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Things to Do in NYC for the Holidays

New York City during the holidays is a snow globe come to life. As you stroll down the city streets, you’ll find each corner twinkling with holiday spirit, from the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree to the dazzling window displays along Fifth Avenue.

And it’s not just about the lights – there’s a smorgasbord of festive activities and attractions to explore. Whether you’re a fan of traditional holiday shows, want to venture out for some ice-skating, or crave a hot cup of cocoa from a local holiday market, NYC has got you covered.

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But where should you start? Well, let’s take a closer look and see what the Big Apple has to offer during this magical season.

Key Takeaways

  • The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and Rink are iconic attractions that offer daily entertainment and ice skating in the heart of the city.
  • The Radio City Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall and the New York Botanical Gardens Holiday Train Show provide holiday-themed entertainment and shows.
  • Mesmerizing light displays at the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, Dyker Heights Christmas Lights, and the NYBG GLOW and Lightscape at Brooklyn Botanical Garden offer festive outdoor activities.
  • Bryant Park Winter Village, Grand Army Plaza, Bergdorf Goodman, and the holiday fair at Grand Central Terminal are unique NYC holiday shopping spots with festive shopping and one-of-a-kind gifts.

Iconic NYC Christmas Attractions

famous holiday sights in nyc

When you’re in the Big Apple for the festive season, don’t miss out on the city’s most iconic holiday attractions. The world-renowned Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a must-see, as it lights up daily from 5am to midnight. This spectacular New York landmark transforms into a Winter Wonderland, drawing in locals and tourists alike.

While you’re at Rockefeller Center, take a spin at the Rink for a classic New York City Christmas experience. It’s a great way to embrace the holiday spirit and enjoy some ice skating in the heart of the city.

For a truly magical experience, don’t miss the Radio City Rockettes at the Radio City Music Hall. Their high-energy, precision dance routines are a holiday tradition that shouldn’t be missed. After the show, you can also catch a performance by the New York City Ballet, which is sure to enchant audiences of all ages.

Just around the corner from Rockefeller Center, Saks Fifth Avenue’s holiday window display is an unmissable part of Christmas in New York. Each year, the department store creates a stunning visual display that captures the magic of the season. Be sure to bundle up and take a stroll down Fifth Avenue to see it for yourself.

Holiday-Themed Entertainment and Shows

festive festivities and performances

After soaking in the charm of NYC’s iconic Christmas attractions, you’ll find the city also offers a plethora of holiday-themed entertainment and shows that promise to make your festive season truly unforgettable.

  1. Christmas Spectacular – Revel in the magic of the holidays with the iconic Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall.
  2. New York Botanical Gardens Holiday Train Show – This show combines model trains with botanical landmarks, providing a unique and festive experience.
  3. Rockefeller Park Best Years Tree – Witness the spectacle of the technicolor lights adorning the grand tree, surrounded by festive attractions.
  4. Bryant Park America Winter Village – A combination of a Christmas market, ice-skating rink, and festive tree, it’s a complete holiday experience.

These holiday activities in New York City’s Union Square and beyond will truly make your holiday season unforgettable.

Festive Outdoor Activities

christmas themed outdoor festivities

You’ll find that NYC truly comes alive during the holiday season with a myriad of festive outdoor activities to enjoy.

From the mesmerizing light displays at the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights to immersive holiday experiences at the NYBG GLOW and Lightscape at Brooklyn Botanical Garden.

Winter time around Rockefeller Center is a must-see with its iconic rink, offering one of the best skating experiences.

A stroll in Central Park is also worthwhile, as it’s beautifully lit up during the holidays.

Another highlight is the Rink in Central Park, which offers a unique skating experience amidst the park’s natural beauty.

No matter how many years you’ve spent in NYC, these activities never lose their charm.

NYC’s Holiday Food and Drink Experiences

new york city s festive feasting

Having soaked in the sparkling lights and festive cheer of outdoor activities, it’s time to whet your appetite with NYC’s holiday food and drink experiences.

  1. Start at the *Miracle on 9th Street*, a holiday pop-up bar that will surely get you in the festive spirit with its yuletide cocktails.
  2. Enjoy a holiday brunch at *Grand Central Terminal*, where you can indulge in a variety of seasonal delicacies.
  3. Warm yourself up with a cup of hot chocolate at the *Winter Village at Bryant Park* while exploring NYC’s holiday markets.
  4. Finally, celebrate Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve with a gourmet dinner at *Grand Army Plaza*.

Immerse yourself in the holiday flavors of NYC and create memories that will last a lifetime!

Unique NYC Holiday Shopping Spots

distinctive new york city boutiques

Now, let’s dive into NYC’s unique holiday shopping spots where you can find everything from one-of-a-kind gifts to handmade crafts and seasonal treats. During the first week of December, head to Bryant Parks’ Winter Village for a festive shopping experience. Alternatively, the Grand Army Plaza near the New York Public Library hosts the Union Square Holiday Market, a haven for local artisans.

For a luxurious shopping experience, visit Bergdorf Goodman on the Upper East Side. This iconic New York City store features holiday window displays that are a sight to behold.

Lastly, don’t forget to check out the holiday fair at Grand Central Terminal. From here, you can easily head to the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty.

Location Nearby Attractions Shopping Experience
Bryant Parks New York Public Library Winter Village
Grand Army Plaza Upper East Side Union Square Holiday Market
Grand Central Terminal Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty Holiday Fair


So, wrap yourself in the warmth of NYC’s festive spirit.

Immerse in the dazzling Christmas attractions, heartwarming shows, and thrilling outdoor activities.

Savor the city’s unique holiday flavors and discover hidden shopping gems.

Whether you’re lighting the menorah or simply basking in the city’s holiday glow, there’s no place quite like NYC to kindle the holiday cheer.

Dive into this wintry wonderland and make your holiday season unforgettable.

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