9 Great Things to Do in New York This Christmas


New York is a highly popular destination among travelers and only gets more beautiful and exciting at Christmastime. The Big Apple transforms into a festive wonderland, with songs and snowflakes floating through the air.

Here is a list of things you should definitely give a try while you are in town.

1. Shopping

Practically all the shopping centers, stores, and markets in New York get into the holiday spirit around Christmastime. You just can’t miss dropping by the fashionable 5th avenue or the trendy stores of Soho and Greenwich Village.

Fantastic window displays, generous holiday discounts and the wide variety of great things to see and buy all make Christmas shopping in New York an unforgettable experience.

2. Take your kids to see Santa

Christmas just isn’t Christmas without Santa! While you are in NYC, you shouldn’t miss the chance to take your kids to see Santa in his grotto.

A trip to Santa’s Grotto is sure to live up to their expectations. Santa’s Grotto is located inside Macy’s, which is already a great attraction.

Your kids will just adore being able to sit in Santa’s lap and whisper their Christmas wishes to him.

3. Head to Rockefeller Plaza

The most festive location in New York at Christmastime is undoubtedly Rockefeller Center. There you will find the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, an enormous, magnificent tree complete with colorful lights. Movie fans may recognize the tree from “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York!”

Besides the famous tree, you will find numerous attractions and shops at Rockefeller Center, making it a perfect place to spend a merry time with your friends or family.

Rockefeller Center is also home to New York’s most famous skating rinks- your kids are sure to love skating outdoors right next to the tree. You can also go up to the Rockefeller Center Observation Deck for a spectacular view of the city lights!

4. Carriage ride through Central Park

This attraction is popular among tourists – little princes and princesses will especially love to take a ride in a classic horse-drawn carriage. Be sure to be warmly dressed in case you get cold during your ride.

A peaceful carriage ride is the perfect opportunity to see famous sights and take in gorgeous views of the park. A carriage ride will surely put you in a festive holiday mood.

More: 15 Best Europe’s Places for Christmas Shopping

5. Take the holiday lights tour

This tour is operated by Grayline and is a great option for those staying in NY for only a short time. On the tour, you will see some of the most popular New York attractions and the best holiday lights the city has to offer.

You are sure to see Central Park, 5th Avenue, Times Square, the Laser Light Show at Grand Central Terminal and, of course, to stand in front of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree! Some additional sightseeing attractions include St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Trump Tower, Radio City Music Hall, and more!

6. The show at Radio City Music Hall

Speaking of Radio City Music Hall, be sure to stop by the world’s largest indoor theatre while you’re in NYC! Throughout the holiday season, Radio City becomes the host to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, a dazzling show featuring the world-famous Rockettes dancers.

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular has been a New York tradition since 1933 and is sure to delight audiences of all ages!

7. Shopping in Bryant Park

Starting from November and during the holidays Bryant Park becomes the home of New York’s best Christmas Market. The Holiday Shops include more than 125 boutique-like shops offering exquisite gift ideas from distinctive apparel to jewelry, decorative goods, local foods, and much more.

There is something for everyone – adults, kids, and even pets. As Christmas draws closer, the market extends its hours and offer discounts. There’s even a skating rink with free admission, in addition to high quality rental skates, ice shows, special events, and activities.

More: 9 Spectacular and Affordable Destinations for Student Holidays

8. Attend a Carol Service

Most churches around the city hold Carol Services in the weeks leading up to Christmas. The service usually consists of hymns about Christmas (Carols) and readings from the gospels telling the story of Christmas Don’t be afraid to attend it even if you are not very religious.

There is something special about such services, which you just have to experience for yourself, regardless of your personal beliefs. There you may sing together with people from all over the world without worrying that you can’t hold a tune. An inspiring and heartwarming experience, to be sure!

9. See Santa rescued

What happens to Santa when he gets stuck on the roof after he puts the presents under the Christmas tree? You and your kids can find out at New York City Fire Museum on Hudson Square. After the unlucky Santa is rescued from the roof by firemen, all the guests are invited to a party where they are treated to hot dogs and hot chocolate. Enjoy nice tunes from John Clacher’s Firehouse Band and take photos of your kids with Santa.

More: 10 Instant Ways to Boost Your Christmas Spirit

Seeing New York at Christmas is a truly bright and unforgettable experience. There are so many things to see, to try, to do, to feel, and wonder at that you will surely want to come back. In the Big Apple, old and new Christmas traditions come together to create a truly magical time for all those who visit. NY has already won your heart, hasn’t it?