The Essentials: Upper West Side Winter Guide

Once you’ve seen Central Park under a fresh coat of snow, you’ll understand why so many visitors have fond memories of the Upper West Side winter season. Among the season’s main draws are open-air ice-skating rinks and holiday festivities. It’s also a good time to try our favorite things to do near The Excelsior Hotel.

Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square

New York’s largest holiday festival, Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square, features free entertainment, family fun, outdoor food tastings and more. The festival begins with the Upper West Side’s tree lighting ceremony at Dante Park.

Columbus Circle Holiday Market

Central Park is a favorite holiday destination, both for its natural splendor and for the Columbus Circle Holiday Market in its southwestern corner. The fair comes back this season, bringing goodies and gifts for all ages from more than 100 vendors. The market opens on November 28 and closes on December 24.

Holiday Treats from Levain Bakery

Founded in 1994 by two friends on a quest to create the world’s greatest chocolate chip cookie, the cozy Levain is packed wall to wall with inspired baked goods. Enjoy brioches, sticky buns, crusty loaves of semolina bread and, yes, chocolate chip cookies—which have now evolved to include flavors like dark chocolate peanut butter and walnut chocolate chip.

Searching for the perfect holiday gift packed with New York flavor? Purchase gift boxes of 4, 8 or 12 cookies for friends and family.

Astronomy Live: Winter Solstice and the Year Ahead

On Thursday, December 20 celebrate the Solstice and get ready for the cosmic year ahead at the American Museum of Natural History. Ted Williams and Irene Pease conduct this tour around the Sun and preview important astronomical and scientific happenings you won’t want to miss.

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