Igloos, yurts and tents in NYC: Where to have (warm) fun outside this winter

Nowadays in Brooklyn has added a sauna and heated yurt.

You may think the days of outdoor rooftop parties and drinking under the sun are over, but New York City’s restaurants, bars and other venues refuse to give in to winter.

Brooklyn’s Nowadays, the home of long-running outdoor dance parties Mister Sunday and Mister Saturday Night, is one of them. The venue’s 16,000-square-foot backyard at 56-06 Cooper Ave. has transformed into a winter haven with a heated yurt and a Hotbox Mobile Sauna for those who want to keep warm but still have fun in the great outdoors. 

The 20-person yurt is decorated with Moroccan pillows, ottomans and cozy rugs and the sauna is a 144-square-foot space that includes a towel, water, a cool shower and plush robes you can rent. 

There’s no food or beverage minimum to take part, but you can choose from hot apple cider, spicy hot cocoa, mulled wine, a hot toddy and more if you feel like partaking.

The yurt is open Fridays from 5 p.m. to 4 a.m. and on Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 4 a.m.; and the sauna, which is big enough for eight to 10 people, is by reservation only from 8 to 10 p.m. on Fridays, noon to 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 3 p.m. on Sundays. There’s also an after-hours sauna time from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. 

The 90-minute sessions are $40 per person or $20 for the happy hour session. Robe rentals are $3.

Nowadays isn’t alone in offering pockets of warmth in an otherwise frigid city. Several other bars and restaurants have “igloos” or heated tents they use to take advantage of their outdoor space.

The Igloo Bar at 230 Fifth (NoMad) 

Grab a complimentary free red robe and a drink before you head into one of 230 Fifth’s 17 igloos. The heated and transparent bubbles aren’t private but can be reserved for four to 12 guests by purchasing a package ($250-$750). You can also put yourself at the front of the line on the weekends with a $42 VIP ticket, which includes two drinks. Otherwise, it’s first come, first served. 230 Fifth has some hot drinks to enjoy, too, from a Bailey’s boozy hot chocolate and a Godiva peppermint hot chocolate to apple pie cider, a hot Fireball cider and more ($8-$14). (Open November-May, from 2 p.m. during weekdays and from 10 a.m. on weekends, 230 Fifth Ave., 212-725-4300, 230-fifth.com)

The Igloo at The Rink (Rockefeller Center)

You’ll have to make a reservation for this glass-encased and heated VIP lounge at The Rink at Rock Center. Once you’re in, you’ll be sitting on velvet benches as you enjoy hot chocolate, cookies, have “skip-the-line privileges” and be waited on by skate concierges. The 90-minute experience goes for $75-$150 during the holiday season and down to $60-75 after Jan. 2. (Open October 13 through February 24, Rockefeller Center, therinkatrockcenter.com

The heated ice huts at Arlo Hotels (NoMad) 

You’ll feel like you’re part of a chilly exploration at Arlo Hotels this winter. The company has teamed up with Shackleton Whisky to create the 1907 Shackleton Antarctica Expedition, which will have heated ice huts on Arlo NoMad’s The Heights rooftop bar on the 31st floor, a cozy den with a fireplace, blankets and, at Arlo SoHo starting in December, a courtyard that will have a snowfall each hour. You can choose from a special $12 cocktail menu of Shackelton whiskey cocktails, including the “88 Degrees South” and the “Royds Toddy,” as well as food like a “South Pole Pizza” and more. (Open November through March, from 5 p.m. to midnight, 11 E. 31st St., 212-806-7000, arlohotels.com)

Bar 54 (Times Square) 

Hyatt Centric Times Square’s Bar 54 offers seating in two heated, igloo-like bubbles outside starting the first week of January. This year, the bar will have a website for making dining reservations inside the bubbles. (4 p.m. daily, 135 W. 45th St., timessquare.centric.hyatt.com)

The Yard at Threes Brewing (Gowanus)

Threes is once again winterizing its yard with cozy, heated tents and winter décor, an outdoor bar and music. The Meat Hook will be on site to offer tasty sandwiches, salads and other items starting at 5 p.m. each night. (Open October through April, closes 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and at midnight on the weekends, 333 Douglass St., 718-522-2110, www.threesbrewing.com)

The Standard (East Village) 

If you’re into the hygge lifestyle, The Standard has you covered. It has added yurts to its garden and will be offering molten pots of fondue and hot (spiked) drinks, including hot cocoa, apple cider and more. If you book a yurt, which can hold four to 12 people, for dining, it’s $65 per person ($35 per person if you plan on simply drinking). In addition, The Standard has teamed up with Crest Hardware to bring a Christmas tree market to the garden. (Open Nov. 23 through the winter, 4 to 9 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends, 25 Cooper Square, 212-475-5700, standardhotels.com)

Shaye Weaver