Plan Your Perfect New York Holiday

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New York City’s unique holiday atmosphere, infinite lights and décor, and incomparable offer of exciting shows and seasonal activities make it the ideal holiday destination. Despite all the joy and wonder that Christmas in NYC emits, your trip deserves proper planning, especially if you’ll be visiting the Big Apple for the first time! Here are some tips to help you plan your perfect holidays in New York City this winter season.




(Photo by joiseyshowaa)

You’d be surprised at the number of travelers that make the mistake of arriving and trying to book a room onsite. This is not a good idea for NYC in general, and especially not during the holiday season. Do not think that you can resort to calling extended family or friends for a place to sleep, because if you did not warn them in advance, chances are they’ll also be booked up with guests. Just research hotel options, decide on a place, and relax. If you are unsure of which neighborhood to book in or what type of hotel to book, contact us for booking help.


(Photo by Prayitno)

Don’t be intimidated by the influx of travelers into NYC this holiday season. Yes, they’ll want to visit all the best locales too and there is no doubt the top NYC attractions will be crowded with endless lines of visitors. Yet, you’ll be stress-free when you purchase tickets in advance that allow you to skip the lines! Check out these seamless and time-saving options:
– Empire State Building
Top of the Rock Observation Deck
One World Observatory
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Islands Tour
NYC Museums
NYC Tours

And for great discounts to multiple NYC landmarks and attractions, get a City Pass!

Tip: When booking on our website, you get a 10% discount if you buy 3 or more services. Use code PACK10 upon checkout.

Dining Experience

(Photo by Marley White/ NYC & Company)

The holidays are for sharing with loved ones, especially food and drinks. NYC restaurants eloquently provide all the ambience of the season with cuisines to match. Holiday-themed restaurants are always a hit with the kiddos; to dine among red and green christmas lights and wreaths, try for:

While there are a large amount of travelers at this time of year, there isn’t always enough tables to suit everyone. We highly recommend that you make reservations early, especially for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. For ideas to find the best NYC foods, check our blog post: A Guide To Some Classic NYC Food Experiences.



Shows & Entertainment

(Photo by Ralph Daily)

From an array of classic Broadway shows, to iconic holiday shows like Radio City’s Christmas Spectacular, and Paul Winter’s Annual Winter Solstice Celebration; NYC shows are all spectacular must-do’s during Christmastime in New York. Be sure to book your tickets early this season:

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you want help booking Broadway or Off-Broadway shows. We are more than willing to help!

If you’re planning to attend the big NYC holiday events like the lighting of the Rockefeller Tree, or the Times Square Ball Drop, arrive early. These events are immensely popular; you should likely arrive a few hours before you planned to arrive to get the best point of view.

For additional suggestions and advice about exploring NYC during the holiday season, make sure to check out our other blog post: Top 10 Activities for your Holidays in New York.





The Holiday season is one of the busiest in NYC. Wherever you go, and especially in the most popular neighborhoods, you can expect to find a lot of people. This may be a bit overwhelming at times, so if you want to flee NYC’s hustle-and-bustle for a while, we have some great suggestions.


Visit Harlem

(Photo by David Keith)

Harlem is soulful, historic, and currently in the midst of a 2nd Renaissance. Although many tourists do not think to visit this uptown gem, Harlem is a historic beauty evoking an ultimate comeback. For an unforgettable and authentic visit to Harlem this holiday season, join us on our authentic and exciting Harlem Gospel & Jazz tours.


Dyker Heights Holiday Decorations

Dykker Heights Brooklyn Harlem Spirituals(Photo by Dov Harrington)

Brooklyn Dyker Heights may be the secret, most festive neighborhood in the city. Dyker Heights is a Christmastime gem that overflows with holiday spirit amongst the homes lined between 80th and 86th Streets and 10th and 13th Avenues. This one-of-a-kind neighborhood portrays the perfect images of Christmas in New York.

Tip: The best time to visit this lit up neighborhood is between dusk and 9:00PM, as most homeowners shut off the displays by then.



Times Square New York(Photo by Anthony Quintano)

As part of your perfect holidays in NYC, prepare and pack thoroughly. Winter time here is cold. Temperatures break to freezing points ( 32°F/0°C). There is truly no need to avoid comfort in order to look your best. Everyone is suffering out here, so layer up, you stylin’ marshmello.  Ideally your luggage will contain:
Heavy Coats– puffy ski-type coats, and a second coat/jacket to wear underneath the heaviest one.
Layers– warming gear like Under Armour, traditional thermals, and cotton layers like turtlenecks are all great.
Accessories– scarves, mittens, gloves, hats, socks, boots, treaded shoes

Read more weather tips here.





snow in times square harlem spirituals

(Photo by Anthony Quintano)

Among the cold, the slush, and the crowds of people, transportation within the city may feel difficult and stressful, especially as a first-comer; unfortunately, Santa’s sleigh will not help you here. Here’s a few tips to make your travels a bit more seamless:

  • Load your MetroCard with enough credit all at once, so you will not have to reload it every time you choose to ride.
  • Although yellow taxis will most likely always be present, they will be the most expensive option, especially during the winter when the roads are rough.
  • Beware of slush puddles at crosswalk intersections. Please, do everything you can to avoid these dirty, freezing black holes.
  • Consider NYC street etiquette when walking- step to the side if you need to view directions or take a photo. Never stop short in the middle of the sidewalk, in that case, you might just end up in a slush puddle.


If you are interested in finding more to do in New York City during your holiday season, 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 or contact us at

We hope this brief guide will help ensure a seamless trip and stay in NYC this holiday season! As you can see, holidays in New York can be a blissful experience with just a little foresight and planning. If you are spending the end of the year in the Big Apple, don’t hesitate to share your plans in the comments below and contact us if you need any assistance with your bookings. Happy Holidays!





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