Holiday Fun in New York City

New York City during the holiday season sure is something special. A time we think everyone should experience at least once. The timeless traditions can be seen, heard and felt on every street corner. From viewing the window displays along 5thAvenue to gliding around the ice in Central Park, toasting to holiday cheer at Rolf’s to catching the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall – here are a few of our favorite things:

O’ Christmas TreeRockefeller Tree

Celebrate the holiday season with a stop by Rockefeller Center. With some of the best shopping, dining and festive fun, it’s one of the places to be at Christmas. And standing at center stage is the Christmas tree. Immense in stature and sentiment, the tree has a been a holiday favorite of New Yorkers and visitors for over 75 years. 

Hit the IceWollman Rink Central Park

With shorter lines than The Rink at the Rockefeller Center and a killer view of the city skyline, Wollman Rink at Central Park is the ideal place to take a twirl on the ice. Opened in 1949, the rink offers ice hockey, a skating school, party facilities, and skate rentals – and plays an iconic setting in a holiday film favorite, Home Alone 2

Fifth Avenue Window Displays5th Avenue Christmas Window Displays

With the city decked out in lights and tinsel trim, the department stores do their part to get into the holiday spirit. According to Macy’s, the first retailer to embrace the holiday window displays, the festive window date back to the 1870s.

Holiday MarketsNYC Holiday Markets

Whether you head to Union Square or Bryant Park, the holiday markets will provide the perfect opportunity to buy some unique gifts.

FAO Schwarz at Rockefeller PlazaFAO Schwarz at Christmas

The toys are back just in time for the holidays. Featuring iconic figures that made the Fifth Avenue shop iconic, live out those childhood dreams of tinkling the ivories with your feet while uncovering a magical world of toys.

Christmas in the CityDyker Heights Christmas

Make a trip to Brooklyn to visit the visit Dyker Heights spectacular Christmas lights. Starting in the 1980’s, the holiday spirit started getting bigger and brighter throughout the neighborhood. Some friendly competition between neighbors has benefitted visitors to a spectacular holiday show that include huge lawn ornaments and motorized displays.

SANTA, I KNOW HIMMacy's Santaland

You are never too old to make a visit with Santa. Take a trip to the New York North Pole with a visit to and Macy’s Santaland. The indoor wonderland features caroling snowmen, prancing reindeer, a whimsical array of décor and the big man himself – Santa.

Choo-ChooNew York Botanical Garden Holiday Train ShowPhoto credit NYBG

All aboard for the New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train show. Evoking memories of Christmas past, watch as trains zip and zoom over the tracks and through some of the cities most memorable landmarks.

Legs for DaysRadio City Christmas Spectacular

Don’t miss out on a Rockettes’ show. Get into the spirit of the season at a Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Count on fun special effects, great choreography, and wow-factor segments to complete the show.

Like an Angel on the Top of the Christmas TreeEmpire State Building at Christmas

Discover the heart of New York City with the Empire State Building, center of the iconic NYC skyline. Head to the top and take in all the red and green.

Raise a Glass to Father Christmas at Rolf’sRolf's Restaurant Christmas Cheer

Christmas lovers, if being surrounded by dazzling decorations and holiday cheer is your idea of heaven, make Rolf's a must during your New York City holiday. The German restaurant is located in the Gramercy Park neighborhood and decked out in lights and decor for the holidays until May. Does it get much cheerier than that?

Make a Visit to Gingerbread LaneGingerbread Lane at New York Hall of ScienceImage credit: nysci.org

On display at the New York Hall of Science, marvel at the homemade gingerbread lane creating with hundreds of pounds of gingerbread, icing, candy and gum. Record-holder of the Guinness World Records largest gingerbread village, chef Jon Lovitch designs, bakes, builds and decorates the houses over the course of the year.

Check out some Holiday Ideas

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