When to Go to New York City
New York is consistently inconsistent when it comes to the weather. It offers extremes of the UK to an extent – hot, humid summers and cold, wet winters. But that doesn’t meant it can’t deviate from that, so it always pays to go out armed with an umbrella, regardless of the season. Likewise, some winter days can surprise you too, and it is not uncommon for some unseasonal warmness to occur. And while not knowing what the weather holds can be frustrating, what it does mean is that New York is prepared with plenty of things to do, come rain or shine. Here we help you decide when to go to this year-round destination:
Summer: June to August
Summer is generally quite a sweaty experience in New York. Temperatures can soar as high as 40ᵒC and, with the heat of the skyscrapers around you, it can feel even hotter. But there are plenty of ways to keep cool and make the most of the warmth – now is the time for outdoor theatre, rooftop bars, pop-up cinema, festivals, picnics in the park and swimming pools.
Best places to visit in summer:
- High Line
- The Shakespeare in the Park stage
- Hudson River Park
- Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream parlour in the Lower East Side
Autumn: September to November
The humidity of the summer gives way to cooler, crisp days in the autumn – a much-needed reprieve. Now is the perfect time to catch the browns, reds and golds of the fall leaves in the city’s usually green areas. It’s also a great time for celebration too, so you can strap on your lederhosen and celebrate Oktoberfest, indulge in Italian cuisine at the annual Feast of San Gennaro, or dress up in your scariest attire for Halloween.
Best places to visit in autumn:
- Central Park
- 6th Avenue for the annual NYC Village Halloween Parade or the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
- The Chelsea Wine Vault for Cider Week
- Little Italy for the Feast of San Gennaro
Winter: December to February
Nowhere does winters quite like New York; think bitter winds, huge dumps of snow and temperatures well below freezing. But that shouldn’t put you off, for this city also knows how to make the most of the adverse weather. In fact, it’s the perfect time for skating, Christmas market shopping and snacking on indulgent foods and sipping rich tipples, all the while feeling the festive cheer and staring at snow-dusted trees and sidewalks. Expect higher prices but heaps of Home Alone-style magic in December.
Best places to visit in winter:
- The Rink at Rockefeller Center
- Bryant Park’s Winter Village
- The shops – for the January sales
- Times Square on New Year’s Eve
Spring: March to May
Springtime in New York is all about new beginnings. The cold weather disappears, the flowers start to bloom and new plays and museum exhibits begin their runs for the year. It’s a great time for festivals too – from the heritage delights of St Patrick’s Day, to the iconic Tribeca Film Festival, to the abundant flower events that dominate the whole of Manhattan. Simply put, it is a beautiful time to be here. And, as it’s the shoulder season, you’ll benefit from fewer crowds and better prices.
Best places to visit in spring:
- New York Botanical Garden
- Fifth Avenue for the St Patrick’s Day Parade