In this guide, you will find out everything about what to do at Christmas time in New York to experience a holly jolly vacation during the holidays. After being in New York during Christmas several times I’ll share my absolute favorite things to do in New York at Christmas time as well as the best Christmas activities in New York City.
If you’re in the city on Christmas Day and you’re searching for things to do in New York City on Christmas Day, or you’re visiting during the time prior to Christmas and are looking for things to do in NYC at Christmas time, I’ve got you covered. I will navigate you through the best and most festive events, Christmas Market, Christmas Stores and shows during Christmas in New York. I’ll even give you some great tips about beautiful and absolute unforgettable things to do in New York City on Christmas Eve.
These are my 24 Top Things To Do in New York at Christmas
Don’t stay at home or at your hotel on December 25: The city offers a lot of things to do in New York City on Christmas Day, from dinners to Broadway shows and everything in between. Even though it will be a very quiet day in NYC since most locals are either with their families or out of town visiting their loved ones, there are still a few things going on!
Bryant Park Winter Village
Starting in October (and running through March), it is time once again for the best winter markets in New York City to open its doors. The Winter Village in Bryant Park is not only the largest Christmas market in the city but also by far the nicest on account of its adjacent ice rink and places to shop and eat. This along with its amazing location among all the skyscrapers makes for an amazing Christmas experience.
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is one of the largest Christmas trees in NYC, placed annually in Rockefeller Center Plaza. In New York, the Tree Lighting Ceremony right after Thanksgiving is the official start of the Holiday season and one of your best things to do in New York during Christmas!
Over the past years, we weren’t super lucky with the weather but the Tree Lighting Ceremony attracts tons of people every year. Of course, the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center is the highlight of visitors coming to New York from all over the world during Christmas time. Most visitors only know the tree from movies or pictures, so it’s very impressive looking at it in person. This year, the lighting of the tree ceremony at Rockefeller Center will take place on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021.
Visit Dyker Heights in Brooklyn
I’m a huge fan of the Dyker Heights in Brooklyn, where you can find the most beautifully decorated homes in the city. It is actually so popular that it’s known as one of the best things to do in NYC for Christmas time. The easiest way to explore the Dyker Heights is to book one of the four really amazing Holiday Light tours in NYC.
Each of them is a little different: some are bus tours, others are walking tours; some take place in Brooklyn, others in Manhattan. See the details for yourself to decide which ones of the Dyker Heights Christmas lights tour is best for you.
Check out our Guide to Dyker Heights Christmas Lights!
Christmas Lights in NYC
During the holiday season, electric bills skyrocket all throughout New York City. Seeking to outdo one another, both private homes and established landmarks string up dazzling lights for you to marvel at in every direction you turn. Here’s where to go to see the most stunning Christmas lights in NYC.
Don’t want to walk? Book this NYC Holiday Lights Tour by Limousine!
Christmas Shows in NYC
New York is home is the epicenter of entertainment and surely does not disappoint during the holiday season. There are plenty of Christmas shows in New York that are worth watching, ranging from classics to modern adaptions of your favorite tales. Our favorite one are the The Radio City Spectacular – they are undoubtedly the most popular Christmas show in NYC. The Rockettes have performed at the iconic Radio City Music Hall since 1931 and have created a holiday tradition for many visitors and locals.
Please know that you can’t return home without having seen at least one of the best Christmas Shows in NYC!