The best time to visit New York City is in the spring or the fall. Although The City That Never Sleeps hums with life all year round, these months are a great alternative to the high season.
You can be in a New York state of mind at any time of year – but it’s during the “shoulder months” that you’ll have the optimal experience in this amazing city. Yes, the Big Apple action hits its peak during the summer months – but so do the crowds, costs, heat, and humidity.
Plan a pre-peak visit during the spring (mid-April to early June), when temperatures sit in the comfortable mid-fifties to seventies range. Or opt for a post-peak trip between mid-September and early November, when you can revel in balmy temperatures from 60°F to 76°F (16°C to 24°C)– not to mention NYC’s gorgeous fall foliage!
Ready for a bite of the Big Apple? Discover when to go to NYC with this complete month-by-month New York City weather guide.
Got more travel plans on the horizon? Check out our other weather & when to go guides and our United States Travel Guide for more tips & recommendations on when to visit, where to go & what to do on your vacation!
Weather in NYC
After a chilly New York City winter, spring is a welcome time of renewal. The warmth of the sun draws winter recluses outside and nudges flowers and trees back to life.
Stretching from mid-April through early June, spring ushers in much warmer temperatures. It also brings moderate rainfall; pack an umbrella and some puddle-jumpers.
You’ll get the odd chilly day or evening in April, so be sure to pack a light jacket. But overall, you’ll enjoy comfortable temperatures ranging from the mid-50s (~13°C) up to 70°F (21°C) and higher. Late spring in NYC brings the heat, just the right amount to encourage you to experience outdoor events at one of NYC’s most popular times of the year.
Drink in the sight of brilliant cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. Discover beautiful Central Park. Take a leisurely stroll and explore a fantastic array of street markets. Dine alfresco at a fabulous New York City restaurant – and take in the fascinating passing parade.
Summer in NYC is a tough call. On one hand, you’ll experience this amazing metropolis at full throttle. On the other, it’s peak tourist season and the hottest time of year – which means large crowds, steamy heat, and a pain in the pocketbook. But if you’re really determined to experience the Big Apple at its adrenaline-pumping best, summer (mid-June to mid-September) is the best time to visit.
New York City sizzles in the summer, with temperatures ranging from 70°F (21°C) to over 85°F (29°C). Factor in high humidity, and you’ve got “challenging” weather; be sure to pack clothing that’s light and breathable.
But power through, and you’ll enjoy a bounty of summertime NYC attractions and events. Check out favorites like the Jazz Lawn Party on Governor’s Island or Coney Island’s legendary Mermaid Parade. Experience the magic of Shakespeare in the Park, or enjoy the alfresco Bryant Park Film Festival. And who needs AC when you’ve got the Staten Island Ferry?
There’s something special about fall in New York City. As the summer heat and humidity recede, the city is bathed in a golden glow.
Autumn in the Big Apple is a beaut! From September through November, you’ll enjoy balmy temperatures ranging from 60°F (16°C) to just over 75°F (24°C)– ideal for strolling. Tourist crowds dwindle, and hotel and restaurant prices drop.
Drink in the delights of NYC and its gorgeous fall foliage. Top your bucket list with Central Park, where you can visit the Belvedere Castle and Strawberry Fields. Check out the Cloisters and Fort Tryon Park – or visit the blooming Brooklyn Botanic Gardens in Prospect Park.
Browse vibrant open-air markets like Smorgasbord and the Chelsea Market, where you can indulge in fall favorites like apple cider donuts and pumpkin lattes. Take your pick of Big Apple seasonal highlights, including the New York Film Festival, the Feast of San Gennaro Food Festival, and the New York City Marathon.
For budget-conscious travelers, winter is the cheapest time to visit New York City. Tourism is at low ebb from January through March (with the exception of the holidays), so scoring great deals on flights and the most popular hotels in NYC is a slam dunk.
Weather-wise, it gets chilly! Temperatures can dip below freezing (especially in January), but generally, they stay in the 28°F to 45°F range (-2°C to 7°C). January brings snowstorms, so be sure to pack snow-appropriate gear.
But there’s plenty to warm you here in winter. Festooned with seasonal decorations and glittering lights, New York City invites you to dive into winter. Savor seasonal treats like the Rockettes’ Christmas Spectactical and The Nutcracker. Explore the city’s fantastic (and uncrowded) array of museums, theaters, and restaurants.
Stroll through a snowy wonderland in Central Park. Take a spin on the iconic rink at Rockefeller Center. Hit the city park slopes for some sledding, then relax and get cozy by the fireside with a reviving libation at one of NYC’s warm and welcoming pubs.
January is the coldest month in NYC. But there’s good news: except for New Year’s, it’s a slow time for the tourism trade, which means you can score some of the lowest prices of the year.
Average temperatures range from about 27°F to 40°F (-3°C to 4°C). Pack for precipitation because January gets plenty of it in the form of rain, sleet, and snow. Apparel-wise, warm coats and boots are a must.
But there’s plenty of fun to be had, from skating and sledding in city parks to snuggling on a heated rooftop lounge.
Entertainment abounds. January boasts great events like the Westminster Kennel Dog Show, the Three Kings Day Parade, and Broadway Week, when you can snag twofer tickets to Broadway shows. New York City’s many Chinatowns kick off the Chinese New Year and continue celebrating through to mid-February – so get your party on!
February doesn’t bring much relief from January’s chill, as temperatures continue to range from lows of 28°F (-2°C) to highs of 45°F (7°C). But the shortest month of the year is host to a wealth of fun activities, making it a great time to visit New York City.
You can head up to Harlem to experience Black History Month in celebrations featuring music, films, parties, and scrumptious soul food. For a change of pace, hit the Winter Village in Bryant Park to check out NYC’s largest winter market. Shop, take a twirl on the park’s rink, and chow down at the on-site restaurant.
If you’re a plant lover, make a beeline to the New York Botanical Gardens’ famed Orchid Show. Fashionistas will find their bliss during New York Fashion Week when entire streets are closed down and transformed into outdoor catwalks.
And foodies are guaranteed a bellyful of superb food dished out at discounted prices by some of the city’s finest eateries during New York Restaurant Week.
March is NYC’s winter marathon finish line. The first half of the month remains cold, but by late March, temperatures start to warm up, with average temperatures ranging from 40°F (4°C) to 55°F (13°C).
More moderate temperatures and longer days rev up the action in New York City, so jump in!
Experience the “green” energy at NYC’s renowned St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Take the tykes to enjoy the city’s world-famous International Children’s Film Festival. Browse the blooming beauty at Macy’s spectacular annual Flower Show.
If you’re a b-ball fan, indulge yourself in March Madness, when nearly 70 universities (and future NBA stars) spar in to determine who makes it to the National Championship in April. If you can’t snag a ticket, don’t worry: In this basketball-mad city, bars and restaurants are equipped with big-screen TVs that let you catch all the action.
In New York City, April is a month of transition. Temperatures hover around 55°F to 66°F (13°C to 19°C), but rainfall can be plentiful – so bring an umbrella. You’re ahead of the tourism peak, so prices are still reasonable, and you’ll have plenty of room to roam.
The city stirs to life, and outdoor activities abound. It’s a great time to walk the Highline – Manhattan’s famous “floating park” – and take in fantastic views of Midtown.
Want a bird’s eye view? This is the perfect time! The air is clear, and crowds are minimal, so head for the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock for amazing vistas of the city in its springtime splendor.
Take in the brilliant blooms at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden’s Cherry Blossom Festival. Don a fancy chapeau and strut your stuff in the Easter Parade, an NYC favorite. Worked up an appetite? Join the festive throngs for a fabulous Easter Brunch at a local restaurant.
May is a delicious time to visit New York City. The Big Apple really gets its bustle on, and the streets and parks vibrate with color and activity. Temperatures are in the very comfortable 55°F to 75°F range (13°C to 24°C), making this an ideal time to beat the summer crowds and heat. Hotel and flight costs are slowly rising, but you can still score good deals by booking ahead.
May is a month of celebration. Get in on the fun of Bronx Week, honoring the home of hip-hop, the Yankees, and the world’s greatest collection of Art Deco apartment buildings.
Raise a Margarita and dig into a mouthwatering meal at one of NYC’s great Mexican restaurants to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Or go global at the Ninth Avenue International Food Festival in Hell’s Kitchen.
Summer begins busting out all over New York City in June. If you’re determined to experience sandal season in the Big Apple, it’s a great time to visit.
Early June is still fresh and spring-like, with temperatures ranging between 64°F and 79°F (18°C and 26°C). By the end of the month, the sizzle (and the summer crowds) begin to set in.
NYC is buzzing with popular attractions, events, and festivals. June is Pride Month, and the Big Apple boasts one of the biggest and most boisterous gatherings in the world. It also hosts the quirky, costumed Coney Island Mermaid Parade. If you’re in the mood for music, catch some fabulous free summer concerts in Central Park.
Multiple street festivals celebrate a tapestry of cultures. Dive into the festivities at the Big Apple Block Party in Madison Square, the Irish Fair on Staten Island, or the Taste of Jewish Culture festival.
And America’s national pastime is in full swing – so hit the stands at Yankee Stadium to cheer on the Boys of Summer.
July – the hottest month in NYC – ushers in the dog days of summer, with intense humidity and temperatures ranging from overnight lows of 68°F (20°C) to daytime highs of 85°F (29°C). It also brings a tide of visitors to town, along with a spike in flight and hotel costs.
But there are plenty of interesting ways to beat the heat on your New York City itinerary.
Make like the locals and head for the water. New York City (surprise!) boasts a number of beaches where you can stretch out on the sand or play in the surf. Or hop on the rides at iconic Coney Island for some fun and sea breezes. Head back to town for the evening to experience the magic of Shakespeare in the Park, a beloved NYC tradition.
The Fourth of July is the country’s mega holiday – and it’s all about the fireworks. New York City’s are the biggest and best, so plan ahead to stake out a great view of the Manhattan skyline blazing with light.
The dog days of heat and humidity persist through August, with the mercury regularly reaching 80°F to 85°F (27°C to 29°C). On the plus side: August is when many locals leave town for cooler climes on some of the most popular New York City day trips, so the city may feel less crowded. And by the end of the month, temperatures begin to dip, and tourist crowds start to dwindle.
Chill out in one of NYC’s many indoor public pools. Thanks to AC, you can always keep your cool by visiting the city’s vast array of museums, galleries, and theaters. If AC isn’t a priority, check out a fantastic roster of summertime attractions, including the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, the US Open, and Harlem Week celebrations.
Top off your day with a luscious cocktail and a cooling breeze at one of NYC’s many rooftop bars.
In the wake of summer’s steam, September comes as a relief. You’ll enjoy mild weather featuring lower temperatures, sunny skies, and minimal humidity. Highs range from the low 80s in early September to the low 70s (low 20s °C) towards the end of the month. The number of tourists declines – and so do hotel and flight costs.
September is a month of celebration, and many city parks host lively Labor Day events. Check out Brooklyn’s Caribbean Carnival or the Electric Zoo – a musical extravaganza – at Randall Island Park.
If you’re a fan of Italian food and culture, cruise over to Little Italy for the Feast of Gennaro. Or get a jump on October with Oktoberfest at the end of the month. Sample superb beers and traditional German dishes in beer gardens around the city.
Culture vultures get treats too! Check out the Armory Show, one of the world’s most important contemporary art shows. And if you just can’t get enough theater, snag twofer tickets to Broadway shows during Broadway Week.
October may just be the best time to visit New York City. NYC’s driest month features sunny skies, crisp air, brilliant foliage, and pleasant weather ranging from lows in the 60s to highs in the 70s (mid-teens to twenties °C). And more good news: prices and tourist numbers continue to drop, making it a favorite time to travel.
If you want to view New York City in all its fall splendor, Central Park should top your bucket list. You can’t beat the beauty of all that burnished red and orange foliage set against the amazing Manhattan skyline!
Foodies and oenophiles can treat themselves to bountiful samples at the New York Food and Wine Festival staged at multiple sites around the city. If you want to keep it simple (and outdoorsy), unpack a hamper at a great picnic spot like Brooklyn Bridge Park or Manhattan Square Park.
Halloween is an absolute must-do in October. Stake out a curbside viewing spot for the world-famous NYC Village Halloween Parade – and prepare to be dazzled.
NYC’s pre-winter chill was bound to come – and November is when you’ll feel it. You can expect average temperatures to dip from 59°F (15°C) at the beginning of the month to 50°F (10°C) by the month’s end. Pack an umbrella because the rain returns. If you plan to visit over Thanksgiving, expect peak crowds and prices.
Sweater weather has arrived, but there are plenty of ways to max out your visit.
The New York City Marathon in the first week of November is a magnet for runners and fans from across the globe. Looking for a good laugh? Hit the NYC Comedy Festival. Want to gobble some goodies on the go? Check out food tours in neighborhoods including Chinatown, Greenwich Village, and the Lower East Side.
Snag a curbside spot to view the massive Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the official kickoff for the holiday season. By month’s end, the city becomes a festive wonderland complete with holiday window displays and a must-see Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.
‘Tis the season when the Big Apple shines. The busy holiday season is a wonderful time of year to visit New York City because it really rocks the holiday spirit. (Just be aware that the “holiday spirit” makes this one of the busiest times of the year, spiking up flight and hotel prices.)
Daytime temperatures in October range between 42°F and 49°F (6°C to 9°C), with overnight lows between 31°F and 38°F (-1°C to 3°C) – so pack layers and a warm coat.
Hit the streets and stroll through NYC neighborhoods that are adorned with glittering lights and colorful holiday decorations. Take a spin on the ice beneath the giant Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. Browse the holiday markets for a great selection of holiday treats, edible and otherwise.
Snag a seat for The Nutcracker ballet, a beloved holiday tradition. Or catch the seasonal offering of the equally iconic Rockettes in their Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
And, of course, if you’re around Times Square on December 31, cast your eyes skyward and watch that giant disco ball descend.