Below freezing temperatures in the city don’t provide much motivation for exploring. This past weekend was far too frigid for a cruise to visit Lady Liberty or to take a walk through Central Park, though New Yorkers love both. Yet, as a city that is as adaptable as it is massive, we find other ways to entertain ourselves that don’t involve standing in the cold for hours on end and risking frost bite. For those of you who’ve run out of ideas or are simply looking for inspiration, here are a few of my favorite things to do on the weekends.
- Grab A Bite
Everyone has to eat, but nobody wants to wait outside for a table at a restaurant or to be crammed into a small Manhattan cafe, and rushed from your seat as soon as you’ve finished eating. Smorgasburg, and other markets like it, are the perfect solution. Though traditionally an outdoor event which takes place along the east river–in both Williamsburg and Downtown Brooklyn–during the winter this New York City staple transforms into an incredible food oasis that is completely indoors (lucky for us). This year, foodies can find more than 100 vendors from all around town, housed at Industry City in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn.Smorgasburg is the ideal choice if family or friends (or yourself) can’t decide on one particular thing to eat. There’s literally something for everyone, including kosher, vegan, and vegetarian options. Additionally, there’s a chance to do a bit of shopping for one-of-kind finds at the market’s partnering Brooklyn Flea. Pro Tip: Take cash (they have ATMs on site if you forget), have fun, and visit shorter lines to at least fill your stomach while waiting in queue at the more popular vendors.
- Get Cultured
Another way to beat the cold without skimping on entertainment, is to spend your afternoon at the museum. I think it’s better to reserve such for the winter and rainy weather anyhow. Modern museum’s like the Guggenheim on the Upper East Side offer a number of great programs during the weekend, from personal tours to film screenings, in addition installed exhibits and personal collections.For a family friendly experience, kids love the American Museum of Natural History, also in Manhattan, on the west side. It’s impressively interactive and affordable, with tons of exhibits that are sure to engage and adults and children alike. It opens and closes at the same time during the weekend and weekday (10am-5:45pm), so need for extra planning. Just be sure to have a lot of patience and good shoes for walking.
- Play A Game
For the more active children or for adults who just like to have a good time, how about a competitive but fun game of bowling? There are couple places in the city for the activity, but a personal favorite is Bowlmor in Midtown. This highly stylized, family friendly place is opens around 11:00am on weekends, and is rather calm until 5:00pm. The traditional chinese decor and very clean space offer a very memorable and pleasant experience.They also have an arcade room, if bowling gets too boring, and a full menu of food, with options ranging from nachos to “artisan flatbreads,” and salads. This is a one stop shop for a day of fun and excitement that includes everyone. It certainly beats tossing a ball in the house. Check it out.