There are timeless traditions in the Big Apple during the festive season – Santa coming to town at the end of the Thanksgiving Day parade, marking the beginning of the Christmas season, ice skating at Central Park, the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting, or watching the Rockettes at the Radio City Music Hall – it’s all happening in NYC!
Yes, it’s overwhelming, to be honest. So, let’s guide you through some of the most iconic (best of the best) things to do during Christmas in NYC!
1. Ice Skating in Central Park
The Wollman Rink in Central Park offers all the amount of snow you need to enjoy ice skating, thanks to New York City’s cold weather.
This rink offers a range of activities ranging from ice skating (obviously!), ice hockey, skating school, and party facilities! Keep your balance right there!
And speaking of Central Park, which itself is an iconic romantic destination, you know where to take your significant other half during the festive season.
2. The Rockettes Radio City Christmas Spectacular
This show presented in the Radio City Music Hall starring the Radio City Rockettes features several performances including (but never limited to) singing, dancing, and humour through the length of 90 minutes.
If you’re going to catch a show during the holidays in NYC (or even if you’re not), you will regret missing this one. So don't do the mistake and be witness to a great experience.
3. Christmas Markets A Christmas in New York is never complete without visiting a Christmas Market. Perhaps specifying any one of them would be sheer injustice to the others, as each one of them has something special to offer in their own ways, but probably the most popular one of them is the Union Square Holiday Market.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to warm up a bit in the chilly NYC atmosphere, without putting a pause on your celebrations, you can pay a visit to the Grand Holiday Bazaar, the only indoor market in NYC.
4. The Empire State Building
Sitting in the centre of the NYC skyline, the Empire State Building is always in the central spotlight (quite literally!) of things. Every year, with the opening night of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, the top of this iconic structure is lit up with Red and Green lights to celebrate Christmas during the months of November and December.
5. Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
You simply can’t not go to see the Rockefeller Christmas Tree and the spectacular lighting during early December. The tree itself is anything between 70 to 100 feet tall, and the lighting ceremony of this timeless tradition is broadcasted live for all to enjoy – no wonder it’s a treat to watch.
6. Fifth Avenue Holiday Window Displays
Every year in mid-November, the biggest department stores in New York City come up with their presentations of holiday cheer in their windows. All the windows have something to offer and attract, and they’re all on the Fifth Avenue. So, once you’re there, you got to go see them all, with the most iconic being ‘Bergdorf Goodman’. Their windows and the ‘big reveal’ are some of the very important Christmas Cultures of NYC!
7. Dyker Heights Christmas Lights
While in Brooklyn, make sure to go see the Dyker Heights to experience the Christmas Lights Display. Each new year, it has something bigger and brighter to offer and the view is a marvel of lights all around!
Thanks to the undeclared competitions among the neighbours to outshine and out-decorate each other, we have a spectacular tradition and a treat to the eyes!
8. New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show
The Holiday Train Show features more than 150 landmark replicas from around the city, like the Statue of Liberty or the Grand Central Terminal – all made of plant materials.
The show runs from November till January in the New York Botanical Garden, located in the Bronx.
9. Grab a bite or Drink at Tavern on the Green
The holiday decor inside is wonderful, along with its cozy interiors and glistening atmosphere during Christmas in New York City.