No Snow Day? Enjoy These Wintry Downtown Spots Instead

01/08/2024 in
No Snow Day? Enjoy These Wintry Downtown Spots Instead

OK, so this past weekend’s much-touted Big Winter Storm turned out to be something of a wash out. And considering it’s been nearly 700 days since New York City’s seen significant snowfall, it’s possible we’ll have yet another winter without getting the chance to build any snowmen. But just because our somewhat terrifying ever-changing climate has once again deprived us of sticking flakes, doesn’t mean you have to completely write off the season. Here are three places downtown to visit if you need a taste of real winter.

Winter Whirl Holiday Roller Rink at the Oculus

Visitors now have the chance to skate within the extraordinary (and dare we say, snowflake-like) architecture of the Oculus. You can cruise around the indoor rink on roller skates while enjoying live music and other special events throughout the season. When you’ve had your fill of skating, feel free to do some shopping at the dozens of stores located in the Westfield World Trade Center. 

Winter Whirl is open Wednesday through Sunday through January 31. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and tickets are $25 to $30 per person for 45 minutes of skating and skate rental. Pre-purchasing your tickets is recommended; you can do so here

The Piano Bar Upstairs and the Dingle Whiskey Bar at Fraunces Tavern

Temperatures might not be truly chilly, but you can still enjoy the cozy atmosphere of an intimate old-world bar. Fraunces Tavern’s new-ish Piano Bar Upstairs is a high-end cocktail bar boasting candlelit cabaret lounge seating surrounding a grand piano, sending imbibers back in time to when New York City actually saw snow. And keep your eyes out for the reopening of Fraunces’s Dingle Whiskey Bar, a delightfully welcoming winter drinking spot replete with a curated global whiskey selection you can sample in an armchair next to a roaring fireplace. The Dingle Whiskey Bar is currently undergoing renovations, but should be ready to welcome guests in the near future.  

“Destination Cosmos” at Hall des Lumières

What’s colder than deep space? For an icy trip to the outer rim, consider visiting Hall des Lumières, which is still running the immersive exhibition “Destination Cosmos: The Immersive Space Experience.”  The exhibition takes you on a cosmic journey from Cape Canaveral to Martian canyons, the core of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn, before propelling you into the farthest reaches of the known universe. 

Using 130 high-definition projectors, a stunning show of otherworldly imagery and real-life footage from NASA is beamed onto the marble floor and walls of the 28,000-square-foot exhibition space (formerly the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank). The exhibition opened early last year and closes on April 7, with shows on Sundays and Mondays. Tickets start at $22 (with deals for seniors, families and students) and can be booked here.

Bonus: The Downtown Alliance’s “Winter Wonderland”

If you must get a glimpse of a snowy Lower Manhattan from the comfort of your own home, be sure to check out “Winter Wonderland,” our holiday video by award-winning Italian artist Stefano Bertelli. Bertelli used original folded paper models animated with a whimsical stop-motion technique to recreate downtown landmarks, set to Ellla Fitzgerald’s classic version of “Winter Wonderland.” Watch below!

Tags: snow day

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