Winter break is a joyous time, and Riverdale students love it mostly because it is two whole weeks of no homework and total relaxation. Many families decide to travel all around the globe during this time, but many stay in or near New York City. Staying home can sound boring to some, but many do not take full advantage of the different opportunities the city has to offer.
If you are in Manhattan, you have to ice skate; it is a holiday must! The best ice skating can be found at Wollman Rink in Central Park. Though it can be crowded at times, the music playing always varies in artists, so no matter what type of music you like, it will definitely be played. Also, the rink itself is in the most beautiful location, being in Central Park, so you feel removed from the city, surrounded by the trees. If you get cold, hot chocolate indoors will warm you right up.
After finishing skating, the Plaza Hotel should be your next stop. Directly across from the Park, you can go downstairs to the food hall and enjoy a wide variety of sweet and savory treats. For example, if you are in the mood for Japanese food, you can stop by Sabi Sushi. Or if you change your mind and want a really great bowl of noodles, you can walk across the hall and order from Chi Dumpling & Noodles Pho. There is a large variety of dessert options, including doughnuts, frozen yogurt, cake, and more. No matter what your favorite cuisine is, the food hall will be sure to have it!
If you are looking to invest your time in the arts, you can buy tickets to Winter Jazzfest, a festival starting on January 4 that features over 100 groups of musicians. This year, Jazzfest will be held in around a dozen different locations in Lower Manhattan and will change from night to night. To open the festival, rapper, singer, and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello will be playing with Bilal, a guest singer. Some other familiar musicians, like jazz greats Gary Bartz, Pharoah Sanders, Billy Hart, and Many Halvorson, will also be performing.
To explore boroughs other than Manhattan, Brooklyn is filled with engrossing museums and flea markets. This winter, The Brooklyn Museum will have a David Bowie exhibition, filled with his personal archives. This exhibition will explore David Bowie’s process for revolutionizing music, as well as display many of his different costumes, handwritten lyrics from famous songs, and more. If you are looking to buy one of a kind items, then head over to Brooklyn Flea, open all winter through April. This flea market features all different kinds of vendors, selling anything from furniture to clothing to art. All of the items in the flea market are created by local artists, and it is the perfect way to support local businesses!
Finally, to get in the holiday spirit, you can head over to the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights in Brooklyn. With tens of thousands of lights and decorations, including snowmen, inflatable Santas, and large crowds, this area of Brooklyn will bring people from all over New York City to celebrate the holidays. There are tours for the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights, where you can look around all of the houses by either walking or taking a bus.
These are just a few places to explore, but no matter where you decide to go, another adventure always awaits you in New York City!