You’ve done it. You’ve booked your ticket to a winter wonderland, where the city never sleeps and pizza is always acceptable to eat. But how to create a New York Packing List for Winter? Your picturesque NYC Rom Com is just one packing item away from being totally disastrous (and cold).
Whether you’re not used to the frigid temperature or you have general packing anxiety, here’s a packing list that will keep your Frozen experience in a Broadway theater and not on the New York City streets.
New York Packing List Item 1: Comfy Walking Shoes
On average New Yorkers walk about 6 miles a day, and that’s without going on one of our NYC walking tour to make sure they don’t miss any of the essential city sights.
If you refuse to dress like a mom at Disney World (no shame in it!), leave your sneakers at home and start your winter New York packing list with some cute boots that will look good in all the photos. The secret is to make sure they give you arch support and a non-painful heel strike when you’re pounding the pavement.
My go-to boots are my Clarks – They’re cute with a dress/tights or jeans and I can wander for hours in them!
If you don’t want to buy new boots, consider an insole that reduces your risk for shin splints. One hour on the concrete in your flat riding boots, and you’ll be quite a bit slower for your second day here!
New York Packing List Item 2: Waterproof Shoes
Check the weather right before you head to the Big Apple. Even if there is a small chance of rain, DO NOT forget waterproof shoes! In New York, there is no escaping the rain (or snow) if you’re caught in transit. Trust me, there is nothing worse than knowing you have a day full of walking in front of you + wet shoes. A space hog, but an essential packing list item!
To save room in your suitcase, and a bit of effort when walking around, you’ll want to have ankle rain boots as opposed to full ones. Asgard boots are amazing, and you’ll fit right in with other New Yorkers wearing them! Don’t forget your umbrella either!
New York Packing List Item 3: Oversized Scarf + Hat
I know that not everyone is a scarf and hat person.
But in New York, you will be out of necessity. These two items are crucial for keeping you nice and toasty to stay outside and get your NYC bucket list accomplished. Here’s my strategy:
Choose a hat that’s a neutral color and can go with multiple outfits in your go-to Winter packing list. This way you can wear the hat all day with any of your outfits (because, beanie hair is real). The right beanie will keep you warm even if you’re wearing a tee shirt in the snow. Ear coverage is a game changer. My favorite is Eddie Bauer.
Two words – Blanket. Scarf. Go crazy with the colors here. To spruce up your Winter New York packing list, I prefer a nice plaid with some fall tones mixed in. The bigger the better, you’ll be thanking me long after your trip to New York.
If you have a rough Saturday night, just throw on this puppy with a plain long sleeve (or literally anything), some big sunglasses, and a top knot – Boom. You look like a movie star with no hangover whatsoever.
Life Hack – they’re warm too. Who said you have to be cold to look cute in those outdoor Central Park pictures?
New York Packing List Item 4: A Mary Poppins Bag (with pocket on outside)
No, not a literal carpet bag (well maybe). You need a bag that you can tote whatever you need without being uncomfortable.
- When the sun comes out and that blanket scarf may be a bit much, stuff it in the bag.
- Carrying a water bottle ? Stuff it in the bag.
- Cliff bars so you don’t get hangry and start acting like Betty White pre-Snickers? (Also essential to your Winter New York Packing List) Stuff it in the bag.
- Band-Aids needed from ignoring my hint about comfy shoes? Stuff it in the bag.
Tip: Maybe bring a bag that has an easily accessible zipper pocket on the outside. You don’t have to go digging just to grab and swipe your subway metro card.
My suggestion is either a cross body bag or small backpack so you can swing those arms and keep pace with New Yorkers’ walking speed.
New York Packing List Item 5: A Winter coat that you won’t hate outdoor pictures in
It’s going to be cold, but you don’t want to look like this:
You can’t go wrong with a classic peacoat to pair with your hat and scarf. You’ll feel like a quintessential New Yorker in Winter. Get something that will dress up your park play-clothes, and only enhance your nicer dress for those Broadway shows.
Note: Be sure it’s actually warm, and you can fit a comfy sweater underneath. Things your mom always told you, but are actually useful!
Those are the bare essentials in our Winter New York Packing List. Now I won’t tell you what clothes to wear under all of these recommended items; That’s entirely up to you and the activities you’ve planned. My overall New York aesthetic tends to be functionally cute. You can never go wrong with leggings and an oversized sweater! Be sure to go on as many walking tours as you can, take a ton of pictures, and live in the moment. Check out some of our other guides (Read: How to navigate the NYC Subway) to see what to do when you get here!