December may bring chilly weather and snowfall, but the Big Apple truly comes to life over the holiday season. From pop-up markets to arthouse films and ballet, here are the December events you won’t want to miss.
Washington Square Park
Fifth Avenue, bordered by Waverly Place, University Place, West 4th Street, MacDougal Street, New York City, NY, USA
On pleasant days, Washington Square Park is a microcosm of the city itself. You’ll find all flavors of folks reading, sunbathing, lunching, people-watching, or playing chess. In the heart of Greenwich Village, the park reflects the neighborhood’s bohemian vibe and is within staggering distance of ethnic restaurants and late-night music venues.
Visit the park on your own or with a Village walking tour, food tour, or hop-on hop-off bus tour. Occult fans will love Village ghost tours, which often stop in Washington Square Park en route to other haunted sites.
Things to Know Before You Go
Washington Square Park is ideal for anyone looking for a genuine taste of Village life, or just a nice spot to rest sightseeing-weary feet or enjoy a picnic lunch.
Because of its central location between the East and West Village, the park is a convenient stop when touring downtown Manhattan.
Chess enthusiasts can play a game with a local at one of the park’s chess tables.
The park is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
Washington Square Park is located at Fifth Avenue and Waverly Place, bordered by University and Macdougal streets. Via subway, take the A, B, C, D, E, or F train to the West 4 St–Washington Sq station; or the N, R, or W train to 8th Street. You can also take the M55 bus, which runs uptown on nearby Sixth Avenue and down Fifth Avenue.
When to Get There
The park is open from sunrise to 1am, and is busiest on weekends during the day. Aim to arrive in spring, summer, or autumn, when weather is pleasant; winter in New York is often cold and windy, though still atmospheric. To avoid crowds, arrive mid-day, during the week, or enjoy an evening stroll after dinner.
What’s on in Greenwich Village
Just south of Washington Square Park are numerous restaurants, bars, and vintage shops vying for your attention. Take a stroll down Macdougal, Sullivan, and Thompson streets to discover some of the city’s best ethnic food, comedy clubs—such as the Comedy Cellar—and world-renowned jazz bars, including the Blue Note. If you plan to see jazz, make sure to arrive on the early side, as the clubs fill quickly.
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