
Getting there: Take the A, C, or E or a meandering walk
Tickets: Free for NYU students
Tip: Chelsea Market lunch (above) beckons!

Exhibit of clothing textiles and more medium at EL Museo del Barrio

Exhibit at El Museo del Barrio in East Harlem. Photo by Jonathan King.

40 minutes from Bobst


Address: 1230 5th Ave, New York, NY 10029
Getting there: Take the 6 uptown
Price: $5 for students
Tip: Only open Thursday through Sunday—plan accordingly.

A historical subway platform at the transit museum

New York Transit Museum exhibition. Photo by David Song.

25 minutes from Bobst

Address: 99 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Getting there: Take the A, C, or F—or a short walk from the Brooklyn campus
Tickets: $10
Tip: Only open Thursday through Sunday; plan ahead and don’t miss exploring the historic train cars on the lower level!