Essential Packing Tips For A December Trip To New York City

tips for what to pack for new york in december

Planning a December trip to New York City? As the holiday season ramps up and the city transforms into a winter wonderland, it's important to pack smart and bring essentials to make the most of your visit. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, these packing tips will ensure you stay warm, stylish, and ready to explore the bustling streets, iconic landmarks, and the magical holiday festivities. From layering techniques to must-have winter accessories, we've got you covered for your December adventure in the Big Apple.

Characteristic Value
Weather Cold and potentially snowy
Temperature Average low of 32°F (0°C)
Clothing Warm coats, hats, gloves
Footwear Boots or warm waterproof shoes
Accessories Scarves, earmuffs
Layers Sweaters, thermal shirts
Indoor Activities Museums, Broadway shows
Outdoor Activities Ice skating, holiday markets
Holiday events Christmas tree lighting, concerts
Packing note Pack versatile and warm clothing


What are some essential clothing items to pack for New York in December?


New York City in December is a magical place, with holiday lights, festive decorations, and a chill in the air. However, this time of year also requires you to bundle up and dress warmly! Here are some essential clothing items to pack for a trip to New York City in December.

  • Warm coat or jacket: December in New York can be quite cold, with temperatures ranging from the low 30s to the high 40s Fahrenheit (around 0 to 10 degrees Celsius). A warm coat or jacket is a must-have to protect yourself from the chilly weather. Opt for a down-filled coat or a heavy wool jacket to keep you comfortable throughout your visit.
  • Hat and gloves: To keep your head and hands warm, pack a hat and gloves. Choose a hat that covers your ears and is made from a material that can withstand the cold temperatures. Wool or fleece gloves are great options to ensure your hands stay cozy while exploring the city.
  • Scarf: A scarf is another essential item for New York in December. Not only does it add a stylish touch to your outfit, but it also provides extra warmth and can be used to cover your face and neck when the wind picks up. Opt for a thick, cozy scarf made from materials like wool or cashmere.
  • Layers: Layering is key when dressing for New York in December, as the weather can change throughout the day. Wear thermal or long-sleeved shirts underneath your sweater or top to add an extra layer of insulation. This way, you can easily adjust your clothing to stay comfortable as the temperature fluctuates.
  • Sweaters and long-sleeved tops: Pack a few warm sweaters and long-sleeved tops to wear during your trip. Merino wool sweaters are a popular choice as they provide warmth without being too bulky. A few versatile sweaters can be mixed and matched with other items in your wardrobe, allowing you to create multiple outfits.
  • Waterproof boots: New York City in December can also be wet and rainy, so it's important to have a pair of waterproof boots to keep your feet dry. Look for boots with a rubber sole and water-resistant material to protect your feet from puddles and slushy streets.
  • Warm socks: Don't forget to pack warm socks to wear with your boots. Opt for thick, woolen socks that will keep your feet warm and cozy while exploring the city. You can also bring along some thinner, moisture-wicking socks to wear with your sneakers or other non-waterproof shoes.
  • Thermal leggings or long underwear: If you're planning on spending a lot of time outdoors, thermal leggings or long underwear can provide additional warmth. These undergarments are designed to trap body heat and keep you comfortable in cold temperatures. Layer them underneath your pants or jeans for added insulation.
  • Umbrella: December in New York can also bring rain showers, so packing a small, foldable umbrella is a good idea. This way, you'll be prepared for any unexpected downpours and can easily shield yourself from the rain.
  • Warm accessories: In addition to the essential clothing items mentioned above, consider packing some extra accessories to keep you warm and stylish. This could include a cozy beanie, a warm knitted scarf, or even earmuffs. These accessories not only add a fashionable touch to your outfit but also provide extra warmth and protection from the cold.

In conclusion, packing the right clothing items for a trip to New York City in December is essential to stay warm and comfortable. By including warm coats, hats, scarves, layers, waterproof boots, socks, thermal leggings, and other accessories, you'll be well-prepared to take on the chilly weather and enjoy your time in the city that never sleeps.


Are there any specific items that should be packed for outdoor activities in New York in December?

Source: Katie's Bliss

If you are planning on engaging in outdoor activities in New York in December, it is important to come prepared with the right gear and clothing. The weather in December can be quite cold, with temperatures often dropping below freezing, so it is crucial to dress in layers and have the appropriate items to keep yourself warm and protected.

One essential item to pack for December outdoor activities in New York is a good quality winter jacket. Look for a jacket that is waterproof or water-resistant, as snow and rain are common during this time of year. It is also important to choose a jacket that has proper insulation to keep you warm in the chilly temperatures.

Another item to pack is a warm hat or beanie. Much of your body heat is lost through your head, so it is important to keep it covered to retain warmth. Look for a hat made of a warm material such as wool or fleece, and choose one that fully covers your ears.

Gloves or mittens are essential for protecting your hands from the cold and wind. Look for insulated gloves with a waterproof or water-resistant exterior to keep your hands dry. Mittens are a great option if you tend to have cold hands, as they allow your fingers to stay together and generate more warmth.

Layering your clothing is key when dressing for outdoor activities in December. Pack clothing items such as thermal base layers, fleece or wool sweaters, and a few long-sleeved shirts. This way, you can adjust your layers based on the temperature and activity level.

Thermal leggings or long johns are a good investment to keep your legs warm. They can be worn underneath your pants or jeans to provide an extra layer of insulation. Consider investing in thermal socks as well, as keeping your feet warm and dry is essential for your overall comfort.

Don't forget to pack good quality winter boots. Look for boots that are waterproof or water-resistant, provide good traction, and have insulation to keep your feet warm. It is important to choose boots that are comfortable and allow for easy movement, as you may be walking or hiking for extended periods.

Additionally, pack a scarf or neck gaiter to protect your neck and face from the cold. A scarf can be wrapped around your neck or pulled up to cover your mouth and nose if needed. It is also a good idea to pack lip balm and moisturizer to prevent dryness and chapping due to the cold weather.

Lastly, make sure to bring a backpack or bag to carry your extra layers, water, snacks, and any other necessary items. Having a backpack or bag will allow you to easily access your belongings and keep them organized during your outdoor activities.

In conclusion, outdoor activities in New York in December require proper clothing and gear to stay warm and protected. Pack a good quality winter jacket, warm hat, gloves or mittens, layered clothing, thermal leggings, thermal socks, winter boots, scarf or neck gaiter, lip balm, moisturizer, and a backpack or bag. With the right items, you can fully enjoy your outdoor adventures in New York in December.



As winter sets in and the temperatures drop, New York can become a chilly place to be in December. To ensure you stay comfortable and warm during your time in the city, there are a few essential accessories and gear that are recommended for dealing with the cold weather.

  • Winter Coat: Investing in a good-quality winter coat is crucial to staying warm in New York's cold December weather. Look for a coat that is insulated, waterproof or water-resistant, and preferably has a built-in hood. Choose a coat that covers your body well and is long enough to protect your legs.
  • Hat: Heat escapes from our heads, so wearing a hat is essential to keep yourself warm in the cold weather. Opt for a hat that covers your ears as well, as they are particularly sensitive to the cold. A beanie or a woolen hat can be a fashionable choice while also providing insulation.
  • Gloves/ Mittens: Protecting your hands from the cold is important to prevent frostbite. Look for gloves or mittens that are insulated and waterproof. Gloves with touchscreen compatibility are also useful, allowing you to use your smartphone without taking them off.
  • Scarf: A scarf is a versatile accessory that can provide additional warmth to your neck and face. Choose a thick, woolen scarf that can be wrapped around your neck several times for added insulation. You can also use it to cover your nose and mouth if the wind chill is particularly harsh.
  • Layered Clothing: Layering is key to staying warm in cold weather. Wear thermals or base layers next to your skin to trap body heat. Add a fleece or sweater for extra insulation, and top it off with your winter coat. This way, you can easily adjust your clothing to your comfort level as you move in and out of heated spaces.
  • Thermal Socks: Cold feet can be uncomfortable and make it difficult to enjoy your time outdoors. Invest in thermal socks made from materials such as wool or fleece. These socks are designed to trap warmth and keep your feet cozy even in freezing temperatures.
  • Boots: Choose sturdy, insulated boots that can handle snow and slush. Look for boots with good traction to prevent slipping on icy surfaces. Make sure they are waterproof or water-resistant, as wet feet can quickly become cold and uncomfortable.
  • Hand Warmers: For those particularly cold days, consider carrying hand warmers in your pockets. These small packets generate heat when activated, providing extra warmth to your hands.
  • Moisturizer and Lip Balm: Cold weather can strip your skin and lips of moisture, causing dryness and discomfort. Carry a good moisturizer and lip balm to keep your skin hydrated and prevent chapping.
  • Sunglasses and Sunscreen: Although winter in New York may not bring as much sun as other seasons, the UV rays can still be harmful to your eyes and skin. Protect yourself by wearing sunglasses and applying sunscreen, especially if there is snow on the ground, as it can reflect the sunlight.

Remember, proper layering and choosing the right accessories and gear can make a significant difference in staying warm and comfortable during December in New York. By being prepared, you can fully enjoy the holiday season and all the activities the city has to offer, regardless of the weather.


What are some tips for packing toiletries and personal care items for a trip to New York in December?


Packing toiletries and personal care items for a trip to New York in December requires some careful planning and considerations. The winter weather and potential for snow can add extra challenges when it comes to staying clean and refreshed during your trip. Here are some tips to help you pack your toiletries and personal care items effectively for this time of year:

  • Check the weather forecast: Before packing, it's important to know what kind of weather to expect in New York during December. Check the forecast for the duration of your trip to get an idea of the temperature range, potential snowfall, and any extreme weather conditions that may affect your personal care routine. This will help you determine which specific items you'll need to pack.
  • Travel-sized containers: To ensure that your toiletries and personal care items meet the TSA guidelines for carry-on liquids, invest in travel-sized containers. These small, leak-proof containers are available at most drugstores and are perfect for transferring your favorite products into. Look for containers that hold around 3.4 ounces or less, which is the limit for carry-on liquids.
  • Layering skincare products: The cold weather can be harsh on your skin, so it's essential to bring along hydrating and moisturizing products. To save space in your toiletries bag, consider layering products instead of packing multiple bottles. For example, opt for a moisturizer with SPF, so you don't need to pack a separate sunscreen. Look for multi-purpose products that can perform several functions at once.
  • Pack a lip balm and hand cream: Dry air and cold temperatures can quickly lead to chapped lips and dry hands. Make sure to pack a lip balm and hand cream to keep these areas moisturized. Look for products that provide intense hydration and protection against the elements.
  • Consider a portable humidifier: If you're concerned about the dry air in your hotel room, consider investing in a portable humidifier. These devices can help add moisture to the air, combating the drying effects of indoor heating systems. Portable humidifiers are compact and easy to pack, making them a great addition to your travel essentials, especially in the winter months.
  • Medications and essential personal care items: Don't forget to pack any necessary medications and essential personal care items, such as prescription medications, contact lenses and solution, glasses, and any specific skincare products you can't go without. It's crucial to have these items with you in case of any unforeseen circumstances or emergencies.

In conclusion, packing your toiletries and personal care items for a trip to New York in December requires some strategic planning. Be mindful of the weather conditions and pack products that will keep your skin hydrated and protected from the cold. Focus on travel-sized containers, multi-purpose products, and don't forget essential items such as lip balm and hand cream. With the right preparations, you'll be able to maintain your personal care routine and enjoy your trip to the fullest.


Are there any items that are often forgotten but highly useful to have when visiting New York in December?


When visiting New York in December, there are several items that are often forgotten but highly useful to have. The winter weather in New York can be quite cold and unpredictable, so it's important to be prepared. Here are a few items that you may not think to bring, but will be glad you did:

  • Warm clothing: December in New York can be extremely cold, with temperatures often dropping below freezing. It's important to pack warm clothing such as a heavy coat, scarves, gloves, and a hat. Layers are key, as the weather can change quickly throughout the day.
  • Comfortable shoes: New York City is a very walkable city, and you'll likely spend a lot of time exploring on foot. It's important to bring comfortable shoes that can withstand long days of walking. Opt for shoes that are warm and waterproof, as the city streets can be slushy and wet during the winter months.
  • Portable phone charger: With all the exploring you'll be doing in New York, your phone battery is bound to drain quickly. Having a portable phone charger can be a lifesaver, allowing you to charge your phone on the go and stay connected throughout the day.
  • Hand warmers: New York can get bitterly cold in December, and having hand warmers can make a big difference in your comfort level. These small packets can be easily slipped into your pockets or gloves and provide a steady source of heat to keep your hands warm.
  • Travel-sized umbrella: December in New York also tends to be a rainy month, so it's important to pack a travel-sized umbrella. This can save you from getting soaked while you explore the city and help keep you dry during unexpected rain showers.
  • Backpack or tote bag: When exploring the city, it's helpful to have a backpack or tote bag to carry your extra layers, water bottle, snacks, and any souvenirs or purchases you may make. This way, you can easily carry everything you need without feeling weighed down.
  • Portable water bottle: Staying hydrated is important, no matter the weather. Having a portable water bottle can help ensure that you have access to water throughout the day. Look for one that is lightweight and easy to carry.

These are just a few items that are often forgotten but highly useful to have when visiting New York in December. By being prepared and packing these essentials, you'll be able to fully enjoy your time in the city, no matter the weather.

Frequently asked questions

Since December in New York can be quite cold, it is important to pack warm clothing. This includes coats, sweaters, hats, gloves, and scarves. Layering is also encouraged as the temperatures can vary throughout the day.

Yes, it is highly recommended to pack waterproof shoes for New York in December. The city can experience snow and rain during this time of year, and having waterproof shoes will help keep your feet dry and comfortable while exploring the city.

In addition to warm clothing and waterproof shoes, it is also important to pack an umbrella, as December can bring rain and snow showers. Additionally, it is a good idea to pack a portable charger for your phone, as the cold weather can drain battery life quickly. Don't forget to pack a camera to capture the beautiful holiday decorations and festive atmosphere around the city.

It is a good idea to pack accessories such as sunglasses and lip balm with SPF. Although it may be winter, the glare from the snow and sun can still be intense. Lip balm with SPF is also important to protect your lips from getting chapped in the cold weather. Additionally, a warm hat and earmuffs can be useful to protect your ears from the cold wind.

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