Celebrating Christmas in New York City is like stepping into a fairytale world of twinkling lights, joyful events, and an atmosphere filled with festive holiday spirit. Here’s a guide if you’re planning to celebrate Christmas in New York City, covering everything from things to do to considerations for your trip.
Christmas in New York City – Things to do
Visit Rolf’s, a Christmas-themed restaurant:
For a unique dining experience with holiday vibes, visit Rolf’s, a restaurant that takes Christmas decorations to the next level with its festive theme. Located in the Gramercy Park area, Rolf’s welcomes guests with a colorful explosion of Christmas decorations, including thousands of twinkling lights and hanging ornaments. Enjoy a delicious meal surrounded by an atmosphere of festivity and charm, making your visit to Rolf’s a culinary and visual highlight of your Christmas in New York City.
Explore Rockefeller Center:
A must during Christmas in New York City is a visit to Rockefeller Center. This whole area is transformed into a winter wonderland with a giant Christmas tree, beautifully lit ice sculptures, and an ice rink where you can try out your ice-skating skills. Take a stroll around the area in the evening when the lights create an enchanting atmosphere.
Check out Macy’s and window displays:
Prepare for a shopping experience at Macy’s, where you can explore the impressive window displays of the store. This department store classic is not only a shopping paradise but also a fantastic place to capture the Christmas spirit of New York City.
Stroll through Bryant Park’s Christmas market:
A must for all flea market lovers is a visit to Bryant Park. This charming Christmas market, located in the heart of Manhattan, offers an outstanding collection of handmade crafts, local delicacies, and festive decorations. Take a walk through the cute stalls filled with the scents and items of Christmas, creating a lovely holiday atmosphere. It’s also the perfect place to find Christmas gifts!
See a Broadway show:
Make your trip even more memorable by attending a Christmas-inspired Broadway show. Many theaters put on special Christmas performances that definitely will spread joy and create a delightful holiday atmosphere.
Watch the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall:
An absolute must during Christmas in New York City is visiting the iconic Radio City Music Hall. Don’t miss the chance to experience the “Christmas Spectacular” performance, featuring impressive light shows and the world-famous Rockettes dance. To secure your seats for this spectacular show, consider buying tickets well in advance.
Enjoy a hot chocolate at Serendipity3:
For an extra touch of luxury and charm during Christmas in New York City, plan a stop at Serendipity3 to dry their famous chocolate drinks. This café has not only attracted visitors from all around the world but has also been featured in TV series like “Gossip Girl.”
Explore Dyker Heights:
Make your Christmas trip to New York City extra memorable by visiting Dyker Heights, an area in Brooklyn known for its extravagant Christmas celebrations. Here, you can stroll through the streets and admire the crazy light decorations. Dyker Heights has become a famous destination for its imaginative Christmas decorations, creating a magical atmosphere that truly captures the festive spirit of the city. You can either take an Uber there and walk around or book a guided bus tour below.
End the year with New Year’s Eve celebrations at Times Square:
If you plan to stay over on New Year’s Eve, a spot at Times Square could be fun. Experience the iconic ball drop as the clock strikes midnight and feel the pulse of the celebration as the crowds cheer in the new year.
Christmas in New York City – Things to think about before you go
- Think in layers but pack warmly: December in New York can be sometimes warm but also very cold, so make sure to pack with warm clothing like jackets, hats, and gloves. Dress in layers that are easy to take on and off as temperatures can vary a lot!
- Plan events in advance: Many popular Christmas activities and events in New York can get sold out quickly. To avoid disappointment, consider booking tickets in advance, especially for Broadway shows or special Christmas events.
- Use public transportation: Traffic in New York can be a little crazy, especially during the holidays. Use public transportation like the subway to move around smoothly and avoid unnecessary stress. Many of the city’s attractions are easily accessible by public transportation. Click here to read about the easiest ways to get around in New York.
- Explore lesser-known places: To avoid crowds, consider exploring lesser-known areas and events. There are many hidden gems and charming neighborhoods where you can experience local Christmas celebrations in a more intimate way.
- Create flexibility in your schedule: Even though you can plan your trip in advance, make sure to have flexibility in your schedule. Sometimes the unexpected is part of the charm, and you might discover new last-minute events or places that weren’t in your original plan.