I know that it is somewhat predictable that I’ll be writing about New York City for this Tour Guide Weekly Photo Challenge, but let me try to put a spin on it. Instead of suggesting tourist traps (ha!), here are five AFFORDABLE things that you can do in NYC during winter – whether you’re a local or just visiting!
1. Explore museums.
Did you know that a lot of art and cultural museums in NYC are always pay-as-you-wish? This list includes Met Museum, American Museum of Natural History, and The Cloisters. The Museum of Modern Art also provides free admission on Friday evenings from 4-8PM.
My husband and I recently went to the Met Museum for their Michaelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer exhibit, which showcased the genius’s works. Did you know that he was also an inventor and an expert sculptor? The picture below is a scaled projection of the famous Sistine Chapel ceiling.
2. Eat ramen.
Ramen will always be my favorite comfort food regardless of season. My ultimate favorite ramen joint is Totto Ramen at 464 W 51st St. between 9th and 10th Ave in Hell’s Kitchen. No other ramen restaurant in NYC can compare to this place in terms of quality food, customer service and even price! Sure, there’s some waiting involved, but if you come here before dinner or on a Sunday, you’re almost guaranteed to be seated immediately.
And when you finally get in, you’ll be greeted with a warm Irasshaimase! Grab a seat by the bar and watch the chefs skillfully prepare your ramen and torch the char siu pork. For starters, I suggest getting their yummy char siu pork buns ($6 for two buns). At $11, you can never go wrong with their signature paitan ramen (available in chicken or pork). My personal favorite is the Spicy paitan ($12), which is pretty much paitan ramen with house spicy sesame oil and garlic.
And when you get your bowl, don’t mix the ingredients just yet! Take a sip of that very thick and tasty spoonful broth of heaven. Just remember that it’s cash only at this place! Other noteworthy ramen spots in the city are Momofoku Noodle Bar, Ippudo, Nakamura, and Hide-Chan.
3. Do some sightseeing.
Don’t let cold, rain, or snow stop you from sightseeing or exploring the city, including the Brooklyn Bridge. The picture above was taken in January 2017 (we didn’t make it to Brooklyn, though). There’s definitely less crowds and tourists during the colder months.
Here are some gorgeous views from the 102nd floor of One World Observatory, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.
4. See Broadway and off-Broadway shows.
The very first Broadway show I’ve seen was The Phantom of the Opera – I had partial view from the first row of the orchestra and I remember genuinely enjoying the performance.
If you love seeing Broadway and off-Broadway performances, I suggest joining lotteries (in-person and digital, depending on the shows) and buying discounted tickets. I have won orchestra seats for Wicked twice, while my husband has won tickets for Hamilton (!), The Book of Mormon, and Something Rotten. Visit this page for more information on Broadway Rush, Lottery, and Standing Room Only Policies.
5. Eat FROZEN desserts.
I’m sure you’ve heard of cronuts from Dominique Ansel bakery, cupcakes from Magnolia bakery, the macarons from Laduree, and donuts from Dough or Doughnut Plant. But I also suggest trying frozen treats from locals such as Spot Dessert Bar (personal favorite is the Matcha lava cake), Grace Street, Mikey Likes It Ice Cream, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, and Chikalicious.
So many things to do in this beautiful city. Hope my list inspires you to discover more of NYC!