A visit to New York City is exciting any time of the year, even in February when temperatures usually plummet and the holidays have come to an end. There are many good reasons for including NYC in a travel itinerary during February, including the fact that bargain accommodation and flights are easy to come by after the seasonal rush.
Becuase the Chinese New Year begins in late January, Chinatown will already be alive with feasts and events and visitors will delight in the grand welcome given to the Year of the Ox. The Lunar Parade and Festival will be held Febuary 1 between noon and 3 pm and goes throughout Chinatown along Mott, Canal, and Bayard streets then along East Broadway.
February also means Valentine’s Day and what is more romantic than a spontaneous winter getaway to New York City? Some romantic hotels include Thirty Thirty, Dream Hotel and the Ritz-Carlton.
While February is considered one of the coldest months of the year in New York (even though January has been abnormally cold!), visitors who come well equipped won’t have any problem with the elements. Average February highs are around 32°F (4°C), with average lows reaching 29°(-3°C). Be sure pack warm boots to keep their feet dry, as well as waterproof winter coats, scarves, hats, mittens, etc. It’s always best to layered your clothing to allow easy putting on and taking off while visiting New York’s heated department stores and museums.
Finally, it’s worth taking into account that the third weekend of February is traditionally a President’s Day Weekend (with the Monday, February 16th being a public holiday). Most businesses remain closed, although restaurants and other tourist attractions tend to keep their doors open.
While January and February are considered the coldest months in New York City, this is not to say that visitors cannot enjoy a host of entertaining attractions. What better place to gain a real perspective of the size and glory of the City that Never Sleeps than the Empire State Building. Two observatory decks – one the 86th and the other on the 102nd floor – enable visitors to view the magnificent metropolis of New York from incredible heights. The 86th floor is 320 meters off the ground and is accessed through high-speed elevators that take visitors to a heated, glass enclosed area. Open promenades with binocular-hiring services, as well as souvenir shops are also available on this floor. For those seeking a slightly higher view, the relatively newer 102nd floor observatory will provide just that.
One of the most popular attractions in New York – especially during the winter months – is the New York Skyride, situated on the 2nd floor of the Empire State Building. Here visitors get to enjoy a virtual tour simulator that takes them on an aerial ride of New York City. The experience includes motions seats, state of the art technology and extra high screens.
Two must-do museum visits in the winter months include the American Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Modern Art. The former is one of the world’s leading science institutions and offers visitors the chance to view breathtaking collections and exhibitions that highlight the history of the earth – from the time of evolution to the present day.
The Museum of Modern Art, located in Midtown Manhattan, is one of the world’s foremost museums of this type of art. Over 2.5 million people pass through this institution’s doors each year to view its unparalleled collections and exhibitions dedicated to modern and contemporary art.
The winter months are definitely a good time to enjoy some of the best that New York City has to offer!