Winter in the City: Which Deserves a Visit During the Holidays?

by The Cowl Editor on November 30, 2017

Arts & Entertainment

The Bryant Winter Village in New York City
Photo courtesy of Bryan Park Corporation

by Julia Vaccarella ’20

A&E Staff

The temperature outside is beginning to get colder, and whether you are away from campus for the weekend or visiting during winter break, there are many events going on in New York City in the coming weeks and months.

Bank of America sponsors the Winter Village at Bryant Park each year. Visitors can ice skate outdoors in the park, which is the only rink with free admission in all of New York City. The park periodically runs themed skate nights, like Decades Night, for college students. They also offer discounts on skate rentals for anyone who brings a student ID.

With over 100 kiosks, the Winter Village is also a great place to buy one-of-a-kind items or get a head start on holiday shopping. Vendors sell artisanal and unique clothing items, as well as home decorations. The Winter Village also runs a variety of concession stands with coffee, sandwiches, and other snacks. A casual pop-up restaurant called Public Fare is conveniently located next to the ice skating rink.

Department stores throughout NYC have decorated the windows with light displays that remain through the end of December. Saks Fifth Avenue has adopted a Disney theme this year, displaying a castle and 14 animated scenes from Snow White. The Lord & Taylor storefront has five animated panels with one featuring the skyline of Manhattan. Other stores that participate in these displays include Macy’s, Tiffany & Co., and Barneys, spanning from 38th Street to 58th Street.

For anyone looking to escape the cold and do something inside, New York City is also home to many unique art museums. Located on the Upper East Side, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has two exhibits featuring Edvard Munch and Michelangelo.

“Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer” features a varied selection, from drawings to marble sculptures, while the Munch exhibition focuses on self-portraits and other works never before seen in the United States. Both exhibits are open until February 2018 and are included in the price of admission to the museum.

The New York Botanical Garden is sponsoring an attraction that uses plant parts like seeds, leaves, and twigs to create replicas of major landmarks, such as the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Model trains will move through the recreated city, and this season’s show will also highlight several of Midtown Manhattan’s famous skyscrapers. An installation project called “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” will be displayed in the Upper East Side and at the David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea through the middle of December. At 88 years old, Kusama’s work spans across many decades. Admission is free, but long lines are expected after the success of a similar project in Los Angeles.

Kusama’s main attraction, “Let’s Survive Forever,” includes mirrors that reflect around the room. The interactive exhibit also has two other rooms with color-changing lightbulbs, flowers, and more.

From ice skating to art museums, the Big Apple has something for everyone this winter.


Faneuil Hall in Boston during the Christmas season
Photo courtesy of Joann Vitali

by Alexis Jais ’18

A&E Staff

Sweet New England summers are the perfect opportunity to hit some of Cape Cod’s many beautiful beaches, hike in northern Rhode Island’s peaceful nature reservations, and spend an afternoon with a cold drink at a bayside restaurant. Autumn’s fleeting presence paints a breathtaking picture of the New England everyone knows and loves to admire. But come winter, we have to shelve some of our favorite summer and autumn pastimes as the snow begins to fall.

Those who have experienced more than a few winters in Providence are all too familiar with the charming and traditional wintertime activities Providence has to offer. Many enjoy ice-skating at the Alex and Ani center, taking a brisk walk by the river in January, and grabbing hot coffee at Blue State on Thayer Street. Even so, an hour’s bus or train ride and $25 will have any Providence College student ready to adventure to nearby winter hotspots in Boston.

Boston is one of the most historic destinations in New England and has so much more to offer than just summer fun. Even in the chilliest months, the Greater Boston area is home to a few rather extensive natural reservations including Blue Hills in Canton. On weeknights, you can ski the Hills for just $30 between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Sledding is free at the Boston Common and you can skate the Common’s Frog Pond for only $6. You can also take part in one of Boston’s many tree-lighting ceremonies for free. The one in Boston Common includes activities and games with prizes as well as refreshments. Others take place in Copley Square and the Commonwealth Mall.

A snowfall at Beacon Hill in Boston
Photo courtesy of

Newbury and Boylston Street shops and restaurants have some of the most festive decor and lights, which make for a lovely winter stroll and the perfect place to get some holiday shopping done. If Boston’s winter weather is something you would rather avoid, the city has even more to offer indoors.

Irish pubs and historic taverns like the Union Oyster House seem to be around every corner throughout Boston, and offer a cozy and welcoming atmosphere to grab a drink or cup of New England clam chowder.

The Black Rose has a menu that combines New England favorites as well as classic Irish dishes. Bull McCabe’s has theme nights like $2 taco Tuesdays, and ‘pay-the-time’ for a burger and fries Monday through Friday.

Other indoor activities in the city like visiting the Museum of Fine Arts (free admission after 3 p.m. for ages 7-17) or strolling through Faneuil Hall to grab a bite and catch a glimpse of the famous 85-foot tree. All this will keep you warm while also allowing you to experience Boston at its fullest, even in the frosty winter months.

Whether you are up for braving the freezing wind this winter or would prefer to sit by the fire and watch the snowfall, Boston has something fun and inexpensive to offer for everyone’s wintertime fantasies.