5 Quirky Winter Activities in New York City



For some, the first day of winter coincides with the first day of hibernation until spring. For others, it marks the first day of “wonderland” and is used as an opportunity to partake in nostalgia-driven winter activities. Where do those who don’t fall under the hibernators or wonderland-seekers go when the temperature drops? For the seasonal inbetweeeners, we boiled our list down to five quirky winter activities.

then she fell

IG photo by @thenshefellny

Head to Brooklyn for an immersive experience

Inspired by the life and writing of Lewis Carroll, Then She Fell is an immersive, intimate experience in which audience members explore a dreamscape similar to Wonderland. Guests will find themselves thrust into in an obscure world filled with colorful characters. For the duration of the performance, audience members will be encouraged to explore the performance space independently. This will allow them to stumble upon hidden scenes and experience strange performative encounters unique to the Then She Fell piece. 

Then She Fell by Third Rail Projects is now playing through April 30, 2017.

roosevelt island nyc

IG photo by @effiegram

Visit Roosevelt Island

For those who have seen the aerial tram to Roosevelt Island but never had the chance to visit, winter is the perfect season: less crowds will make for a relaxing experience on the small island. Located at 59th Street and 2nd Avenue, trams depart frequently from the Manhattan tram station to Roosevelt Island. While the trip is short, be sure to bring a camera as it will provide some dynamic photo opportunities over the East River.  

Visitors may feel as if there is a strange energy or uneasiness about the island which might have something to do with previous residents. While the space is now used for residences and public parks, Roosevelt Island was once home to both prisons and insane asylums, back when it was called Welfare Island. Notable sights include the ruins James Renwick’s Smallpox Hospital, The Octagan and The Stretcher Laboratory.


IG photo by @obscuraantiques

Discover odd objects at Obscura Antiques

In the mood to shop for anything and everything strange? Obscura Antiques & Oddities is the solution to all of your quirky needs and winter is the best season to stock up on strange decor. Located in East Village on Avenue A, the village staple is a sight for sore eyes. Here, you’ll find vintage clothing, a large collection of taxidermy and medial antiques. Allow yourself to explore the weird yet wonderful shop. After picking up a newly-purchased taxidermed pet, take it for a stroll to one of the many restaurants and cafes in the neighborhood.

east village nyc baths

IG photo by @sanarq

Escape the winter cold at the East Village baths

Established in 1892, The Russian and Turkish Baths on East 10th Street is a traditional, no-frills Bath House. The facility features saunas, steam rooms and a cold plunge pool. Additionally, there are several massage services and treatments on offer. A particular highlight of this establishment is the Platza Oak Leaf treatment or, as some have nicknamed it, “Jewish Acupuncture.” For $40, visitors will be scrubbed and beaten by a specialist with a broom made of fresh oak leaves and doused in soap. The oak leaves are believed to have a natural astringent that will open pores and remove dead skin from the body, leaving the visitor feeling detoxed and slightly confused as to what just happened.

coney island winter nyc

IG photo by @mamieheldman

Take the subway to Coney Island

Have you ever taken the subway to the last stop? If not, winter is the perfect time to do so and Coney Island should be your final destination. Take the F, D, N or Q trains from Manhattan. The subway is a prime spot for people watching, but we recommend bringing a book on the journey, which takes 50 minutes. The Coney Island theme park is but a skeleton in the winter months. While this may not strike you as an attractive sight to see, trust us: it’s worth it. There is an undeniable allure to the eeriness of the winter landscape on Coney Island that is vastly different from Manhattan. Although the park and beach are closed (no lifeguards on duty), feel free to take in all the smells and sounds of the sea by walking down the Atlantic Ocean boardwalk. Here, you’ll have endless opportunities to photograph the desolate urban landscape without navigating around theme-park goers and beach bums. 

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