When’s the Best Time to Be in NYC? Here’s a Month-to-Month Guide!

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The short answer: it’s always the best time to be in NYC β€” if you know how to make the most of it. The long answer involves researching what usually happens in NYC weather-wise and event-wise month by month. Sounds tedious, right? I guess it’s a good thing that I already did that work for you. (You’re welcome. 😘) Now go check out this month-to-month guide to NYC and then share your pick of the best time to be in New York!

NYC in January

Weather: 🧱, with a high of 39℉ and a low of 26℉. Chance of snow: likely. 

Vibe: Now that we’re coming down from the holiday high, it’s time to do all the winter activities that are non-Christmas-related. The major perk of this month is that there is a “lull” in the numbers of tourists, so take advantage of the lack of crowds.

Events to look forward to:
NYC Winter Restaurant Week (January 18 – February 13)
NYC Broadway Week (January 18 – February 13)

Other things to do:
All the non-Christmas winter activities, i.e., ice-skating, winter markets, etc.
This is the best time to visit museums, shop, see Broadway shows, or anything else indoors (within reason during a pandemic)
Take advantage of winter hours/prices at the botanical gardens
Sit and sip in igloos at rooftop bars

Being in New York in February

Weather: Extra 🧱🧱, with a high of 43℉ and a low of 29℉. The numbers say it’s warmer than January, but my years of standing at the bus stop on February mornings freezing my ass off beg to differ. Very likely to snow.

Vibe: It’s like January, but with more hearts and a sprinkling of fashion to break up the monotony of black puffer coats New Yorkers are fond of.

Events to look forward to:
New York Fashion Week (February 11 – February 16)
Lunar New Year Parade
Orchid Show at NYBG
Winter Jam in Central Park
Off-Broadway Week (February 14 – 27)

Other things to do:
Various Black History Month events (Might I suggest something from the NYC Black Bucket List?)
Find the most romantic things to do in the city (Might I also suggest something from this list of Unique Romantic NYC Date Ideas?)
Find a sports bar to watch the Super Bowl in
Splurge on a fancy hotel staycation

March in New York

Weather: With high of 52℉ and low of 36℉, it’s still cold most days and it gets pretty windy.

Vibe: Expect the city to be cold, gray, and damp, as spring colors have not quite kicked in yet. Don’t be surprised if there is a stray snowstorm. There are outdoor activities, but it’s not comfortable to be outside all day yet.

Events to look forward to:
Saint Patrick’s Day Parade
The Armory Show NYC
Macy’s Flower Show
NYC Half Marathon

Other things to do:
Take an Irish New York tour
Can still see the Orchid Show

Experiencing April in New York

Weather: High of 64℉, low of 45℉. Only slightly warmer than March.

Vibe: Overall, the vibe is cheerier, with flowers starting to bud towards the end of the month. It won’t be as uncomfortable spending hours outside, but it’ll still be far from comfortable.

Events to look forward to:
Cherry blossoms blooming
Easter Parade & Bonnet Festival
Smorgasburg season starts

Other things to do:
Various Earth Day events
Can still see the Orchid Show

Making the most of May in NYC

Weather: High of 72℉, low of 54℉. Don’t let these numbers fool you: bring a jacket with you every time you go outside.

Vibe: The city is doing more and more things outdoors. Going outside becomes less of a means to an end; instead it’s the actual destination. It’s a lot greener than the previous months.

Events to look forward to:
Five Boro Bike Tour
Fleet Week (Hello, sailor! 😍)
Brooklyn Half Marathon

Other things to do:
Mother’s Day events

June in NYC

Weather: High of 80℉, low of 64℉. You’ll want a light jacket in the mornings.

Vibe: There’s growing excitement in the air. By the end of the month, things in the city are going to ramp up. The city is always lively, but summer in the city is especially so.

Events to look forward to:
NYC Pride March
Tribeca Film Festival
Puerto Rican Day Parade
Museum Mile Festival
Coney Island Mermaid Parade
BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival
Governors Ball

Other things to do:
Good Morning America Summer Concert series
Free outdoor movies
Juneteenth events

Being in NYC in July

Weather: Oh God, the humidity! High of 84℉, low of 69℉. 
Summer pro tip #1: Remember to carry around a sweater for whenever you’re indoors. It may be hell outside, but it’s Antarctica indoors.

Vibe: The city is hotter than ever, both in terms of temperature and all the events it has going on. If you are bored, it’s your fault.

Events to look forward to:
Nathan’s Famous 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest
Manhattanhenge again
Shakespeare in the Park
Restaurant Week
BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival

Other things to do:
All the classic attractions will be crowded because it’s peak tourist season, so find something else to do. Perhaps try something from the NYC Summer Bucket List.
Street fairs
Coney Island
Take the ferry
Free kayaking on the rivers
Governors Island
Walking Tours

Experiencing August in New York

Weather: With a high of 84℉ and low of 69℉, at this point you’ll be nostalgic for the chill of winter.
Summer pro tip #2: Mysterious liquid will fall from the sky. It’s not rain; it’s air conditioner run off. If it gets in your eye, be prepared to go blind. Kidding, but rinse your eye asap.

Vibe: August is essentially July Part Two. It’s another chance to do all the activities you couldn’t cram in the previous month. 

Events to look forward to:
Shakespeare in the Park
Restaurant Week
BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival

Other things to do:
The same things as July

Spending September in NYC

Weather: High of 76℉, low of 61℉. Removable layers are your friends now, as it’ll be chilly in the morning and then blazing in the afternoon. Dress accordingly.

Vibe: It’s a little less fun and a little more studious, with the students back to school and the workers back from vacation. But there’s still plenty of outdoor fun to be had.

Events to look forward to:
West Indian Day Parade
Feast of San Gennaro Festival
Brooklyn Book Festival
New York Fashion Week
US Open
German-American Steuben Parade

Other things to do:
Go apple picking outside of NYC
9/11 memorial events

October in New York

Weather: With a high of 64℉, and a low of 50℉, it’s sweater weather in NYC.

Vibe: If the song “Autumn in New York” is not playing in your head on loop whenever you step outside right now, then you’re not doing it right.

Events to look forward to:
Halloween Dog Parade
NYC Village Halloween Parade
Open House New York
New York Botanical Garden’s Giant Pumpkin Weekend

Other things to do:
Leaf-peep at an NYC park
Take a haunted NYC tour
Go pumpkin picking at the Queens County Farm Museum

Experiencing November in NYC

Weather: With a high of 55℉, low of 42℉, it’s time to bring out the puffer coat.

Vibe: It’s that nebulous time where we’re kind of over autumn but it’s too early to get caught up in Christmas. Try to embrace the tail end of the changing leaves; the city doesn’t get more beautiful than this.

Events to look forward to:
New York Comedy Festival
New York Anime Convention
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
TCS New York City Marathon

Other things to do:
Finish up these items on the NYC fall bucket list 
Attempt to bring back Evacuation Day

Being in New York in December

Weather: High of 44℉, low of 31℉. Don’t let me catch you outside in anything but a black puffer coat and a pair of Timbs, the official outfit of winter in NYC.

Vibe: No one does Christmas like New York. Fun fact: a lot of cherished Christmas traditions were started or popularized here. The poem “A Visit From Saint Nicholas,” Santa’s iconic red and white suit, and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer all have roots in New York.

Events to look forward to:
Dyker Heights Lights
Macy’s Santaland
Christmas Markets
New Years Eve parties

Other things to do:
Basically everything on my NYC Christmas traditions list
Times Square New Year’s Eve Celebration, if you hate yourself

Now that you’ve made it to the end of this month-to-month guide, sound off: in your opinion, when is the best time to be in NYC? I’m torn between July, October, and December.

Before you go, if you like what I do here at Shiloh in the City and want to continue getting to know New York’s history, culture, and things to do with me, sign up for my email list and follow me on social media. Thanks for reading!

One response to “When’s the Best Time to Be in NYC? Here’s a Month-to-Month Guide!”

  1. Vivian Avatar

    I enjoyed this! I vote for February because air fares and hotel prices are lower than usual. Theater tickets aren’t (!), but there’s less competition for them. There are far fewer tourists (although I can’t get snobby about tourists because I am a tourist), so wherever it is you want to go will likely be less crowded than at other times of year. It helps to know the subway system well, so you can reduce the amount of travel time spent outside. Enjoy!

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