Still, some parents were determined to give their children a taste of how winter weather used to be experienced.
At Fort Tryon Park’s Billings Lawn, a popular sledding spot in Upper Manhattan, Gunther Tielemans, his son, Oberon, 7, and daughter, Ada, 5, had the place to themselves as snow frosted the hay-bale bumpers at the bottom of the hill.
Mr. Tielemans and the children, whom he and his wife are home-schooling, had walked about a half-mile to the hill. He said was surprised that no one else was out sledding, though he acknowledged that the hill would get more crowded soon enough.
“It’s weird,” he said of the quiet, which soon broke as the family’s sledding expedition gave way to a snowball fight.
At another hill nearby, Kathy Saxby, an E.S.L. teacher, was enjoying some sledding ahead of her 56th birthday on Tuesday. She laughed as a friend led sledders in an impromptu chorus of “Happy Birthday.”
It was a moment of cheer that Ms. Saxby, a New Zealand native, said she had been craving.
“There’s just such a feeling of fun and joy and stuff that’s been missing of late,” she said.
Reporting was contributed by Téa Kvetenadze, Sean Piccoli, Ed Shanahan, Emmett Lindner, Daniel E. Slotnik, Tracey Tully and Mihir Zaveri.