Christmas in New York 2023 – A Guide to The Perfect Holidays

Experience the magic of Christmas in New York! The city comes alive with festive lights and joyous celebrations. 

New York is a dreamland come Christmas, and if you are visiting during this time, you know what to do and where to go!

Read ahead to find the best way to spend Christmas in New York!

Is visiting NYC during Christmas worthwhile?

Visiting NYC during Christmas is absolutely worthwhile! 

The Big Apple transforms into a winter wonderland with its iconic landmarks adorned in sparkling lights and festive decorations. 

The world-famous Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is a must-see, and you can ice skate beneath it. 

Stroll along Fifth Avenue to admire the dazzling store window displays and warm up with hot cocoa from street vendors. 

Broadway shows, like the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, offer unforgettable holiday entertainment. 

Central Park becomes a snowy playground, and holiday markets offer unique gifts. 

From the stunning holiday ambiance to the rich cultural experiences, NYC is a magical Christmas destination.

Popular Christmas events in New York

New York comes alive with a flurry of popular Christmas events that will fill your heart with joy. 

This section is about the city’s events, from the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting to window displays at Fifth Avenue’s finest stores. 

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

One of the most popular Christmas events in New York is the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony. 

Thousands gather each year to witness the spectacular lighting of a massive Christmas tree adorned with sparkling lights and colorful decorations. 

The event features live performances, ice skating at the iconic rink, and a festive atmosphere perfect for families and couples alike. 

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular

Featuring the world-famous Rockettes this is a dazzling showcase of dance, music, and Christmas cheer. 

You get to enjoy beloved classics like “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and “The Living Nativity.” 

With stunning costumes and high-energy performances, this show is a must-see during the holiday season in the Big Apple.

The Dyker Heights Christmas Lights

One of the most popular Christmas events in New York is the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights. 

This Brooklyn neighborhood transforms into a dazzling winter wonderland each December.

Residents decorate their homes with extravagant and creative light displays, attracting visitors from near and far. Do take a stroll.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City is a beloved Christmas tradition. 

Crowds gather along the parade route to watch giant balloons, marching bands, and celebrity performances. 

This festive event marks the start of the holiday season, bringing joy and excitement to visitors and locals alike.

Nutcracker at the Lincoln Center

Experience the holiday magic in New York with the iconic Nutcracker at the Lincoln Center. 

This popular Christmas event captivates audiences with stunning ballet performances, enchanting set designs, and Tchaikovsky’s timeless score. 

It’s a cherished tradition that brings the season’s joy to life in the city’s heart.

Things to do during Christmas In New York City

From ice skating in iconic locations like Rockefeller Center to witnessing the dazzling holiday lights and window displays, NYC offers a festive atmosphere like no other. 

Let’s make your holiday in the Big Apple unforgettable!

Try the frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity.

Experience the magic of Christmas in New York City by savoring a delightful treat: Serendipity’s famous frozen hot chocolate. 

This iconic dessert is a must-try, blending the coziness of hot cocoa with the chill of ice cream. 

It’s a sweet, icy delight that captures the holiday spirit in the heart of the Big Apple.

Catch the “Joy of Christmas” Concert at St. John the Divine

Experience the holiday spirit in NYC with the “Joy of Christmas” Concert at St. John the Divine. 

Enjoy music in a majestic setting, surrounded by festive decor. 

It’s a cherished tradition, filling your heart with joy during Christmas in the city that never sleeps.

City Views from the Ferry

Experience the magic of Christmas in New York City with a ferry ride across the Hudson River. 

Admire the glittering skyline, snap photos of the Statue of Liberty, and enjoy the festive atmosphere. It’s a memorable way to celebrate the holidays in the Big Apple.

The NYC Ferry is part of the public transportation network within NYC, so rides are only $4 per person.

Stroll the West Village

Adorned with festive lights and charming decorations, the West Village offers a cozy, quintessential holiday atmosphere.

Explore cozy cafes, boutique shops, and picturesque brownstone streets. 

Don’t miss the beautifully decorated Washington Square Park. It’s a delightful way to immerse yourself in the city’s holiday spirit.

Holiday Nostalgia Train

Experience the magic of Christmas in New York City aboard the Holiday Nostalgia Train. 

During weekends in December, the MTA partners with the New York Transit Museum to offer New Yorkers a chance to travel in time by running a vintage eight-car subway train!

Where do I go Christmas shopping in New York City?

There is no shortage of shopping spaces in New York City! But which of these are the best to do some Christmas shopping?

Here is the list of markets not to miss during Christmas:

Columbus Circle Holiday Market

Situated at the southwest entrance of Central Park, the bustling Columbus Circle Holiday Market boasts over 100 festive stalls! 

It is your go-to destination for New York City holiday shopping. 

Skilled artisans offer a wide selection of keepsakes, including handcrafted souvenirs, adorable tote bags, imaginative holiday decorations, and delectable culinary delights.

The Mall at Hudson Yards

Hudson Yards, located next to the now-famous Vessel, houses an expansive shopping complex with numerous upscale stores and dining options. 

It is open year-round, but the Christmas season is particularly special- the Mall is adorned with more than two million sparkling holiday lights. 

The mall’s festive event, Shine On, features a distinctive combination of lights and music throughout the holiday. 

Union Square Holiday Market

Experience the magic of Christmas in New York City at the Union Square Holiday Market. 

Shop for unique gifts, handcrafted ornaments, and festive treats from local artisans. 

Stroll through the enchanting market, savor hot chocolate, and soak up the holiday spirit.

You will find everything from homemade souvenirs, cute tote bags, creative Christmas ornaments and delicious food.

Window Displays on Fifth Avenue

For a truly magical Christmas experience in New York City, don’t miss the famous Fifth Avenue window displays. 

Fifth Avenue is a bustling shopping hub, especially during the holiday season. Known for its luxury brands, it’s one of the world’s priciest shopping districts. 

This tradition of window shopping is a must-do in NYC during Christmas, adding a touch of enchantment to your visit.

Best places to dine during Christmas, NYC

New York is an all-year-round foodie’s paradise but during Christmas? It’s something else. 

These are a few places to check out while looking for tasty Christmas food!

Lillie’s Victorian Establishment

Lillie’s Victorian Establishment is a charming Victorian-style eatery exuding the authentic holiday ambiance of New York City. 

Adorned with sparkling garlands, life-sized nutcrackers, and numerous beautifully adorned Christmas trees, it offers a festive atmosphere. 

From beloved pub staples such as cheeseburgers and chicken wings to elevated options like ceviche and tartare- you have a wide range of choices!

Caffe Dante

Caffe Dante was crowned the best bar in the world in 2019 and made the list again in 2020. 

Dante’s menu features carefully selected small bites and expertly crafted drinks. 

Securing reservations can be challenging due to its popularity as a romantic holiday destination in New York City. 

Ice Skating on Christmas

Ice skating is a tradition followed religiously in New York! If you visit during Christmas, ice skating is a must.

Here are two popular places to go ice skating during Christmas: 

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park

The park undergoes a delightful makeover into a European-style holiday market with 100 vendors along the ice skating rink. 

These stalls sell Christmas ornaments, handcrafted items, distinctive jewelry, etc.

As you explore the vibrant market, consider indulging in hot cocoa or a warming glass of mulled wine. 

While the 17,000-square-foot ice rink is complimentary, ice skate rentals range from $20 to $36 per person. 

Wollman Rink

Arguably, one of the most iconic Christmas activities in NYC is ice skating at Wollman Rink. 

Located south of Central Park, this rink welcomes visitors from late October to early April. 

To make the most of your visit, consider coming on a weekday and getting there early to avoid the crowds.

Featured Image: Vogue.in

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