New York City's Most Extreme Outdoor Winter Adventures

Think that winter sports in New York City are confined to watching the Knicks at Madison Square Garden or the Islanders at the Barclays Center? Think again! Because while the Big Apple may not have mountains for heli-skiing (like they do in Colorado) or teams of huskies at the ready for dogsledding (as they do in Ottawa), there are plenty of New Yorkers who like to get outside in the wintry weather and experience something truly adventurous. Does this describe you? If so, you might want to try one of these extreme winter sports:

Three-Way in the Sky
A tandem skydive jump, a flying lesson in a Piper Warrior in which you'll handle 80% of the flying, and a helicopter ride in the busy sky over Manhattan would be an adventure at any time of year. But when the air is super-crisp, this trio of exciting activities becomes more than a little invigorating. Bet you've never had a day like this before! Costly but worth it for the selfies alone! Available from

The Polar Bear Plunge
The Coney Island Polar Bear Club, famously the oldest winter bathing organization in the United States, is well-known for their New Year's Day swim. But if you missed that (too much fun the night before, perhaps?), you should know that this group swims in the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean every Sunday from November to April. Just to be clear: a dip in the sea off Coney Island will make you shiver even in the heat of August, so to call this mid-winter plunge "brisk" is more than a bit of an understatement. Don't be surprised if people all around you are satisfied with just sticking their toes in—which Club members call a "chicken dip."

Winter Surfing at Rockaway Beach
You may already know that Rockaway Beach in Queens has wonderful waves for those interested in surfing. But less well-known is that for many NYC surfers, enjoying those waves is a year-round activity. Snowstorms and nor-easters mean bigger waves, so the most devoted surfers just slip into a wetsuit, ignore the wind and mind-numbingly low temps, and relish the ride!

Victoria Otto Franzese is a proud New Yorker who owned, operated, and wrote for a successful online travel guide for 15 years. Now, thankfully, all of her travel is purely for fun. See where she's going next at @VOFranzese.