On average, New York City hosts 66.6 million tourists each year. If all of those visitors arrived in The Big Apple at once, we’d have to call it The Big Applesauce!
How does any tourist decide when it’s the best time to visit New York City?
The truth is, there is no single “best time” to arrive in Gotham for the vacation of your dreams! The most important part of planning a trip to New York isn’t figuring out when to come, but what to do when you get there. Different events and activities happen at different times, so plan your trip around your interests, not the season!
When will you be arriving?
This guide will help you determine the best time to visit Manhattan based on your personal travel goals. There are infinite things to do in NYC, and narrowing it down helps make planning easier. Keep reading to learn how to visit NYC at just the right time!
The Best Time for Holiday Festivities
It’s hard to think of New York City without thinking about Christmas. The city that never sleeps gains even more lights and sights in December. If you’re looking for holiday tourism, you won’t come to visit NYC during the last month of the year, and you won’t experience disappointment!
How could you visit Manhattan in the wintertime without going ice skating? If you want to miss the crowds, you might consider celebrating the holidays a little early. The Bryant Park Winter Village and The Rink at Rockefeller Center tend to open up the last week of October.
If you’d prefer to check out the world-famous Macy’s holiday display, you can make your way to Times Square as early as November! The decorators get those windows ready the Thursday before Thanksgiving. That way, everything looks great for the parade!
If you want to be in the city for the big tree lighting, however, you’ll want to time your visit right. It usually happens on December 1st each year. After that, you can visit the tree any time until New Year’s Day.
The Best Time for Sports Fans
If you’re a sports fan, there’s nothing better than seeing your favorite teams play in person! You’ll have to go a little bit out of your way if you want to visit Yankee Stadium, which is in the Bronx. The major league baseball season begins on April 1st and ends somewhere in late September or early October.
If you want to stay in Manhattan, you can see the New York Knicks play right at Madison Square Garden. The season usually starts in Mid-October and ends somewhere in Mid-April.
The Best Time for Theatre Buffs
There isn’t a bad time to see theatre in NYC! The entertainment industry is on its feet every season of the year. You can stop into a broadway theatre to warm up in deep winter, or enjoy the AC at the height of Summer.
The official start of a new Broadway season is September of each year. This is right at the end of the summer tourist season, so you can see something brand new with fewer crowds. You can also catch awesome events like the Broadway Flea Market and Broadway on Broadway concert this month!
There tends to be a lull on Broadway around January and February when the fewest new shows open. This is a great time to light up the darkest nights of the year with stage lights! You can usually find some great ticket deals and won’t have to fight the crowds.
The Best Time for Fashion Fanatics
While theatre may be slow in February, fashion season is just beginning! New York City’s famous Fashion Week takes place in mid-February each year. While most of the festivities aren’t open to the public, there will be plenty of associated events.
You can often catch vintage clothes shows, smaller runway shows, and plenty of sales on garments throughout the city. If you love to shop, this is the time to do it. If you time it right, you can also take advantage of those President’s Day sales!
The Best Time for the Culinarily Curious
If you love to eat, you can experience all that the culinary scene has to offer twice each year. NYC hosts Restaurant Week in the Winter and the Summer, so you can enjoy great eats during your favorite season.
Essentially, about 300 NYC restaurants participate in restaurant week. Instead of usual menu prices, they offer a special fixed menu with some of their most iconic dishes. It’s a great, affordable way to try new cuisines and restaurants without making a major financial investment.
If you happen to miss restaurant week, don’t worry – the restaurants aren’t going anywhere! Plus, NYC is always hosting a food festival or two if you know where to look. A few great options include:
- The New York Times Food Festival
- Harvest in the Square
- TASTE Williamsburg Greenpoint
- New York City Wine and Food Festival
- Food Network & Cooking Channel Wine & Food Festival
Additionally, NYC is home to smaller food festivals and culinary events all year long. Make a reservation in advance, and you can eat well in Gotham no matter the season!
It’s Always the Best Time to Visit New York City!
There is no such thing as a definitive list of the best places in NYC because that completely depends on you! One of the benefits of traveling to the big apple is the broad range of entertainment and activities. If you aren’t picky, it really is always the best time to visit New York City!
It’s also a great time to check out the rest of the blog! It’s full of inspirational posts that will help you customize your life!