New York City, NY

Celebrating Christmas in New York is Heaven

Darshak Rana

Christmas in New York City is an experience unlike any other.

New York City is a huge city, full of lights and trees during the holiday season. It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of this busy time, but we should never forget the true meaning of Christmas-bringing peace and joy where there is none.

The bright lights, the hustle and bustle of Times Square, Rockefeller Center decked out in twinkling lights--there's nothing quite like it. If you're planning a trip to New York during Christmas this year, you'll find that there are many holiday activities to keep your visit festive! 

Here's how to make the most of your Christmas time in NYC: 

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

This year's tree is expected to be 79 feet tall and made from more than 50,000 lights!

The lighting ceremony will take place on Dec. 1 during NBC's 89th lighting ceremony, so hurry and reserve your spot early!

For those who aren't able to attend, NBC will broadcast it live across the nation.

But, getting there early is definitely recommended! You can check out the tree and take some pictures before the crowds arrive. The Holiday Shops are always a favorite for many, but be sure to get there early too.

If you find yourself getting tired of the crowds and work parties, don't worry. The city also offers some great deals on Broadway shows! Make sure to grab your tickets before they sell out! Whether you're looking for a fun party or a quiet night at home with friends, there are plenty of things you can do in New York City during this festive time. Be sure to make the best memories possible and enjoy it while it lasts!

Christmas in Times Square

One of the most visited places in New York City during the holiday season is definitely Times Square. The lights here are always incredible, but this year's "Ball" will be larger than ever! It stands at a towering 38 feet and contains 4.3 million LED lights, worth $1.5 million dollars.

With so many people visiting the city, traffic can become very congested around Times Square during this time of year, so be sure to give yourself plenty of travel time. If you're looking for a little extra holiday cheer while you're here, don't miss out on the live nativity! The park is filled with life-size statues depicting Jesus's birth story through the Bible. Be sure to say hi to Santa while you're there too!

Wollman Rink in Central Park

This rink is open til 9PM everyday. It's not just for kids! Adult lessons are available, and it's a great place to bring friends or family during the holidays.

Theater District

The winter time means it's the perfect season for plays and musicals. These shows sell out fast, but there are always last minute tickets available online. If you're feeling lucky, you can always try to get last minute tickets by heading over to the TKTS booth in New York City.

Empire State Building

This holiday season the Empire State Building is sparkling with red and white lights. You can't go wrong either, since it's at an unbeatable price of $22 per person!

The Rockettes

This annual event is always a top pick for families with kids. Their popular Christmas Spectacular fills the stage with holiday cheer and beautiful music! Be sure to book your tickets early as it sells out fast.

Central Park

Take yourself outside this holiday season and enjoy mother nature's beauty festooned in lights and trees. Take a carriage ride, go ice skating or simply walk around and admire the glimmering landscape. When you're done, make sure to stop by the Tavern on the Green for some great food and drinks! (Just be careful of all those reindeer!)

The Chrysler Building

This building's Art Deco design is always popular with tourists who want to take pictures in front of it. You can also see some clothing stores on its lower levels if you're interested in picking up a new Christmas outfit for yourself!

Rockefeller Plaza & Radio City Music Hall

These locations are filled with shops and restaurants that line the streets, so they're great places to stop by if you just need something quick or want to grab dinner before attending an event at this location. The evening hours here are especially fun since New York City is known for their annual tree lighting ceremony. It takes place every year and is a time for joy and celebration.

All of these locations and more offer the perfect photos for this holiday season, so why not bring your family or friends along to help you record all of the fun memories that will last a lifetime?

Holiday Train Show @ The NY Botanical Garden

This train show is open daily until January 8th. You can also see miniature holiday scenes designed with plants, berries and more!   Just be careful of the elf who works there - apparently he's pretty grumpy during this time of year. 😉

5th Avenue Holiday Window Displays

Who doesn't love a good display? This hot spot is worth checking out during the holiday season. Stores like Lord & Taylor, Tiffany's and more have beautiful window displays for you to admire as you walk by!

Gigantic Holiday Cheer

At the Flatiron Building, you'll see a giant projection of family-friendly holiday images across its entire facade. It's really fun to watch while waiting on the sidewalks for friends or loved ones!

Frozen Sing Along Celebration

This celebration brings together all of your favorite Frozen characters in one place for a great time. You can sing along to some of the most popular songs from this film with props provided, make Elsa crowns with real snow, ice skate at Rockefeller Plaza and more fun stuff like that!

Bryant Park's Winter Village

This open air market is full of life during the winter months. You can buy crafts, gifts, toys and more while enjoying the sights and sounds of this fun place! The ice skating rink here is also another favorite among New York City families.

NYC Zoo's Holiday Lights Spectacular & Festival of Trees

During the holiday season you can enjoy all sorts of festivities while exploring the zoo. There are holiday themed activities throughout including an Elf on the Shelf photo booth for kids! You'll also see dozens upon dozens of trees decorated by local florists with many different themes to choose from. It's a really great experience that will keep your family entertained all night long!

Visiting Santa Claus at Macy's

This beloved tradition takes place every year during the holiday season at Macy's in    Herald Square. Kids can come and tell Santa what they want for the holidays while Santa writes your letter to Santa Claus in his big red book! Make sure to stop by this spot when you're in town, it's a lot of fun that everyone will enjoy!

Make the Most of Christmas!

In the hustle and bustle of New York City, it can be easy to forget that this is a time for celebration. The true meaning of Christmas should not get lost amidst all the preparations we need to make before December 25th arrives!

If you're in NYC during the holidays, make sure you grab a hot cocoa from one of these spots on my list before heading out into the cold winter weather!

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays!

#HolidayJoy

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