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Why We’re Obsessed with the Bryant Park Winter Village

Every year, often long before the first snowfall, the Winter Village holiday shops at Bryant Park open their doors. On Oct. 27, the festive market returned for the 2018 season, bringing with it more than 170 individual boutiques and kiosks.

For locals, the Winter Village is a great place to spend a lunch break, pick up last-minute gifts, or pretend we’re in Europe, exploring one of the famous Christmas markets. And for travelers, the Winter Village is one of the most exciting attractions of the festive season.

Of course, you don’t have to love the holidays — or even winter, for that matter — to love Bryant Park’s annual Winter Village. After all, it’s home to complimentary ping pong all December, a classic carousel and a compost “concierge,” who will collect your scraps and give you that warm, fuzzy feeling we’re all looking for this time of year.

Consider these, and five other reasons we’re obsessed with the Bryant Park Winter Village.

You Can Go Ice Skating

@bryantparknyc photo of the rink via Instagram

The only ice skating rink in all of New York City (and there are many great ones) with complimentary admission, the 17,000-square-foot rink is the focal point of the Winter Village. Show off your skills on ice while admiring the city skyline on all sides. Best of all, it’s open until early March and hosts regular performances and events.

You Can Do All Your Holiday Shopping Here

And we mean all of it. From stocking up on decor at Christina’s World Glass Ornaments and The North Pole shop to purchasing gifts for friends and loved ones, we’re confident you’ll even find a few gifts to give yourself, too, thanks to outposts of Sabon, Strand and Jet Set Candy jewelry.

You Can Eat Here Every Day

After you’ve stocked up on stocking stuffers (syrupy candies from Dorset Maple Reserve, mixers and bitters from Hella Cocktail Co.) you’ll have surely worked up an appetite. Fortunately, the Winter Village has nearly every imaginable cuisine recommended at its culinary kiosks, including steamed buns and dumplings; arancini bites, baked cheese, and cheesesteaks; vegan couscous bowls and sweet crepes; tacos, churros and empanadas. You can also sit down for a full meal at The Lodge, a bar and food hall with more substantial eateries.

There’s Something for Everyone

Bryant Park Winter Village by @stills.and.motion on Instagram

The entire family can spend time together at the Winter Village, thanks to a number of festive events that delight children of all ages (and coax a little holiday cheer out of grown-ups, too). The Christmas spirit is out in full force come December, when there’s a tree lighting spectacle on the skating rink, traditional caroling, meet-and-greets with Santa Claus and regular games of broomball. For something more low-key, register for a history and architecture tour of the park, available Wednesday mornings for the duration of the Winter Village. Photo by @stills.and.motion on Instagram

You Can Use the Bathroom

We know it’s a surprising addition to a list of our favorite things. But the public bathrooms at Bryant Park are legitimately beautiful. Don’t underestimate how great it is to have access to a clean bathroom in the middle of the New York City. After all that hot chocolate and mulled wine, these glorious facilities on 42nd Street are going to seem like a holiday dream.

Want to check out the Bryant Park Winter Village? Read more about it on Refinery Times’s Midtown Musings!

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