“It’s a replica of the North Pole!” exclaimed 6 year old, Nadia Johnson, while waiting in line for her rental ice skates. One of New York City’s biggest holiday attractions, Winter Village at Bryant Park, is now in full swing until March 1, 2015. The annual event offers free ice skating, holiday shopping, and seasonal foods and cafés.
The 170′ X 100′ foot ice skating rink at Winter Village is the only rink in New York City that offers free admission, open daily from 8am-10pm. If needed, rental skates can be purchased for $19 at the rink entrance. Christopher Johnson, visiting with his family from Middlefield, MA, said, “We’ve been coming to the city for the past few years during christmas time and we love the family friendly atmosphere of Bryant Park.”
Along with ice skating, Winter Village has a seasonal open air market called The Holiday Shops which includes over 125 boutique-style shops set up in custom-designed “jewel box” kiosks. The shops offer a variety of different gift ideas ranging from apparel, jewelry, christmas decor, local foods, and much more. Claudia Davis, a resident of NYC for over 40 years was carefully looking at the walls of christmas decorations in the Once Upon a Christmas kiosk when she said, “Every year I send my grandchildren an ornament with their name and date on it. I’m just trying to find the perfect ones.” The Holiday Shops offer customers a wide variety of holiday gift options for everyone on your list. The shops surround the rink, located on the allées and terraces of Winter Village.
Winter Village also provides a wide range of food kiosks, cafés, and restaurants within Bryant Park. Celsius, a 7,000 sq. foot restaurant, lounge, and bar, is Winter VIllage’s holiday themed “pop up” food venue. The restaurant is a two-story, glass enclosed space, only available during Winter Village. The venue offers picturesque views of The Rink, pavilion, and the Winter VIllage Christmas tree.
The year-round cafés and restaurants located in Bryant Park, like the Bryant Park Grill and the Bryant Park Café, will still be available for customers during Winter Village. For faster dining, Big Apple Cider, Crepe Café, Carpe Donut NYC, and many more food kiosks are available throughout the Holiday Shops on the pavilion.
Winter Village offers a number of free holiday events throughout December. Every Monday from December 8th through the 22nd, Southwest Porch, located near the southern end of the Fountain Terrace, will show free holiday-themed movie screenings from 7-9pm. During the outdoor movie screening, Southwest Porch will have their fire pit going, but plan ahead and dress accordingly. Movies shown will be “A Christmas Story”, “Babes in Toyland”, and “Miracle on 34th Street”. Also offered on movie nights, is any ‘wichcraft entree and beer/wine for only $17 from 7pm – close.
From December 19-24, Winter Village will have daily parades with Santa and Christmas carolers from 1-1:45pm. After the parade, children can get free photos with Santa at Santa’s Corner located on The Deck from 1:45-4pm.
Winter Village is one of New York City’s best holiday-themed events that offers a variety of free activities including skating, shopping, eating, and much more to get visitors in the holiday spirit.
Holiday Shops Hours
Monday – Friday: 11am – 8pm
Saturday: 10am – 9pm
Sunday: 10am – 6pm
Monday – Sunday: 8am – 10pm
Monday – Friday: 12pm – 10pm
Saturday & Sunday: 11am – 10pm