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New York in winter isn’t your traditional winter wonderland. There’s still the traffic and the crowded streets and the line around the block for the latest fad food. But winter in NYC brings a wave of unique pleasures, too. Of course, the perfect start to any day is breakfast at Lexington Brass, but once you’re filled up on chicken and waffles, here are the best ways to enjoy your winter day in Manhattan.
Sledding in Central Park
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If there’s snow on the ground, you’re going to want to go sledding first thing in the day. Not only will the snow be fresh, but you’ll have the energy to keep running back up that hill. The best Central Park sledding is at either Pilgrim Hill (enter at 5th Ave and 72nd St) or, a little farther north, Squirrel Hill (enter at 5th Ave and 84th St).
Lunch at Penelope
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After a good, cold sled, you need a good, hot meal. Get on the 6 train to this beloved restaurant, somehow both a modern and rustic take on the classic NYC diner. If you didn’t get enough breakfast the first time around, the “Punkin’ Waffles” are a charming crowd favorite and the delicious coffee will get you through the rest of your event-packed day.
Gelato-Making Classes at Mia Chef Gelateria
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Just a couple blocks from Penelope, this upscale culinary institute will make you appreciate gelato in a whole new way. New York is known for its expansive and exciting food culture and these workshops will make you a part of it. Group classes are welcoming and fun and you’ll be making your own dessert by the end!
Cantina Mexican Rooftop Restaurant
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With a brand new subway station and a slew of new restaurants, Manhattan’s far west side is becoming the next hot destination. But this new restaurant manages to rise above the hype (and, yes, the streets) to let you watch over it all. The all-seasons, climate-controlled, retractable glass ceiling allows for some stunning NYC views and the authentic food proves this place is more than a gimmick.
Jazz At Lincoln Center
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No trip to New York is complete without live music. And if you want to avoid the crushing crowds around Times Square, head up to Lincoln Center for a night of world-class jazz. While there are several venues within Lincoln Center to catch great music, perhaps the most famous and admired is the Appel Room, a Greek amphitheatre whose backdrop is a wall of windows overlooking the streets of New York. With multiple jazz events every night, an evening at Lincoln Center is sure to soothe and stimulate.
Russian Vodka Room
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After such a highbrow evening, you may want to make your way to an upscale cocktail bar — or you may want to have an unforgettable night in a raucous, kitschy Russian vodka lounge. After all, who knows better than the Russians how to escape the frigid cold? With vodka so good you’ll finally understand how people can drink so much of it, you may start to think the loungey live music here has got Lincoln Center beat.