10 Things to Do in NYC for the Holidays

10 things to do in nyc for the holidays

Christmas time is here.

And what better way to get into the Christmas spirit than to experience the holiday the Big Apple way?

Whether you’re in NYC for a quick holiday trip or you’re a hardened old-timer who hates everything touristy, we’ve compiled a list of holiday treats to remind you why New York City is one of the best places to be this time of year! We’ve been in the NYC area since 1970, and we think you’ll agree: nothing beats Christmas in New York City.

Here are 10 things to do in NYC for the holidays:

1. The Rockette’s Radio City Christmas Spectacular

What’s an NYC holiday without the Rockettes? Don’t miss this longstanding and beloved tradition! The shows run every day of December through January 1 every year at Radio City Music Hall.

2. Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center has to be the one place that perfectly sums up what the holidays in NYC are all about. Swing by for a view of THE tree that has long ushered in Christmas for the Big Apple. Or, show off your skills by paying a visit to the famous ice skating rink.

3. Bryant Park Winter Village

Bryant Park Winter Village perfectly captures what movies portray as a New York Christmas. There’s an ice skating rink, food kiosks, artisan shops, and, of course, Santa Claus! This is the best place to bring your family and friends for wholesome holiday fun in NYC! Check out their website for more information on what the park has in store for you this holiday season!

4. Winter in Central Park

NYC isn’t NYC without Central Park – and your Big Apple holiday itinerary is never complete without a trip to the world’s most famous metropolitan natural space. Experience the wonder of the winter holiday among the trees and rocks.

5. Holiday Train Show

Get a tinier, cuter perspective of NYC at the New York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show! Watch a moving mini-train on a half-mile of train track traverse through mini versions of your favorite NYC landmarks.  

6. The Nutcracker

The timeless stage performance of the Nutcracker has long been part of holiday celebrations across America and in many parts of the world. But there is something especially nostalgic and magical about watching the Nutcracker in NYC. Whether you’re a first-timer or you’ve been to the NYC Nutcracker performances many times, the show never loses its spark.

7. Union Square Holiday Market

Whip out your shopping list and head on over to Union Square Park for holiday shopping that won’t leave a gaping hole in your wallet! The Union Square Holiday Market is one of the biggest and most picturesque holiday markets in all of NYC! Peruse hundreds upon hundreds of little red booths and find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. You’ll find a huge range of items on sale, from local crafts to food items to coupons from your favorite stores! Just make sure to bundle up to get the most out of your shopping trip.

8. The Dyker Heights Christmas Lights

Feast your eyes on all the sparkly Christmas cheer that Brooklyn has to offer with the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights! Homeowners in the area come together and put up the best, brightest, and most unforgettable Christmas light display in all of New York City. The spectacle usually begins right after Thanksgiving and runs all the way through the New Year.

9. Fifth Avenue Holiday Window Display

If you have absolutely no aversion to large crowds and are looking forward to some (more) NYC shopping, head on over to Fifth Avenue to get not just your much-needed retail therapy but also to witness the over-the-top Christmas decorations in the display windows. (Hint: keep an eye out for the Saks and Bergdorf Goodman displays!)

10. Top of the Rock

As cliché and touristy as it is, the view of NYC in December is unmatched in beauty when you’re 850 feet above the ground (and standing on a landmark). Watch all the twinkly lights of the Big Apple from the Top of the Rock and get a view of the Christmas-themed lights at the equally-iconic Empire State Building.

From all of us here at NDC Mats, may your holiday season be fun and full of great and wonderful things! Happy holidays!