Like snowflakes, Christmas memories are beautiful, special, and gone too soon. So gather them up and celebrate! When you celebrate Christmas in New York City, it wakes up your feelings and makes you feel stunned. And you know what, as winter comes to the city, the streets come to life with a rich mix of sounds, lights, and colours.
The famous Rockefeller Centre Christmas Tree stands tall and strong, shining its bright light on the busy crowds below as a sign of hope and unity. As you walk down Fifth Avenue, the complex and creative holiday window displays will hold your attention.
Now the holiday is celebrated all over the world, and New York City is a great place for Christmas parties and events. If you want to know what to do in New York City this Christmas, this post will show you all of them. So let the fun begin!
Christmas Things To Do In New York City
Dyker Heights Christmas Lights:
Visiting Dyker Heights in Brooklyn is a must if you’re spending Christmas in NYC. This residential area becomes a magical holiday fantasy when the holiday season rolls around. Everyone pitches in to make spectacular light Christmas shows in New York City and decorate their homes with gigantic ornaments that violate the laws of physics. The brightly lit streets create the impression of entering a mythical land, where each home strives to outshine its neighbours.
Bank of America Winter Village:
From the hustle and bustle of Christmas in New York City, the Bank of America Winter Village in Bryant Park is a great place to relax. As the holidays approach, the park is turned into a charming market with handmade goods, an ice rink, and delightful treats. You can get into the holiday spirit thereby drinking hot cocoa and looking for unique gifts for families and friends.
Ice skating in New York City is an enchanting tradition. Whether you’re twirling on the iconic rink at Rockefeller Center or gracefully gliding through Central Park, the crisp winter air and the backdrop of towering skyscrapers create an unforgettable experience. The thrill of skating beneath the city lights is a quintessential part of celebrating Christmas in the Big Apple.
Radio City Music Hall:
Getting into the holiday spirit by taking in a performance of the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall is a time-honoured custom that has been carried on for generations. The precision of the Rockettes, the brilliant costumes, and the heartfelt performances will transport you to a magical universe during your stay; therefore, you should not miss this show while you are in town.
Holiday Window Displays:
People in New York City who are enjoying Christmas love the world-famous holiday window displays that line Fifth Avenue. Fashion-forward department stores like Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, and Saks Fifth Avenue fight to make the most interesting and creative displays. Every single one has its own holiday story, and as you walk from one to the next, you’ll be sucked into a world of magic, creativity, and pure wonder.
New York Botanical Garden’s Train Show:
The Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden is a one-of-a-kind way to celebrate the holidays. In this fascinating exhibit, you can watch model trains as they pass by scaled-down versions of well-known New York City sites. The exhibit’s attention to detail and inventiveness will take you away to a fantastical realm. This is the best venue to really experience the wonder of the holiday season.
Holiday celebrations in New York City are centred in and around Bryant Park, making it a key location. At the Bank of America Winter Village, not only can you enjoy ice skating, but the park also holds a wonderful holiday market where you can buy artisanal items, delicious food, and a warm environment. The holiday season in New York is not complete without a stroll around Bryant Park, and it is highly recommended that you do it during this time.
Union Square Holiday Market:
Stop by the Union Square Holiday Market if you want a taste of holiday shopping that is genuinely representative of New York City. This lively market features a wide variety of homemade items and sweets made by local artisans. Enjoy the joyous attitude that permeates the air while shopping for one-of-a-kind things to give to those you care about in an environment that is kind and inviting.
The Bronx Zoo offers a unique and delightful way to celebrate the season with the family. Their “Holiday Lights” event transforms the zoo into a dazzling spectacle of lights, seasonal music, and festive activities. Take a stroll through the illuminated pathways, visit the animals, and enjoy the enchanting holiday displays.
Christmas markets are scattered throughout the city, offering an array of charming options to explore. In addition to Bryant Park and Union Square, you can also check out markets in various neighbourhoods, such as Columbus Circle, Grand Central Terminal, and Columbus Circle. Each market has its own character, but all of them feature wonderful opportunities for gift shopping and enjoying the holiday spirit.
Empire State Building:
To cap off your Christmas celebration in NYC, consider visiting the Empire State Building. The iconic skyscraper is often illuminated in festive colours during the holiday season, providing a breathtaking backdrop for your evening. You can ascend to the observation deck for panoramic views of the city, including the spectacular holiday lights that adorn the streets below.
Rockefeller Christmas Tree:
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is the iconic symbol of the holiday season in New York City. As you stand before this magnificent tree, adorned with thousands of dazzling lights and ornaments, you’ll feel the true magic of Christmas. It’s not just a tree; it’s a beacon of hope and unity, and a must-see for anyone celebrating the holidays in the Big Apple.
Saks Fifth Avenue:
Saks Fifth Avenue is renowned for its extravagant holiday window displays. Each year, the store transforms its windows into enchanting scenes that tell a unique holiday story. These displays are a true work of art and a visual delight. Be sure to stroll down Fifth Avenue and take in the magic of these captivating windows during your visit.
Attending a performance of “The Nutcracker” is a timeless holiday tradition that brings the spirit of Christmas to life on stage. The New York City Ballet’s rendition of this classic ballet is world-famous and held at Lincoln Center. It’s one of the most exciting things to do in NYC at Christmas. Like, the exquisite costumes, graceful dancers, and Tchaikovsky’s enchanting music will transport you to a magical world of sugarplum fairies and toy soldiers.
Amaze Light Festival:
Consider going to the Amaze Light Festival this Christmas season for an experience that is both one-of-a-kind and completely immersive. It’s one of the things to do on Christmas that left you in awe. This event takes place all over the city in a variety of different settings, and it incorporates mesmerising light displays, interactive art pieces, and activities centred on the Christmas season. It’s a chic and bright take on the traditional holiday celebrations.
The peacefulness and picturesqueness of Central Park are enhanced throughout the holiday season when it is transformed into a winter wonderland. You may either take a leisurely stroll through the park or enjoy a trip in a horse-drawn carriage through the park while taking in the splendour of the snow-covered landscapes and picturesque bridges. The hustle and bustle of the city can be left behind when one visits the tranquil and picturesque Central Park.
Christmas Lights in NYC:
One of the most enchanting aspects of celebrating Christmas in New York City is the spectacular Christmas lights that adorn the streets. The entire city comes alive with festive decorations, from Fifth Avenue to residential neighbourhoods like Dyker Heights in Brooklyn. Take a leisurely walk or a guided tour to marvel at the breathtaking displays of lights, decorations, and holiday cheer.
Christmas Shopping in NYC:
Christmas shopping in the city that never sleeps is an exhilarating experience that adds a unique charm to the holiday season. The bustling streets are adorned with festive decorations, and the city’s diverse neighbourhoods offer a wide range of shopping opportunities, from luxury boutiques on Fifth Avenue to charming stalls at holiday markets. The joy of finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones while immersing yourself in the holiday atmosphere creates a sense of excitement and anticipation that defines the magic of Christmas in NYC.
Drink Hot Chocolate:
If you are looking for what to do on Christmas Day? Sipping a steaming cup of hot chocolate is an essential winter ritual that adds warmth and comfort to the holiday season in New York City. Whether you enjoy a classic cup from a street vendor, indulge in a rich and decadent version at a cosy café, or opt for a unique gourmet twist, the soothing and chocolatey beverage is the perfect remedy for the winter chill. It not only warms your body but also warms your heart, filling you with the cozy charm of the season.
Every year during the Christmas season, the neighbourhood of Dyker Heights in Brooklyn, New York, is transformed into a stunning winter paradise. The houses are decked out in magnificent lights, gargantuan decorations, and festive displays, which together make a surrounding that is really magical. A trip to Dyker Heights is like entering a festive storybook that’s been brought to life right before your eyes. When you take a stroll through the neighbourhood during the holiday season, you can feel the spirit of the season as you take in the awe-inspiring ingenuity and unwavering commitment of the locals who decorate their homes.
The concept of a winter wonderland comes to life in New York City during Christmas. From Central Park’s snow-covered landscapes to the whimsical displays at holiday markets and themed events, the city becomes a captivating realm of enchantment. It’s a place where you can partake in winter activities, explore festive displays, and feel the charm of the season all around you.
Broadway Under the Stars:
One of the most memorable holiday traditions is seeing a Broadway performance outside under the stars. You may see world-class talent under the starry night sky at unique outdoor performances put on by some theatres in various city squares. You may add a touch of class and elegance to your holiday celebration by taking in one of Broadway’s outstanding musicals in the enchanted setting of an outdoor venue.
All of these things to do and see will make your Christmas in New York City even more special and will help you make memories that will last a lifetime. Everywhere you go in New York City, you can feel the magic of Christmas, from the gift-giving mood to the hot chocolate and the charming neighbourhoods and events!
Winding Up – Christmas Things To Do in NYC in December
For a while, Christmas is a magical time to be in New York City in the middle of December. The city comes to life with beautiful lights, fun holiday events, and the warmth of the season. There’s something for everyone, from the famous Rockefeller Centre Christmas Tree to the cosy feel of Bryant Park to the unique displays at Dyker Heights. You can find unique gifts at holiday markets like the Union Square Holiday Market. Christmas buying in New York City is an adventure in and of itself. Don’t forget to get a cup of hot chocolate to warm up.
You can add a bit of elegance and wonder to your trip by seeing The Nutcracker or the Amaze Light Festival. In the winter, Central Park Christmas turns into a winter wonderland. Also, the city’s bright Christmas lights are on every street, so you can’t miss them. You’ll understand why New York City is known for its holiday energy as you look at the window displays and feel the magic of Christmas there. Celebrate, come together, and make moments that will last a lifetime. So, come see the magic of Christmas in New York City and enjoy the “Big Apple.”
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens in New York City at Christmas?
In New York City during Christmas, you can experience festive holiday lights, open-air markets, iconic traditions like the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and dazzling displays on Fifth Avenue and in Dyker Heights.
What date do Christmas decorations go up in New York?
Christmas decorations in New York typically start going up after Thanksgiving and the Black Friday weekend, remaining until early January, usually around the 5th or 6th of January.
Is New York worth visiting in 2023?
Absolutely, New York City is always worth visiting. In 2023, you can expect a bustling and exciting city with a plethora of things to do, making it a great year for a visit.
What is the new attraction in New York City in 2023?
While specific attractions can change each year, you can check local guides and websites for the latest additions. New York City continually offers a mix of new and timeless attractions to explore.
Is the Christmas tree up in NYC in 2023?
Yes, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony for 2023 is scheduled for November 29, following the tradition of the first Wednesday after Thanksgiving, which falls on November 23 this year.