New York City is an amazing place to spend the holidays. It’s a winter wonderland with giant Christmas trees, ice skating rings, Broadway shows, and many other attractions. These things will make you want to pack your bags and fly to New York City if you aren’t sure what to do during the holiday season.
- 1 Bryant Park Winter Village
- 2 Miracle on 9th Street: Eggnog
- 3 Christmas Windows & 5th Ave
- 4 Columbus Circle Holiday Market
- 5 Rockettes Christmas Spectacular
- 6 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
- 7 Macy’s Santa & Holiday Display
- 8 Holiday-themed Cocktails at Bar54
- 9 Holiday Displays at Plaza Hotel
- 10 The NYC Ballet’s Nutcracker
These are my top Christmas activities in New York!
Bryant Park Winter Village
Bryant Park is well-known for hosting events. They host over 1000 free classes and activities each year. Winter Village offers ice skating, a rinkside restaurant, a food court, and holiday shops.
This is the only location in New York that allows you to ice skate free of charge. However, skate rental will still cost you $20.
You can also spend time on the Observation Deck if it is too cold. It is located on the second floor, overlooking the Skating Pavillion.
You can also find art supplies and games here. It’s all free!
Miracle on 9th Street: Eggnog
Nothing is better than holiday-themed beverages Nothing. Miracle on 9th Street was created by Greg Boehm and Nico de Soto. It is a holiday-themed pop-up bar.
You’ll find cocktails named Bad Santa and Fa La La in the East Village. They’re served in Santa or Reindeer mugs with candycane garnishes.
The eggnog they make is a special blend of almond milk, brown butter cognac, amontillado Sherry, cream, eggs and nutmeg. You can visit them anytime from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve, so make sure you stop by.
Christmas Windows & 5th Ave
5th Avenue is undoubtedly New York’s most famous area. Christmas on Fifth Avenue is characterized by ornate window displays in department stores.
The highlights include Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue as well as Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdales and Macy’s. This makes Christmas shopping so much easier.
Columbus Circle Holiday Market
At Central Park West and 59th Street, you will find the Columbus Circle Holiday Market. You will find art, jewelry and home goods along with delicious food.
It is a well-known spot for holiday shopping.
It is open from November 28th to December 24th, and is open Monday to Saturday 10 AM to 8 PM, and Sunday 10 AM to 7 pm.
Rockettes Christmas Spectacular
It’s mandatory to see the Rockettes if you are in New York. Although it might seem exaggerated, it is still one of the most popular things to do in New York.
They announced this year that the Christmas production would be technologically enhanced with a new finale scene and redesigned elements. It’s 100 drones taking flight to create a magical light show.
This beloved holiday show is open from November 9th to January 1st with new shows every day. Tickets start at $50 and can go up to $600 depending upon the seats.
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
The Rockefeller Building has been displaying a Christmas tree for over eight decades. The tree is now a focal point of Christmas in New York, with more than half a million people passing it every day.
The tree will be lit this year for the first-time on November 28th. It will stay lit until January 7th.
Rockefeller Center has an open-air ice skating rink that is open to the public. Sessions start at 8:30 AM and go until 10:30 PM. The cost of admission varies depending on the season.
The more you are near the holidays, the more expensive it will become.
Macy’s Santa & Holiday Display
Macy’s is a must-see on any Christmas display tour. You will not only be able see the display, but you can also meet Santa Claus.
Macy’s currently has six window displays. There are two sets at Macy’s. Over 10,000 people pass each hour during peak hours.
The window theme for last year was “The Perfect Gift brings People Together”. It featured a firework display and a large Christmas tree in a home setting. There was also an ice skating rink in busy cities and Santa Claus as the conductor.
Holiday-themed Cocktails at Bar54
The Hyatt Centric Times Square hotel has Bar 54, which is the highest rooftop lounge in New York City. You can enjoy both indoor and outdoor seating. During the holidays, they offer holiday-themed cocktails that you can sip while taking in the sights of New York City.
Holiday Displays at Plaza Hotel
The Plaza Hotel is well-known for its beautiful decor and luxurious atmosphere. It might be something you saw on Gossip Girl or Home Alone.
The Plaza Hotel lights up with Christmas trees, wreaths and garland every where you go during the holiday season. This is a great place to relax, enjoy a cup of tea, and feel the holiday spirit.
The NYC Ballet’s Nutcracker
A trip to New York would not be complete without seeing a few shows. The New York City Ballet presents The Nutcracker, a Christmas classic.
This ballet is extraordinary with 90 dancers, 62 performers, and more than 125 children.
There will be shows every day except Mondays starting November 23rd and continuing until December 30th. The show lasts for two hours and costs $90 to $185 depending on which section you select.
New York is magical at any time of year, but especially during the holidays. It is a must-see!