How New York City Will Navigate Outdoor Dining in the Winter

As the pandemic continues, cities around the world have had to create innovative ways to keep business going. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio and his team have been hard at work creating guidelines to keep restaurants open. Most restaurants in the city have been hit hard by the pandemic, and their inability to have more than 25 percent capacity for indoor seating.

The Guidelines

After careful consideration, there are some key guidelines that restaurants will have to follow this winter. The first is that the patios that restaurants set-up on sidewalks, parking spots, and empty lots are allowed to continue through the holiday season. In order to keep diners warm, portable heaters will be placed in these seating areas. At present, only electric, propane and natural gas heaters are allowed in these dining areas. Indoor dining will continue, but only with 25 percent capacity. This lowered indoor capacity has been running for a couple of months now, and it is working to prevent any pandemic surges. It is hoped that normal dining will be able to resume in the summer of 2021.


While dining will not be going back to normal this season, museums have opened their doors again in New York. Visitors to the city can visit the Met and all of the other award-winning museums the city is known for.

The Arts

Most people like to take in some shows during the holiday season, but Broadway has officially shut its doors until May 2021. The Metropolitan Opera has also decided to suspend all performances until the fall of 2021. Rehearsals and castings are not being held at the moment. The New York Philharmonic Society which has always dazzled its patrons with holiday events, has also opted to cancel all events until the summer of 2020. The positive here is that the summer and fall of 2021 should be jam packed with new Broadway shows, operas, and symphonies for the world to enjoy.

Going Virtual

There is one event that residents of New York and the world have been wondering about, and that is the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball Drop. Gathering in crowds is not advised right now, and due to this, the ball drop will be going entirely virtual. Fans can watch the ball drop at the stroke of midnight from the comfort of their homes, with their close friends and family. There will likely be taped performances from some of music’s most well-known stars, but they have yet to announce a setlist.

2020 has provided a lot of surprises, but 2021 is fast approaching and there are many positives to look forward to. You can still order takeout from your favorite restaurants, and watch all of the holiday content that online streamers are providing on a daily basis.