Midtown Musings: Why We Love the Bryant Park Winter Village
Each winter, Bryant Park transforms itself from a leafy oasis into a veritable winter wonderland, with an ice rink and the annual Bryant Park Winter Village. Dozens of glass-roofed “jewel box” stalls sell unique-to-NYC gifts that are perfect for holiday shopping, from hand-crafted chocolate to prints from local artists. And our favorite part? The food carts sprinkled amongst the gift booths. Hot chocolate? Check. Raclette? Check. Cookies? Check. And don’t miss the bar at Southwest Porch. What better way to wind down after some serious shopping than with a glass of red wine with skyline views under a heat lamp?
Here we take a look at our recent visit Bryant Park Winter Village. If you’re in NYC before January 2, be sure to walk through! And the ice rink—one of the most iconic in New York—is open through the winter.
Strolling under the London plane trees of Bryant Park is always magical, but come December the Bryant Park Winter Village makes for one of our favorite annual traditions, with its 150+ vendors selling gifts of the season.
Some of our favorite stalls include the Kashmir Moon New York, with its vibrant home decor and clothing. The colors are unreal! We didn’t know we needed an opera coat until we saw the floral getup here. And for fun, New-York-themed gifts, nothing’s better than the Brooklyn Art Factory. Most of the artwork here is based on the owner’s original photographs of NYC. Mix in some whimsical animal portraits an subway art and you’re sure to find a Christmas present for someone.
After all that shopping, we got hungry! There are tons of options: churros, tacos, french fries, empanadas, noodles, you name it. We stopped at the Casa Toscana vendor for an out-of-this-world Italian flatbread and sat down by the ice rink to take in the Midtown views. After our break, it was back for a final round of shopping, taking in the gorgeous ceramics from Le Souk. We love the company’s hand-painted Tunisian pitchers, bowls and plates, and make a point to visit it each year.
Of course, we couldn’t visit the Bryant Park Winter Village without stepping out on the ice, where speakers blast holiday classics from Bing Crosby to Mariah Carey (of course). Admission is free, but skate rentals are $20—well worth it for unlimited laps around the rink. We don’t have any photo evidence—no cameras or phones on the ice…safety first!—so you’ll just have to trust us that the Refinery Team’s triple axels were on point.
Want to check out the Bryant Park Winter Village? It’s just a three-minute walk from Refinery. Get more information on the Winter Village’s official website.