Our Top 10 Things To Do In NYC During The Holidays!
Holiday magic in New York City!
If you ever have to make the choice of “when do I want to visit New York City?”, then my suggestion will always be: During the holidays! New York during Christmas time is truly magical. It starts in late November, when all the Christmas Markets start to open up to sell home-made goods and hot beverages, and when the Rockettes start performing in their annual Christmas show at Radio City Music Hall. That’s when you know the holidays have arrived! Here are some of the most amazing things you should see and do, while vacationing in NYC during that magical time of the year!
1. Visit The Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center
This is one of the main reasons people come to NYC during Christmas. Remember the scene of Home Alone 2, when the little boy reunites with his mom? That happened at the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree! Well, supposedly anyway, because in reality, the place is never as empty as seen in the movie; even at 2am in the morning. It’s a magical sight at any given time, but especially at night! And you can combine it with a tour of The Top of the Rocks and some ice skating in front of the tree.
2. Holiday Train Show at the Bronx Botanical Gardens
This is something most visitors don’t know about, but it’s an annual event that is very popular among locals, in particular families with kids. It’s the amazing Holiday train show at the Botanical Gardens! You will see the most magnificent miniature trains and monuments; and everything looks very festive and celebratory. Perfect for the holidays! And of course, you can also get a hot chocolate and some delicious food while you’re there!
3. Tour and be prepared to be amazed by the 5th avenue window displays
This is something you will only see in NYC: A competition among big retailers on who have the most impressive and opulent Christmas-themed window displays! Start at Macy’s on 34th, and then walk to Fifth Avenue to continue this window-looking spectacle. You will see some unique decorations, which makes it inviting to come inside and do some Christmas shopping at the same time.
4. Ice skating in Central Park
The quintessential Wollman Rink at Central Park is the most famous sight and activity to partake in during the winter! It’s been shown on hundreds of shows and movies, and makes for a great day out.
5. Visit a Christmas Market
This is still something relatively new, but finally, the wonderful European Christmas Market tradition has moved across the Atlantic! NYC’s markets are different, as it always is, but it doesn’t lack any of the charm and coziness it brings. Stroll through one of the markets (the best one being the Christmas Village at Bryant Park), do some shopping, and don’t forget to try the food at some of the stalls!
6. Have Dinner at Rolf’s
I will be honest with you on this one: You don’t go to Rolf’s for the food- but for the ambience! The Christmas decorations all year around are over the top! And it makes for a great, cuddly dinner during the holidays! Get ready to be amazed.
7. Watch the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall or/and The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center
Another annual tradition for many locals is to see the Nutcracker at Lincoln Center, which is a great option, if you like ballet. Otherwise you could go see the Christmas Spectacle at Radio City Music Hall, which is the more “touristy”, but also more kid-friendly alternative. Both are wonderful shows, so it all depends on your preference. Or see both, if you can!
9. Sledding in Prospect Park, Brooklyn
You can also do this in Central Park, but why not take a little trip to Brooklyn and explore Prospect Park instead? This is a super-fun activity for kids (and adults alike, actually!). It’s free and easy to do, so bring your winter gear and start sledding!
10. Be amazed by the Christmas decoration at Dyker Heights
While you’re in Brooklyn, make sure to walk through Dyker Heights after it gets dark. The neighborhood is known for the most lavishly decorated houses in all of NYC during the holidays! It’s worth the trip!
11. Build a snowman!
Now, at last we get to an activity that involves some snow, but, if you’re lucky, you’ll be there during some of that epic NYC snowfall, and then you can build a snowman! A REAL snowman! Every year, after a snowstorm, you see people come out of their houses, and slowly but surely, snowmen appear on many street corners, most commonly seen in Queens and Brooklyn. Some go as far as putting real clothes on the snowman (or snowwoman!).
I hope you will have a great time in NYC during the holidays. Read Our other blog posts also.