Winter will be upon us soon, and so will visiting one of my very favorite places, New York City. I’m heading back there in December with a fun crew in tow. We’ll be exploring all this amazing city has to offer during the most magical time to visit, the Christmas season! With that time of year, comes very cold weather, especially for us Texans, making it important to layer up.
To help prepare my group, and remind myself, I’m sharing a bit of outfit inspiration. I put together a few outfit ideas, including what to wear to a Broadway show, and lists on what clothing items to pack. Within the list, I’ve included ideas for the guys throughout as well.
Sweaters, cold weather under shirts with tops layered on top, long sleeves. Longer shirt dresses are also great paired with leggings.
For the guys, cold weather Under Armor is great to layer under their everyday shirts since they usually aren’t quite as into shopping as us ladies.
Layers of leggings, jeans layered over leggings or cold weather Under Armor for the guys (wind blows straight through jeans, you’ll be glad you layered), wind pants layered of leggings/cold weather gear.
Comfort is key here! Walking in NYC is just a given. Tennis shoes would be fine for other times of the year, but in the colder months you have to think about wet snow. Shoes you can seal with waterproof protectant are great. My husband did this for the leather shoes he packed. Rainboots that are comfortable to walk in are a great option. However, hands down my favorite shoes for New York City are these Ugg Boots. Let me be the first to admit, I was never a fan of Ugg style boots, but I picked these up on my last trip to NYC after I quickly realized my riding boots weren’t going to cut it for days of walking. They are SO comfortable for walking, warm, and waterproof!
Other than an excuse to buy a new coat, you don’t need a special coat for New York City. My same coat I wear here in Texas works just as well, but I suppose if you picked up an extra fluffy, extra warm coat you may not need as many under layers. I do usually pack two, just in case one gets dirty and to switch things ups. I also love warm vests layered under my coat.
This is definitely the key to keeping warm in New York City in the winter. Warm scarves, gloves or mittens, and winter hats or toboggans, as we call them in the south, are must haves. I feel no shame in packing one or two per day just to switch things up. I also like to scoop up cold weather accessories at the corner Christmas markets in New York City. For those going along with me, as long as things haven’t changed, you’ll be glad to know we’ll have one right by our hotel.
While you’re out and about in New York, you’ll need a place to keep your wallet and phone safe. You could use your coat pockets, but if they don’t zip or button you run the risk of things falling out when you take your coat off and on. My preference is a crossbody purse. I like the one found hereand here. The first is just big enough for my wallet, phone, and a couple of extras like Chapstick and gum. The second is a bit bigger and would fit all of that along with a camera or other smaller belongings. The most important part of a crossbody purse for me is a zipper—it gives me piece of mind that my items are secure. That being said, I’ve never had any trouble in any way shape or form in New York City, but it is always best to exercise caution no matter where you go. For a wallet, my husband prefers a front pocket wallet for traveling, and everyday use. He loves this Fossil one found here.
Broadway + Shows
For Broadway and other shows, I love to dress up! This can be a little trickier in the winter because you’ll have to wrangle your coat in the theatre. Typically, I wear a dress with leggings under, a warm scarf, and even a fur vest for add warmth while walking to the theatre. Dress slacks and a nice blouse are also great options. For guys, nice jeans or dress slacks with a long sleeve button down shirt are great. You’ll see folks dressed all kinds of ways at theatres, but in my opinion it is nice, and respectable, to dress up for the theatre and a night out.
So the key to New York in the winter is definitely layers!
As you can see in the photos from my last visit to New York City below, to keep things switched up, since you often only see the outer layers, I wore a different scarf and hat each day. Not to mention, it is easy to pack multiple scarves than it is multiple coats!
I’m so looking forward to heading back to New York City in December. It is truly a magical time to be in such an incredible city!
Special thanks to Sharla Kay Photography for the styled photos above.
Your flight is booked, your hotel is confirmed, now you’re not sure how much cash to budget for when you arrive in New York City. What will I want to buy? What extra activities like museums and shows will I want to do? How much does a meal really cost? Below are some tips and information on planning your budget for when you get there.
I always remind myself when traveling that meals are going to cost more than what I’m used to. I’m also more likely to splurge on a meal when traveling, like trying a fancy steakhouse, seafood, or cuisine I’ve never had. For New York, that is no exception. How do I “alleviate the pain” of the higher cost? Simple. Only one to two meals a day. I have a small meal/snack for breakfast from Starbucks or a nearby corner bakery. Then do one or two bigger meals throughout the day. On one meal days, I’ll usually find a snack around lunch/in the evening depending on when I’m planning for the more expensive meal.
Plan ahead. I know that I really love Gallaghers Steakhouse in Times Square. They were the inventor of the New York Strip Steak. I also know that my steak of choice there is $56, not including sides. This is a price that I would never pay at home, but when in New York, right? By looking at menus and planning ahead, I won’t be surprised by the bill.
I also want to add, the prices at Gallaghers aren’t typical of all NYC restaurants—there are some that cost more and some that cost less. I think you’ll find that most aren’t that far off in price than restaurants at home.
Something I do for all trips is pre-book activities (attractions, museums, shows, etc.) that I know I want to do. Though in all cases it may not be a savings, it does help when budgeting. Plus, when you get there, your activities are paid for, then you have more cash for other extras. Now, you’ll likely find other things you want to do while you’re there, but you at least have most already covered.
Skip the Taxi
Taxis and Ubers in New York City are expensive in comparison to the subway. Take a taxi once if you must, otherwise stick to the budget-friendly subway. I’ve share more tips about using the subway here.
Plan your Shopping Ahead
Do you want to shop at Tiffany’s or Saks Fifth Avenue? Then you know you need a larger budget. Do you want to shop small like at local shops or markets? Then you can make your money go a lot farther. My favorite place to shop for goodies to bring home during the Christmas season are Christmas markets. You can find ornaments, scarves, nick knacks, shirts, and more. You might also consider visiting vintage shops to find luxury brand pieces at great prices. There are great lists of vintage shops on Pinterest. I’ve pinned a few here.
I also can’t resist a visit to Macy’s Herald Square which is much more on my level of department store shopping than Saks Fifth Avenue. They always seem to have great sales as well. I do plan to purchase a little (I reiterate little) something at Tiffany’s the next time I visit New York (something I’ve always said I wanted to do, but never have), so I’ll look at their site online, get an idea of what I want and how much it costs so I can plan accordingly. Shopping wise—it’s about how much you want to spend. In my opinion, pricing is well in line with items at home.
Skip the Times Square Souvenirs
There are vendors on every corner in Times Square (and the Brooklyn Bridge)—just keep walking. Most of the items can be found at markets, Chinatown, or take your own photos for a way better price. There are also hordes of souvenir shops in Times Square filled with cheap t-shirts and post cards. Pop into to American Eagle instead and grab a quality “New York” t-shirt that won’t fade after one wash.
I know there are endless budgeting tips for New York City, but these are just a few to get you started. Do you have any thoughts or questions? Or do you have your own tips to add? I’d love to hear!