The Holiday Market
Bryant Park’s Winter Village Holiday market features crafts, artisan provisions, and exquisite gifts from craftsmen from New York City and around the world. Inspired by European open-air markets, the Shops are housed in custom-designed, "jewel box" kiosks. Vendors feature everything from hand-carved Christmas tree ornaments to melt-in-your-mouth chocolates, knitwear, and empanadas. With more than 3 dozen stalls and more than 170 vendors, it’s safe to say that you can find a gift for all of your loved ones, no matter how hard they might be to shop for! Bryant Park is home to just one of the city’s many holiday markets, but this one is by far a favorite of many New Yorkers, possibly because of its location next to the ice rink.
The Ice Rink
The Rink at Bryant Park’s Winter Village is New York City’s only free-admission ice skating rink. Its 17,000-square-foot rink is free for those who own their own skates, but don’t worry if you don't have your own yet! They also have skates available for rent, although you might fall in love with skating and buy your own pair after a few turns around the rink. After a fun day skating, nothing sounds better than a warm drink and you don’t have to travel far to go. Steps away from the rink is the cozy The Lodge: a covered, outdoor après-themed area where visitors can grab a festive cocktail, enjoy delicious food, watch the ice skaters or admire the tree.
If you’re not keen on getting on the ice, not to worry, you can try your hand at iceless curling! It’s the first-ever iceless curling experience, so it can be enjoyed no matter what the weather. Each reservation at the aptly named Curling Café includes a dedicated curling lane for 90 minutes — plus a heated bubble igloo tent with food and drinks. It’s the perfect activity in a cozy, festive setting!
New York Public Library
Adjacent to Bryant Park, at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 42nd St is the flagship location of the New York Public Library. The NYPL was founded in 1895 and took over a dozen years to construct this incredible marble structure. This landmark Beaux-Arts building officially opened in 1911 and has welcomed millions of visitors since – on its first day alone, it saw 50,000 people pass through its doors.
Today, the impressive institution is the second-largest public library in the United States (after the Library of Congress), and the fourth-largest in the world. There are over 125 miles of shelving throughout the building! If you’ve ever walked into the New York Public Library and wondered, “Where are all the books?” the answer lies beneath your feet. Around 4 million books are stored in subterranean stacks beneath the library building and Bryant Park.
There are so many incredible places to study or read, but my favorite is the Rose Reading Room. The majestic space is located on the 3rd floor and is roughly the length of two city blocks. With its Old World architectural elegance, it’s an inspirational environment to crack open a book or prep to ace an exam.
Bryant Park Grill
If you’re looking for a fancier sit-down alternative to the Lodge, look no further than the Bryant Park Bridge. Tucked in between the Rink and New York Public Library, is the Bryant Park Grill, a Parisian-style restaurant overlooking the park, equally suited for a business lunch or romantic dining. And the Grill isn't just a winter destination (although it does look magical in the snow). It's always worthwhile to grab a table on their open-air seasonal patio when it’s nice out. The menu features classic American and French dishes, like crab cakes and steak frites.