Christmas in New York: Top 10 Activities

Are you planning to celebrate Christmas in New York this year? Lucky you! The holiday season in New York City is indisputably one of the best times to be here. As if the city didn’t have enough going on, the number of activities and attractions nearly triple during this time of the year. Anyone who’s ever spent the holidays in New York can tell you that there is a lengthy list of things to do by the end of it. With so much happening, here are our top 10 activities to best enjoy the holiday season and celebrate Christmas in New York, the city that never sleeps

1. See The Radio City Christmas Spectacular

Rockettes-Madison Square Garden, New York
Photo: Courtesy of the Madison Square Garden Company

This yearly musical holiday show has been a success since 1933 and is definitely a must-see at least once in your life if you are here to celebrate Christmas in New York. Besides, nothing screams holiday season in New York City more than the Rockettes performing high kicks and the 140 costumed artists taking part in the show!
Radio City Hall – Sixth Avenue et 50th Street

Contact us on info@harlemspirituals.com to book your tickets!

2. Visit Chelsea Market

This massive indoor market has all sorts of delicious munchies. With a set of popular food vendors selling right from the same location, the Chelsea Market is easily one of many New Yorkers’ favorite culinary destinations, especially during the holiday’s season. Also, keep an eye out for the brilliantly decorated space as well, we definitely know how to decorate and celebrate Christmas in New York!
75 Ninth Ave. & 15th Street

3. See A Show At Lincoln Center

If you want to be amazed or are looking to impress someone else to celebrate Christmas in New York, subsequently your best bet is to go see a show at the Lincoln Center. There are indeed plenty of awesome performances and some that are outstandingly great, including the iconic Nutcracker. Whatever you choose to watch, know that the magnificence of this location alone is sure to leave you astonished.
10 Lincoln Center Plaza

4. View The City Lights From Above

Photo: Teemu Paananen/Unsplash

The Empire State Building, Top of the Rock or The One World Observatory- the choice is yours. Soar a few dozen flights up to view the City from above! Whether it is beautifully covered in snow during the day, or shining with all of the lights at night, you will get unmatchable views of the city. If you go during the day, we recommend that you choose Top of The Rock so you can also enjoy the magnificent view of Central Park. If you go at sunset or at night, then the One World Observatory or Empire State Building are your best bets. For the latter: before you go up to the observation deck to take in the views of New York City at night, be sure to look up! The tower will play a holiday light show while displaying holiday red and green in celebration of Christmas the entire week of December 25th.

To book your tickets, click on the following links:
Top of the Rock
Empire State Building
One World Trade Center

5. Have Fun At The Rockefeller Center

The Rockefeller Center is one of the most iconic and popular Christmas-themed destinations in the Big Apple. Most people go here to see the enormous Christmas tree, but it’s the magical backdrop and the décor around the ice skating rink that make this place a holiday favorite. The huge, colorful tree is displayed until January.

6. Explore NYC’s Christmas Markets

New York boasts four exciting Christmas markets:

– The Grand Central Holiday Fair, in the heart of Grand Central, is home to some 40 carefully selected stands, each only highlighting American artisans with handcrafted objects.

The Union Square Holiday Market offers stands of local artisans and artists, divided into categories. The ideal option if you want to offer a gift ‘Made in New York’!

The Columbus Circle Holiday Market is certainly the most stylish of all. The decorations alone are worth the detail! In addition, we also suggest you continue your walk in Central Park, which is just a stone’s throw away.

– Last but not least, our favorite: the Bryant Park-Bank of America Winter Village! Inspired by Northern European Christmas Markets, this market is home to more than 170 stalls of artisans from all over the globe, and a plethora of shops to have a delicious Holiday drink or a snack. All in the absolutely idyllic open-air setting of Bryant Park, just a few steps away from the rink.

7. Go Window-Shopping on 5th Avenue

new-york-holiday-window-harlem spirituals
Photo: Josh Wilburne/Unsplash

Long before renowned publications like Vogue Magazine and many other wrote articles about Fifth Avenue, its holiday window displays were already becoming more extravagant each passing year. Now, thanks to the amount of attention they’ve received, the festively decorated stores like Bergdorf Goodman, Saks, Cartier and Tiffany’s have stepped up their game to offer new wonders every year.

Our tip: Don’t miss the daily light show at Saks. The theme this year is: Frozen 2!

8. Go Iceskating!

Grab a skating partner and hit Bryant Park’s Ice Skating Rink. Though the admission here is free, there is a fee for skate rentals, lockers and bag check. But, before or after you show off your ice-skating skills and sip on some delicious hot chocolate, be sure to check out the mini holiday shops to find unique presents for anyone on your list. Another popular ice skating spot is the Rink at Rockefeller Center.

9. See The Christmas Decors On 6th Avenue

new-york-christmas-decor-johnell-pannell-unsplash-580px-1
Photo: Johnell Pannel/Unsplash

If you love the holiday installations around the city, then you should take it one step further by strolling along 6th avenue in Midtown at night. You will see anything from snowflake lights to gigantic ornaments and huge colored lights giving you plenty of fascinating things to look at.

Where to go: on 6th Avenue, between 34th and 59th Street.

10. Explore Dyker Heights in Brooklyn

If we had to choose the neighborhood that best represents the spirit of Christmas in New York, no doubt that that of Dyker Heights in Brooklyn would the one. Indeed, between 80th and 86th Street and 10th and 13th Avenues, the unique spectacle of this metamorphosed district, shining with lights and crumbling under incredible decorations of Christmas, is breathtaking. Houses fronts are completely covered with garlands of light and giant figurines, flashing in all directions and as far as the eye can see… Some might say it’s “too much,” but it is Christmas after all!


New York during the Holidays offers a wide range of activities to suit your every wishes. We at Harlem Spirituals do think that there is nothing more magical and exciting for children and adults alike than to celebrate Christmas in New York. If you are looking for more things to do in New York City, search through our complete range of tours, attractions and activities. We can also tailor-make programs specifically to match your desires and budgets. Harlem Spirituals is the ideal one-stop-shop to simplify your planning! Find more information on www.harlemspirituals.com.

Have you ever been to New York for Christmas? What is your best souvenir? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments and don’t forget to share this article with friends and family if you liked it!

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