Visiting NYC in March: March Weather, Packing List and Things to Do in New York City

Visiting NYC in March: March Weather, Packing List and Things to Do in New York City

Thinking about visiting New York City in March (or wondering if you should)? This complete guide shows you the weather in March, as well as what to wear and pack, and seasonal events and what to do in March in NYC.

This blog contains occasional affiliate links, where I receive a small commission on sales of the products/hotels that are linked at no additional cost to you. In addition, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

March is the last month of winter in New York City and it is when you start seeing more sunny days and warmer weather (especially at the end of the month). It is also when the city starts to come back to life with flowers blooming and birds chirping.

But really, March is one of the quieter months in New York City, with cheaper hotel prices and less crowds at attractions. So if you are thinking about New York City in March, be sure to read this complete guide so you can decide if it’s a good idea to visit in March.

Visiting New York City?

As a New York City local, I have written a ton of helpful travel guides for visitors, which include NYC itineraries, detailed review of observation decks, things to do (and with kids), transportation guides, Christmas holiday content and many more.

If you want to save money on attractions, be sure to check out my super detailed guide on what’s the best New York City attraction pass.

If you have time, check out some of my local NYC blogs to get some inspiration for your trip.

New York City Pier 35 swing photo spots

How Cold is New York City in March

One of your biggest questions is probably related to the weather in NYC in March. You are probably wondering if March is still cold in New York City. Below you will find information on March weather in NYC.

As you can expect, it is warmer towards the end of March compared to the beginning of the month. The mornings and evenings are always colder than during the day.

March Daily Average High

I will preface this by saying that the weather in New York City changes a lot, not just year by year but even week by week. Some years have a warmer March whereas other years have a colder March.

In general, you can expect a daily high of between 45F (7C) to 50F (10C) throughout March.

NYC March Weather - Average March Daily High temperature

There will be odd days where the temperature in March can reach the 60s (16C) but those are rare. The chart above shows the average March temperature from 2021 to 2023 from the beginning of the month until the end. You can spot how one year is much hotter than other years.

March Daily Average Low

On average, March has a low temperature of between 32F (0C) and 40F (4.5C) , with certain exceptions throughout the month. Again, some days may be colder than others and the coldest weather is at night or early morning before sunrise.

Below is a chart illustrating the year over year difference of daily lows in March from March 1 to March 30th. Again, very different every year, some years can see a very warm March.

March Weather in New York City: NYC March Avg. Low Temperature

Average Rainfall in March in NYC

March is not a very rainy month, with an average rainfall of about 2.5-4 inches (6.4 – 10cm) over the month. You can expect about 8 – 10 rainy days in March, with more rains towards the end of the month (since April can be quite rainy).

Does it Snow in NYC In March?

Even though March is the end of winter in New York City, you can still occasionally expect snow, or even blizzards in early March. But on average, you should see no more than 1-2 days of snow in March and even when it does snow, it’s usually quite light and doesn’t stick to the ground much.

There have been years in March that had an usual blizzard, so you should always check the weather forecast before you visit to be adequately prepared for rain and snow.

It is Windy in New York City in March

One thing to mention is that it is windy in New York City and March is one of the windiest times in NYC. There will be days with 20 to 30 mile gusts, which make the temperature feel even closer.

Therefore it is super important to have wind proof jackets if you are visiting New York in March. Below we will talk about what you should pack and wear in New York City in March.

What to Wear and Pack for New York City in March

Although March is not the coldest time of the year to visit New York City, it is still winter and can be quite cold. To help you adequately prepare to be in NYC in March, here are some suggestions on what to wear and pack for New York City.

A Warm Coat

It is no brainer that you should have a warm coat with you for New York City in March. It doesn’t have to be a super heavy one since it is not January or February after all.

Just to give you an idea, most New Yorkers wear parks, puffers, wool coats, or teddy coats in March.

Empire State Building Observatory top view photos

Parkas are thick winter coats that are windproof and have a hood. They have a harder shell that makes them windproof and slightly waterproof, making them ideal for the wind and occasional rain in NYC in March.

Some of the most popular parkas worn by New Yorkers include The North Face, Canada Goose, Uniqlo but you can find more on Amazon or Macy’s.

Puffer jackets are softer jackets that are still very warm for the winter. They are not as bulky as parkas and they are much lighter. That’s why some people prefer puffers over parks for the winter. You can find reasonably priced puffer jackets from the brands above, like Columbia, The North Face, Abercrombie, etc.

Christmas in New York City Upper East Side House with nutcrackers

Wool coats and teddy coats are also very popular for the March weather in New York City. They are more fashionable and can be paired with jeans, dresses, skirts, etc.

Sweaters and Layers

Unless you get a Canada Goose Parka (which I heard is so warm that you can just wear a T-shirt under), you will need some layers under your coat. As you may (or may not) know, we love to blast the heater (and AC) inside buildings, so you can be freezing for one second and sweating the next.

We New Yorkers love to layer, and one essential piece of layer is the Uniqlo Heattech. Otherwise, bring some sweaters, layer it with the heat tech and a warm coat and you should be good to go.

Fleece Lined Tights and Yoga Pants

If you love to look cute in the winter, I got your back!

The most trendy (and warm) thing for women to wear in New York City is these fleece lined tights and yoga pants. These tights make it look like you are just wearing a thin layer of tights but no, you are actually wearing fleece and it’s pretty warm. And with the fleece lined leggings you can be fit and warm at the same time.

For these sheer fleece lined tights, I also love the ones with heart patterns.

If you are planning to wear these sheer fleece lined tights, then be sure to pair them with cute winter skirts like this and this (both are cheap)!

A Good Pair of Jeans

You can never go wrong with jeans in New York City, even in March. Even in the coldest of days, you will find New Yorkers rock their jeans (sometimes even with holes).

But if you do get cold, bring a larger sized pair, and wear a HEATTECH legging under (and yes, guys can wear them too).

Winter Shoes for New York City

If you are lucky that it doesn’t snow or rain when you visit New York City in March, then you don’t really need specific winter boots, any leather boots or UGGS would keep your feet warm.

However, if it rains during your visit, I would definitely recommend wearing leather boots or rain boots paired with thick boot liner socks. Don’t wear UGGS or anything with suede as they get really nasty when they are wet.

You can technically wear sneakers if your feet don’t get cold easily. Personally, I can’t do it unless I’m going to the gym or something. Do yourself a favor and make your feet warm.

Scarfs, Hats, Ear Muffs

You generally don’t need a thick scarf or hat if you are visiting in late March. But if you come early March, you may still need them. Personally, I don’t wear scarfs or hats because I just put on my parka hood (another reason why I love parkas over puffer jackets). But if you need, cashmere and wool scarfs are your best bet.

If you are planning to take photos a lot then it would be beneficial to have gloves with you, like these ones that let you touch the screens.

Lastly, I really love this fur hat, they are more for looks/ photos than being super functional. But if you are looking to take cute shots in NYC, be sure to get these hats.

Other Things to Pack for New York City in March

Besides the essential winter clothes and shoes, you should always pack the following if you are visiting in March.

  • External Phone Battery: if you are out and walking around all day (and taking photos), your phone battery is going to die pretty fast in the cold. You can buy here.
  • Anti-theft Bag: I have heard many stories from friends who lost their wallets and phones in NYC (especially at bars). Consider getting an anti theft bag like this one.
  • Lotions and skin moisturizer: NYC winter is not good for your skin. If you are coming from somewhere warm (or more moist), be sure to bring good moisturizers, otherwise you really feel it on your face and hands.
  • Umbrella: it can rain a lot towards the end of March, bring a small umbrella so you don’t get wet (and don’t have to spend $15 buying one off the street).

Hotel Prices in New York City in March

Since winter (besides December) is generally the low season for New York City, you can expect lower hotel prices and less crowd if you are visiting in March.

Using Riu Plaza New York Times Square as an example, which is super popular place for visitors to stay in NYC, below are the prices for the same Thursday every month:

March 14 (Thur): $279 for deluxe family king
April 18 (Thur): $359 for deluxe family king
May 16 (Thur): $427 for deluxe family king
June 13 (Thur): $399 for deluxe family king

As you can see, March is much cheaper than the other months. So if you come in March, you will be able to save a lot on accommodation.

Unique Things to do in New York City in March

There are a lot of cool events and festivals happening in March. Despite what people may think, New York City is fun in March with tons of things to do and see. Below are some of the best known March events happening in New York City.

Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden (Feb 17 – Apr 21, 2024)

Orchid Show at NYBG - things to do in NYC in the spring

The Orchid Show is one of the most exciting flower events happening in NYC in March and April. As the name implies, the Orchid Show brings you amazing displays of all things orchids. As you step inside the conservatory, you will be greeted by thousands of orchids.

Every year the NYBG invites designers to help design the orchid show based on a theme and the theme for 2024 is fashion.

Besides the day time Orchid Show that is open to everyone, if you are 21 and older, you can also attend the Orchid Nights, which has, as you guessed it, alcohol, food and music.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade (Mar 16, 2024)

St.-Patrick's-day-parade-things-to-do-in-NYC-in-March

The St Patrick’s Day parade in New York City has been held every year since 1762 and it is the largest and oldest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the world. The parade is held in honor of St. Patrick and takes place on Fifth Avenue between 44th Street and 79th Street.

You don’t need a ticket to attend the parade but if you do plan on watching it, you should line up along Fifth Avenue very early. The parade starts at 11am.

Easter Parade (Mar 31, 2024)

Besides the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, another event not to be missed this March is the Easter Parade, which falls on Easter Sunday, March 31, 2024.

While this is not what you would think of a typical holiday parade, what you can expect is to see Fifth Avenue packed with New Yorkers with colorful and lavishly decorated hats starting at St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 10am.

If you are creative, make the most extravagant bonnet you can, otherwise, come and watch those who have fancy bonnets (some are really out of this world).

March Madness Games at Barclays Center & MSG (March 22, 23, 24, 25)

Fan of college basketball? If you are in NYC in March, you will have the chance to watch the games at Barclays Center and MSG.

On March 22 & 24, you can watch the First and Second Rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. On March 23 & 25, you can experience the East Regional games at Madison Square Garden.

Can’t get tickets to the games? You can still watch them from sports bars in New York City. Check out this article for the best bars in NYC to watch the games.

Explore World Class Museums in NYC

March is a fantastic time to explore the world class museums in New York City. Again, indoor activities are best for colder weather and you won’t see the crazy crowd that you often do in the summer months.

Some of the best Museums in New York City include:

In particular, if you are traveling with kids, then American Museum of Natural History and New York Transit Museum would be a big hit with the kids. The New York Transit Museum is located inside a real subway station and since there is no AC, it’s actually great to visit in the winter months (otherwise it gets really hot).

Most of the popular museums in New York City are free with the New York Pass and Sightseeing Pass..

Candlelight Concerts

A unique and romantic activity in New York City is to enjoy a Candlelight concert. As the name implies, the concert is a musical concert usually held in a candle lit church. Depending on the concert, you may also be surrounded by floral displays.

March is a great time to attend one of these candlelight concerts, since the theme is spring. For March 2024, you will see tributes to Taylor Swift and Beyonce or the classic Four Seasons by Vivaldi.

Book your Candlelight concerts here.

Interactive Art Displays and Museums

Digital Art Exhibits are a huge thing in New York City and there is a new display popping up every few months. Below are some of the best ones in New York City that you should visit in March

  • ARTECHOUSE: Located inside Chelsea Market, this art installation takes you through a beautiful and mesmerizing digital journey. It’s free if you have the New York Pass or Explorer Pass.
  • Mercer Labs: One of the newest and best immersive digital art installations in NYC. Mercer Labs have 15 different exhibits, each with a unique experience. Some focus on lights and illusions, some focus on vibrations and sounds.
  • HERO: This immersive art experience is located under the Rockefeller Center. This experience also utilizes lights and sound to create an out-of-this-world experience.
  • Astra Lumina: This beautiful night walk at the Queens Botanical Garden uses lights, music and projections to immerse yourself into the realm of the universe.

AirOtic Soirée: Cabaret Dinner Show

You don’t need to go to Las Vegas to experience an aerial acrobat show. In fact you can experience this one of a kind cabaret dinner show in New York City this March on Fridays and Saturdays.

This 1 hour show will engage all your senses and it tells the story of love, passion and sensuality. You will be mesmerized by the lavish costumes, seductive choreography and a 3 course meal with drinks. You can also meet the performers after the show.

Book your AirOtic Soirée cabaret dinner show here.

Indoor Observation Decks (One World Observatory & SUMMIT One Vanderbilt)

While you can visit any observation decks in New York City, the indoor ones are probably the best given March can still be pretty chilly.

The two best indoor observation decks in NYC are SUMMIT One Vanderbilt and One World Observatory. Both of these provide you amazing (but different) views over New York City without being exposed to the cold.

The experiences from these observation decks are different. One World Observatory is more educational and is more of a traditional observatory with beautiful views and some educational programs.

SUMMIT One is very innovative and not only offers amazing photo opportunities but also a fun experience that engages with all your senses.

You can read more about my experience at SUMMIT One and One World Observatory.

Book your SUMMIT One tickets here and One World Observatory skip the line tickets here. One World Observatory is also included on the New York Pass.

Pink Pier Dining (Jan 11 – Mar 31, 2023)

There is no shortage of pop up restaurants and bars in New York City and a particular aesthetic one is the Pink Pier at Pier 15 in Seaport in Lower Manhattan.

While Pier 15 was transformed into a winter wonderland for Christmas, in the winter and early spring it became a beautiful pink attraction (and restaurant).

You can book a cozy igloo, get a 3 course dinner and enjoy the view of the East River.

Book your Pink Pier experience here.

Hop on Hop off Bus to See the Best of New York City

While taking the subway is the most efficient way of getting around New York City, a hop on hop off bus tour is the best way for tourists.

Why? Because what’s charming about New York City is not just the “attractions” like Rockefeller Center or Central Park, but it is the experience of being in New York City. You want to see the hustle and bustle of the city, the crowd, the street food vendors, the architecture and the people.

You can’t see any of that when you are underground. I always like to take a hop on hop off bus when I explore a city, because I want to be able to see the city, not just its museums and observation decks.

Dress warm, bring your camera and your curiosity and see the city.

You can book the hop on hop off bus here. It is also included in the New York Pass and Sightseeing Pass.

RiseNY

If you are looking for a unique way to see and learn about New York City then don’t miss RiseNY, an immersive adventure that let you fly over the NYC skyline on a 4D ride.

You also get to visit an interactive museum to learn more about New York, including the history of Wall Street, fashion, Broadway shows, NYC skyline and landmarks, TV and radio history (we are the cultural capital of the world after all) and many more.

Lastly, this 3 part adventure also includes a film on the timeline of New York City from 1904 till today. You will learn about how New York has changed over the past 100 something years.

Book your tickets here; it is also included with the New York Pass and Sightseeing Pass

Conclusion: Should You Visit New York City in March?

March is a good time to visit New York City given its cheaper hotel prices, warmer days and less crowd. You can see the beautiful orchid show, watch a NCAA basketball game, and enjoy the best observation decks and digital art museums without the crazy crowd.

Check Out My Other New York City Blogs

New York City Itineraries & Things to Do

Christmas and Holiday Season in New York City

New York City Seasonal Articles

How to Save Money Traveling to NYC

New York City Food Guide

Other New York City Guides