There’s a dusting of powdery snow everywhere, people are bundled up in their warmest coats, and lights are twinkling in all the shop windows: it’s officially Christmas in New York City. Make lasting family memories skating at Rockefeller Center, or brave the cold for a stroll along Fifth Avenue to see the festive holiday decorations! Whether young or old, it’s truly the most magical time of year for anyone to visit the city.
If you’ve never spent Christmastime in New York City before, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the different holiday activities around the city. To help you plan an unforgettable holiday trip into the city, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite ways to celebrate and make merry in NYC. Start planning your holiday trip to the city!
Explore Winter Wonderland
Last-minute holiday shopping is a breeze at Bryant Park’s Winter Village. The expansive holiday market is brimming with amazing food vendors, artists selling gifts for everyone on your list, and activities to keep kids busy and entertained. Browse the full Winter Village map here to plan out your shopping trip.
If you’ve got energetic kids in tow, head to The Rink to burn off some steam ice skating! You can even reserve a time online so there’s no wait. Enjoy over 17,000 square feet of skating space!
Work up an appetite on the ice? The Lodge, located right alongside The Rink, is a cozy bar and food hall where you can pause for a delicious meal. Warm up with some toasty pierogies from Pierogi Boys or dig into a hot sandwich from Casa Toscana, all while sipping on hot cocoa or a craft brew from the bar. It’s the perfect way to get warm after exploring everything the Winter Village has to offer.
Watch a Christmas Show
Perhaps the most iconic holiday tradition in New York City is the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular show at Radio City Music Hall. Just a couple of short blocks from our terminal at Port Authority, the theater is easily accessible for the whole family. The Rockettes put on multiple shows every day and wow the audience with their impressive dancing and tricks. Kids of all ages and adults alike will marvel at this stunning performance! We recommend getting your tickets as soon as possible—this holiday show is very popular and many shows sell out ahead of time.
If the Christmas Spectacular show is too hectic and crowded for you, why not go on a holiday cruise instead? Classic Harbor Line has not one, not two, but seven holiday cruises that are perfect for everyone. Plan a romantic night with a loved one for the Holiday Jazz Cruise, or bring the kids along for the Cocoa and Carols Holiday Cruise! You’ll get to see all the Christmas lights in the city from the water while you relax with a drink aboard a luxury yacht. We can’t think of a better early Christmas present to give yourself!
See NYC’s Best Decorations
Head to Hell’s Kitchen to see all the amazing holiday decorations and events at Hudson Yards. Shine On, an art installation spanning both indoors and outdoors, features Lyra, which is “a series of star-shaped sculptures, each comprised of 12,000 individually controllable LED lights, creating a visual spectacle synchronized to a classical soundtrack evoking the holiday season.” The rest of the installation includes a photo booth, hot chocolate, and other special promotions from Hudson Yards retailers.
Be sure to plan your Hudson Yards visit so you can attend one of the many Tidings of Joy events taking place this season. There will be impressive live performances from the New York Ballet Theater and various talented musicians.
Browse Unique Gifts
Desperately searching for a special gift for that person who already has everything? Union Square Holiday Market has you covered! It’s known around the world as a destination for holiday shopping, with artisans selling everything from handmade clothing to food and home goods. Pick up a gorgeous handmade scarf for mom and a couple of sweet treats to stuff stockings with! You’ll love strolling through the assorted vendors, listening to live music, and finishing your holiday shopping.
Now that your head is filled with holiday ideas, start planning your trip to New York City today! C&J takes the worry and stress out of travel—our professional drivers will get you to and from the city quickly and safely, so you can kick back and relax. We can’t wait to assist you with all your holiday travels!