Is there anything more festive than Christmas in New York City? In this blog we will look at all the things you need to do this year during the winter season in NYC.
Ice skating during the holiday season is a must when visiting NYC. We skated at both the Wollman Rink Central Park and Bryant Park and were able to book both relatively last minute. We went in mid afternoon and once at night and loved it both times! You can also ice skate at The Rockefeller Center under the famous Christmas Tree display, although this must be booked well in advance.
WINDOW DISPLAYS AND CHRISTMAS LIGHTS ON FIFTH AVENUE
Nowhere does Christmas like New York City. And Fifth Avenue is the place for OTT Christmas vibes. Wander up 5th to see the displays at Bergdorf Goodman, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. Some stores have Christmas light shows every 30 minutes or so (you’ll know when based on the crowd gathering). Be ready to battle the crowds as the sidewalks are very busy!
BRYANT PARK WINTER VILLAGE
The Winter Village at Bryant Park is a cute and compact bundle of Christmas festivity. Not too crowded and a great place to stop by for ice skating, holiday shops, lights and some Christmas treats (can recommend the warm hot chocolates and marshmallows!).
TOP OF THE ROCK
One of the best outlooks in NYC and the ultimate Christmas light display! It’s best at sunset watching the lights change and definitely worth the crowds. There’s more than enough room for everyone to enjoy the view (with 3 levels, one being indoors). Or head to Bar SixtyFive for views from the 65th floor of the Rockerfeller.
An iconic photo spot in NYC. Great to see day or night, but we personally love seeing the lights come on at dusk. There’s also a huge Christmas display right across the street.
Get lost in West Village to escape the tourists and feel the holiday mood in a more authentic way. Duck in and out of bookstores, vintage shops, speakeasy bars & neighbourhood food haunts. Easily our most loved NYC neighbourhood & where we spent a lot of time!
WALK THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE FOR SUNSET
Another magical spot to watch the city come alive at night, a sunset stroll on Brooklyn Bridge is so beautiful. Make sure to rug up as it can get very chilly out over the East River.
CHRISTMAS TREE DISPLAYS
There’s plenty of places to see the giant Christmas Trees all over NYC. Chances are you will spot some during your travels over the city, otherwise try to see the displays at The Rockefeller Centre, New York Public Library and the Stock Exchange.
If you want a break from the festive mood, check out the new attraction of Summit One. You’ll see unique views of the city skyline across 3 floors of mirrored floors and walls
Central Park is the icon of winter in NYC. Rug up and walk through the park to feel the holiday energy of the city. See the Bow Bridge and when you start getting cold, stop for a hot coffee and a Deli lunch. Make sure you book in for ice skating at the Wollman Ring too, it’s bucket list!
Celebrate the season with a few great cocktails at the rooftop bar at Jimmys or 1 Hotel Brooklyn. Both have amazing city views, although at 1 Hotel you’ll need to head inside to the bar once you’ve seen the sun set to escape the cold.
HAVE A HOTEL STAY
As you can see there’s so much to see during your NYC Christmas stay, so you’ll probably need a hotel stay while in the city. Don’t forget to indulge in your accomodation like we did, ordering waffles and watching Home Alone from the warmth of our bed. We also bought a small Christmas Tree for our room to really embrace the holiday season!
We stayed at 1 Hotel (Brooklyn and Central Park) and Modernhaus Soho – check out more on our NYC blog here.
PLACES TO EAT
See our NYC blog here for the best restaurants to eat in the city.
Check out some more Christmas vibes on our video below 🙂
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