COVID-19 has postponed some of New York City’s most beloved holiday events, but some traditions — like the Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park — stick around even during a pandemic.
The outdoor favorite will return for its 19th season, starting Friday, Oct. 30 through March 7, 2021.
While visitors can expect many of the same holiday traditions and winter festivities, the Bank of America Winter Village will be a little different this year with new COVID protocols, including required face coverings, as the health and safety of the public is the park’s top priority.
The park will once again feature the city’s only free-admission skating rink, holiday market and seasonal food offerings.
The rink will now be a completely outdoor experience and will be open on a daily basis. However, this year, reservations and skate rentals must be made in advance online, with fewer skaters on the ice at one time as a result of decreased capacity.
Additional cleaning protocols will be implemented in order to sanitize high-touch surfaces and rental equipment throughout the day. Reservations and rentals will be available in the coming days, and new reservation dates will be added bi-weekly throughout the season.
The open-air holiday market, curated by Urbanspace, will be open daily through January 3, 2021. The shops will be a mixture of new and returning merchants, with a reconfigured layout with fewer shops to allow for more spacious walkways.
Additionally, Bank of America will host a Small Business Spotlight, in which four New York City minority-owned small businesses with annual revenue of $1 million or less will have the chance to showcase their products in a rent-free booth as part of this season’s Holiday Shops. Interested business can apply at their website.
Jonnel Doris, commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services, said the initiative will help push the message to shop small.
“As we approach the holidays, Bank of America is recognizing the importance of our small businesses and the need to shop small at Winter Village at Bryant Park,” said Doris. “Our minority-owned businesses are critical to the fabric of New York and this initiative will showcase their contributions to the diversity of NYC and the role they play in helping our city recover.”
The Lodge Deck by Urbanspace will offer an outdoor, post-skate escape, where visitors can cozy up with a festive cocktail, enjoy delicious food, and people watch or admire the tree.
Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park will announce this year’s holiday market merchants as well as dining options, and upcoming seasonal programming, over the next few weeks.
Bryant Park is undergoing its holiday transition, and have set up a live webcam for individuals who are not able to catch the action in person.