Skip to main content
Hotel Beacon NYC


Join Beacon Insider & Save 30%
Why New York’s Upper West Side is Perfect for your Winter Vacation blog image

Why New York’s Upper West Side is Perfect for your Winter Vacation

September 24 2021

There are a thousand reasons to visit New York’s Upper West Side in the winter months, from the fall leaves to the snow fall, the Thanksgiving parades to the world’s most famous location to ring in the New Year, and from the Halloween parades to the magical holiday lights. There is nowhere quite like New York City at the end of the year.

As a residential neighborhood with traditional brownstone streets and abundant parks and green spaces, the Upper West Side is a great place for a family winter vacation with a host of activities to enjoy and places to visit.

See New York Like it is in the Movies

Whether it’s Christmas in New York, Miracle on 34th Street, Home Alone 2 or Elf, some of our favorite Holiday movies are set in New York City. Visiting the city in the winter months can quite literally transport you to the sets of your favorite holiday season classics and bring back nostalgic feelings and the sometimes-forgotten magic of the most wonderful time of the year.

From Thanksgiving to New Year almost everywhere you look in the city is the backdrop of one of your favorite films. From ice rinks to Christmas trees and snow-lined streets to the Macy’s Day Parade, nowhere in the world comes close to the magic of the festive season than New York City.


The winter season is one of the most popular times to see a show on Broadway, and after the 18 months of COVID-19 restrictions, shows are finally starting to open up again. All of the family classics including The Lion King, Wicked, Aladdin and Elf the Musical, are currently still planning to remain open over the winter and festive season. Broadway is a magical encounter for families of all ages, and for those who visit NYC it’s often an opportunity not to be missed. The Broadway Theatre district is a 30 minute walk from the Hotel Beacon or just over 10 minutes using the subway. If seeing a Broadway show is something you simply can’t miss, it's highly recommended to book tickets in advance - especially with the current restrictions on capacity. 

New York City street lined with festive light covered trees

The World’s Best Holiday Shopping

A visit to NYC isn’t complete without a spot of shopping, and in the months leading up to Santa’s visit, there is no better time to hit the flagship stores – and of course, see the amazing lights and decorations. For young families visiting NYC, nothing quite compares to visiting the department stores and shopping malls to see the transformation into winter villages and the north pole. Most will also have their very own Santa Clause – something most children will never forget. While the kids are distracted with Old Saint Nick it’s a great time to stock up on this seasons must have gifts away from prying eyes.

Outdoor Ice Rinks

There is something quite magical about dancing on the ice beneath the night sky and the lights of the city. During the winter months when the temperature drops, outdoor ice rinks pop up all over the city. Within walking distance of the Hotel Beacon there are plenty of ice rinks to visit including two in central park. One of the most famous, and often considered unmissable, outdoor ice-skating rinks is at the Rockefeller Center. The ice rink at the Rockefeller Center is featured in several holiday movies, including Home Alone 2. You can reach the Center in 20 minutes via the subway or 40 minutes on foot from the Hotel Beacon.

People ice skating on a foggy day in Central Park NYC

Central Park

Central Park – one of the City’s most famous landmarks – is within walking distance of the Hotel Beacon and it’s a family favorite at any time of year. During the run up to the festive season New York usually receives its first big blanket of snow, transforming Central Park into a winter wonderland. In December there are plenty of snow-related activities to enjoy in the park, including sledding, ice-skating, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing – and don’t forget to build a snowman! Around the park most of the attractions stay open year-round – including the zoo, making it a great family day out for a winter vacation.

If you’re thinking of visiting New York City this winter, NYC’s Upper West Side offers a family friendly oasis in the heart of the city. The Hotel Beacon is located a stone’s throw from Central Park and Broadway with apartment-style, self-catering suites perfect for couples and families looking for an upmarket home away from home in the city.