MANHATTAN — As holiday season festivities remain uncertain due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one New York City holiday staple is making a comeback this year.
The Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park will return for its nineteenth season from Friday, Oct. 30 through March 7.
The Winter Village features the city’s free-admission skating rink, a holiday market and a bunch of food vendors.
Although visitors can expect the same winter festivities they’ve seen in recent years, there will be some evident differences, including required face coverings.
Here is what visitors can expect:
- The Rink: The free-admission skating rink will open daily and be completely outdoors. Reservations and skate rentals must be made in advance online. There will also be decreased capacity on the ice.
- Additional cleaning protocols will be implemented, including sanitizing high-touch areas and rental equipment.
- New reservation dates will be added bi-weekly throughout the season.
- Holiday shops: The open-air market will be open daily through Jan. 3, 2021. There will be a new layout with fewer shops to allow for more spacious walkways.
- Small business spotlight: Four NYC minority-owned small businesses will have the chance to showcase their products in a rent-free booth as part of this season’s Holiday Shops.
- For more details and to apply, interested businesses should visit: https://bryantpark.org/?/blog/bofawvsbs.
- Businesses can apply online starting today and the application process closes end of day Thursday, Oct. 22.
- The Lodge Deck by Urbanspace: Visitors can enjoy festive cocktails, good food and watch ice skaters while admiring the tree.
The announcement as New York City continues to fight the spread of the coronavirus. Last month, Mayor Bill de Blasio expressed doubt in holiday markets reopening this year, but said everything would be based on data and science.