Though it may not feel like it’s something this year's winter is capable of, stranger things have happened when it comes to the weather in New York City.
After all, it is officially winter now, and with winter often comes snow.
There are few things that can compare to the wonder and fun that comes along with a fresh snowfall in the city.
But the hustle and bustle of the city streets make clean snow a precious commodity, especially within the first 48 hours.
Here’s how the make the most out of any NYC snow day.
1. Central Park
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The largest expanse of nature and landscape in Manhattan, Central Park is an obvious pick for grabbing your family and friends to engage in some competitive sledding, a walk among the snow-covered trees, or an all-out snowball fight.
The crown jewel of sledding hills in the park is Pilgrim Hill, which sits just above the entrance on 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue. Made for both kids and speed demons alike, the steep slope has a rounded and gentle end for a speedy slide without a rough landing. Just be ready to dodge the human hurdles.
2. Brooklyn Bridge Park
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One of the city's less-explored gems, BBP doesn’t just have some killer sledding slopes and stunning skyline views. In their spacious “Salt Marsh,” a valley of snowmen come to life by visitors who add new creations each day.
And in case you're feeling a bit peckish, the grills are fired up year-round at Picnic Peninsula on the park’s Pier 5. Their hibachi-style grills are available any day to cook up a mean feat, and you’d be surprised how many venture of for a winter cookout, and are willing to share too.
3. Inwood Hill Park
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Often barely acknowledged as a Manhattan neighborhood, Inwood is as north on the isle of Manhattan as you can get. However, its distance from Midtown allows for the feel of a suburban escape without leaving the city at all.
Right past Columbia University’s massive new sports complex on 218th Street lies Inwood Hill Park, a surprisingly large chunk of nature sitting on the Spuyten Duyvil Creek. Thrill seekers beware: one of the steepest daredevil sledding hills can be found on the park’s far west side.
4. Astoria Park (Queens)
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On the chilly banks of the East River sits an area ripe with hills and valleys, perfect for doing some serious damage on the slopes. As one of Astoria’s oldest and most beloved gems, the park brings out all kind of the neighborhood’s eclectic residents.
Among the best spots to hop on a hill is on 19th Street between Shore and Ditmars Boulevard. Take a leisurely slide down the gentle bunny hill or test your mettle against one of the city’s most impressive and steep slopes.,
5. Winter Village at Bryant Park
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Since you’re already making the effort and venturing out into the snow, why not set the backdrop fit for a Winter Wonderland? At Bryant Park’s Winter Village, you’ll find more than just some hot chocolate and an ice skating rink.
Open through March 6th, the 170x100-foot skating rink features a full hot beverage bar to thaw your post-exposure extremities as well as their elevated indoor bar and restaurant that overlooks the rink Celsius, serving up a warm lunch and dinner while you watch the snowfall.
6. The Press Lounge (653 11th Avenue)
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If you’re looking to enjoy fresh, falling snow without giving into the biting cold, put on some seasonal chic and head to the scenic roof of the Ink48 Hotel to the Press Lounge, a swanky cocktail retreat with a sprawling covered “outdoor” terrace, perfect for a warm walk out under the flurries.
And for a chilly night up among the skyscrapers, sample their signature cocktail Consolas, a mix of local rosé, Daron Calvados, apple brandy, flavored with seasonal spices and served up warm for you wintery pleasure.
7. Friend of a Farmer (77 Irving Place)
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Fit for a cozy night out while dodging the snow that falls quietly outside, duck into Friend of a Farmer, a homey two-level eatery situated on one of Manhattan’s loveliest streets on Irving Place, re-creating the feel of your childhood home for the holidays.
If you can make it in for their happy hour, see if you can nab a spot bear their roaring stone fireplace. Sample one of their local selections like a Bluepoint Lager or a Mackenzie’s Cider for a warm time before the snowy walk to the subway.[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram]