We are only a couple of days into November, but holiday activities and displays are already popping up around New York City. Whether you’re a local or just visiting from out of town, if you’re looking to get into the festive spirit ahead of the holiday tourist crowds, here are some places in New York City that are already waiting for you:
1. Bryant Park Winter Village
Open: October 27, 2018 – January 2, 2019
Before Halloween had passed, the Bank of American Winter Village at Bryant Park was up and running. The village’s main feature is its 17,000 square-foot iceskating rink which, while less famous than the rinks in Central Park and Rockefeller center, still attracts a very sizable crowd. The rink is open from 8am-10pm and admission is free; skate rental is $20 a pair.
But what makes the Winter Village so popular are its rows of Holiday shops, featuring food stands and boutiques of popular New York City businesses. Outdoor seating and decorative lighting make the Winter Village a great lunch or date spot, especially before temperates start dropping. A full list of this year’s shops can be found here.
2. The Rink at Rockefeller Center
Open: October 8, 2018 – January 1, 2019
New York City’s famed Rink at Rockefeller Center has been open since the beginning of October, with “standard rates” of $25 per hour and a half skating session (this is $8 less than the “peak holiday” rate). As the holidays creep closer, weekend rates are increasing, but you can still skate for the lowest rate on select weekdays between now and November 14. A full list of session hours and daily rate can be found here.
3. Rolf’s German Restaurant
Open: daily from 12pm to 10pm
When it comes to decorating for Christmas, New Yorkers know that Rolf’s German Restaurant are the masters. The restaurant and bar, which serves German food and wintery drinks like “Warm Spiced Mulled Wine” and “Pumpkin Martini,” has been covered in garland, lights, ornaments, and other Christmas themed decorations since September (they leave their decorations up until the end of May, according to their website). The restaurant is located at 281 Third Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010. Expect some kind of line at the door for entrance into the bar area; lunch and dinner requires a reservation, which you can make by calling them at 212-477-4750 or 212-473-8718.