Christmas in New York is magical! This list of the 10 reasons to love Christmas in New York is your guide of things to do & see to make your trip memorable! I was born in New York City and spent part of my childhood there. It is my favorite place to be during Christmas! Although I will be working in Atlanta this year, I plan to share with you my top 10 reasons to love Christmas in New York. If you are not in the holiday spirit, spend just 1 day of the season in New York City and it will change your entire mood.
- Go and see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes: This show is held from November to early January at Radio City Music Hall. My parents took me to this every year into my college years! I remember a friend visiting from Virginia during my freshman year and we took her for the first time. Even at age 18 her eyes lit up especially when Santa made an appearance.
- Visit Rockefeller Center: If you are able to, attend the tree lighting that takes place usually at the end of November or early December at Rockefeller Center. This year it will be held on December 2nd. The lighting is accompanied by live musical performances in Rockefeller Plaza. One of the biggest attractions at Rockefeller Center is the ice skating rink. Although the cost for skate rentals andtime on the rink is quite pricey, it is worth it! (According to my family and friends who have done it-I don’t know how to ice skate :-). The plaza is fully decorated with huge toy soldiers and angels that light up at night. It is surrounded by fabulous shops and restaurants as well. If you have never been to NYC, I also recommended going to the “Top of the RocK”. You will be elevated 70 floors which gives unbelievable views of the city. Update 12/2018-FAO Schwarz has reopened in Rockefeller Plaza! Return to Wonder-check out their website for more information.
- Visit Macy’s on 34th Street: This Macy’s is located on Herald Square and is the site of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It is a historic department store and the largest in America. They have many holiday events such as tree lightings, holiday parades, breakfast with Santa and of course their magnificent picture windows.
- Marvel at the Picture Windows on 5th Avenue: Macy’s is not the only one with eye popping and heart warming holiday window displays. Stroll along 5th avenue and take in the windows at Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Ave, Tiffany’s & Bergdof Goodman.
- Updated 12/2018 Toys “R” Us in Times Square closed their doors although they returned to Times Square as a pop up for the Holidays in 2017. I hope they are able to make a permanent return. I personally enjoy riding the 60-foot Ferris wheel but there is so much more to this gigantic toy store! If you are in the mood to “shop until you drop” for Christmas presents of toys and electronics with beautiful views of New York City all around you, this is the place to be.
- Visit the Christmas Markets: In “A Guide to NYC’s Outdoor Holiday Markets“, Chanel of CulturalXplorer describes the various markets in NYC. If you are looking for unique gifts and foods, head to the markets in Union Square, Columbus Circle and Bryant Park.
- Go and see the Nutcracker Ballet at Lincoln Center: I have seen this ballet several times and it always puts me in the Christmas spirit.
- Attend a Christmas Concert: Every year talented musicians and singers perform concerts throughout the city. For expample, this year Mariah Carey returns to the Beacon theater and Cyndi Lauper will also be doing a Christmas concert there. You can also take in the Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the Prudential Center.
- Visit Bryant Park: This is one of my favorite places in New York City anytime of the year. During the holidays enjoy their winter village. It includes the holiday market as mentioned above as well as a free ice skating rink. The holiday market has over 125 European inspired boutique shops!
- Visit Serendipity 3: I love this quaint, old fashioned ice cream parlor on the Upper East Side. Even though it is wintertime, indule iin their frozen hot chocolate!
These are only 10 of probably a 100 reasons to love Christmas in New York! What are your favorite reasons? Share your thoughts with us below and pin this post for your next trip to New York City! For more information on Christmas in New York visit NYC Tourist.com.
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That was great! I can’t wait to get a taste of NYC at Christmastime! I’m afraid my one day won’t be nearly enough!! I guess I’ll have to just enjoy the sights and save the plays, concerts and ice skating for another year! Thanks for your great local tips 🙂
I am so glad that you liked it and find it helpful! you will have a blast even in one day! You are right to take in the sites vs the shows and plays-next time!
I haven’t been to Serendipity 3 in YEARS. I didn’t even know it was still open. Trying to go to Toys R Us before it closes the end of the year. It will be missed.
I will definitely miss Toys R Us and I didnt make it to FAO Schwarz before it closed. I plan to head back to Serendipity 3 in April when I am in NYC. Havent been in years!
Experiencing Christmas in New York is one of the things on my travel bucket list. Definitely think that we’ll mark this off the list in 2017.
Thank you for reading and commenting! I do hope you make it there in 2017!