The best rooftop bars decked out for cold weather fun



Is it cool up here or is it just me?

In the city, summer is peak rooftop season. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a brew with a view during the winter months.

In fact, it can be argued that some rooftop bars get cooler as the temperature drops.

Think ice sculptures, igloos and even ice skating rinks in the sky.

Care to try curling? Take the elevator to the rooftop terrace at the Gwen in Chicago. Want to soak in an infinity “pool-cuzzi” while watching 737s take off? Head to Runway Chalet at JFK.

There’s a rooftop bar for every reason and every season.

Here are seven standouts — from New York to Nashville — to visit before the mercury rises too high.

Polar fare — Brooklyn

Harriet the fly: Enjoy a glass of whatever’s clever at this Brooklyn Heights rooftop lounge.1 Hotel Brooklyn BridgeSoar to new heights at the Polar Lounge at Harriet’s Rooftop located on the 10th floor of 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn Heights. Here, the epic bridge views are overshadowed by even more epic ice sculptures, courtesy of Okamoto Studio.

The Polar Lounge is partnering with Oceanic Global to create an unforgettable experience curated to educate patrons about our fragile polar regions. BYO jacket. Or, don’t. It’s also partnering with Moose Knuckles — purveyors of luxury outerwear as seen on the streets of Aspen. What you can’t borrow, however, are hand warmers so bring your mittens. (You’re going to need them for the complimentary cocktail, served in an ice glass, of course.)

60 Furman St.

Hang with Sinners — Chicago

Swept off their feet: Curling enthusiasts at Upstairs at the Gwen. The Gwen: a Luxury Collection HotelThe word patio doesn’t do Upstairs at the Gwen — Chicago’s outdoor institution — justice. Especially in sub-zero temperatures. Come for the cocktails — hot options include the citrusy Young Sinners and spicy Thin Ice — but stay for the curling.

At Upstairs at the Gwen you can practice this underrated sport usually only seen on TV during the Olympics. When it’s time to refuel between ends — curling’s version of innings — gather around the outdoor fire pits. Pass plates of potato croquettes, charred carrots and churros elevated by a delicious dulce de leche and mole ganache.

521 North Rush St.

Back to the fuchsia — NYC

We pinky swear you’ll love this colorful Midtown rooftop tavern.TAO Group HospitalityIt’s 50 shades of pink at the Pink Winter Lodge, an over-the-top pop-up created by Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge at Moxy Times Square.

From blush to bubblegum and flamingo to fuchsia, every hue is represented. Still, the theme of Pink Winter Lodge is a five-star ski resort. Pose by the “glam gondola” for the ’gram. Then, down a Double Pink Diamond tequila drink while admiring décor like ersatz diamond-encrusted skis and sparkly pink pine trees.

Up here on the 18th floor, even the après-ski snacks are pink. The seasonal menu includes Pink Bling Donut Rings, Pink AF Pancakes and Pink S’mores (topped with a generous cloud of cotton candy).

485 7th Ave.

Happy campers — Nashville

Rink and a nod: Skaters hit the ice at Camp Bobby.Bobby Hotel Dust off your favorite vintage flannel and bell bottoms because here at Camp Bobby, the theme is camping in the ’70s. This winter pop-up, complete with a “frozen pond” to skate on, is brought to you by the Rooftop Lounge at Bobby Hotel, home to Nashville’s only rooftop ice skating rink. Rent a pair of skates or simply kick back at your own campsite.

Feeling social? Order your libation in the Camper Lounge — a 1956 Scenic Cruiser bus transformed into a bar-meets-lounge-meets-time machine. Again, the year up here at Camp Bobby is definitely not 2022.

230 4th Ave. North

Spirit in the Sky — Bozeman

Why are Californians flocking to Montana? Sky Shed is exhibit A. Kimpton Hotels + RestaurantsSince the pandemic, New Yorkers can’t get enough of Montana. The best place to find them in the tony town of Bozeman is at Sky Shed, the rooftop refuge atop the historic Kimpton Armory Hotel.

Here, patrons can take off their $700 parkas to take in panoramic mountain views — while sipping champagne and fighting over who gets the last of the furikake fries — from the comfort of their private, heated sky globe. But wait, it gets better. Each globe — aka, reimagined igloo — is outfitted with a record player and a vinyl collection so diners can embrace their inner DJ.

24 West Mendenhall St.

Flight of beers — NYC

Aisle seat? More like “I’ll have another seat” at the Runway Chalet. Alyssa Meadows/TWA HotelThe best part about of the Runway Chalet rooftop refuge at JFK isn’t being able to watch planes take off and land on one of the airport’s longest runways, 4L/22R. It’s the “pool-cuzzi” which is heated to a comfortable 95 degrees in the winter months.
Known as the Pool Bar the rest of the year, Runway Chalet, located in the trendy TWA Hotel, is a ’60s-themed après ski-inspired experience. Think retro fireplace, classic board games and cocktails like spiced cranberry sangria and house-made, peppermint schnapps-infused hot cocoa.

John F. Kennedy International Airport

Do you have to let it Linger? (Yes!) — Denver

Over my dead body: LingerThere’s a good reason Linger’s cocktail menu includes the Corpse Reviver #2. This rooftop bar — complete with warming igloos and mini greenhouses — sits atop a former mortuary. In fact, Linger comes from Olinger Mortuaries, the name on the roof’s massive neon billboard sign. (It’s so big and bright it can probably be seen from space.) Still, what really makes it cooler than other Mile-High City hotspots is the bar itself. It’s in a retrofitted 1975 GMC RV that also functions as a food truck.

2030 West 30th Ave.

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