I just wrote a blog post HERE on what to do in Galway, Ireland during Christmas and HERE on what to do in San Francisco and I also thought it was definitely time to write a blog post on what to do in New York during the holidays. New York City shines bright at Christmas and once wrapped up, you will have the best time. I really wanted to stop by this year on my way home to Ireland to see family but didn’t. Next year for sure! Here are some of my top things to do in New York City during December during the build up to Christmas/the holidays:
Bryant Park Holiday Market
My favorite holiday market in New York without a doubt. There are all sorts of gift ideas and things to nibble on at the market. Favorite stalls are Melsys Illustrations and a waffle stall (Wafel & Dinges). There is also ice skating here and it is right by Grand Central.
Union Square Holiday Market
Another great holiday market filled with great gift ideas and nicks & nacks. Lots of unusual present ideas and treats for yourself. I always find brands that I didn’t know about at these markets.
Grand Central terminal holiday fair
When rushing through Grand Central, don’t forget to stop by the holiday fair. Again, loads of great but different ideas and gifts to the markets noted above.
Wollman rink in New York City is a picturesque experience to enjoy with friends. The view from the skating rink is so pretty. There are other rinks around the city including at the Bryant Park Holiday market, Rockefeller, Chelsea Piers and Brookfield place.
The Rockettes show is a spectacular show filled with precision dancing, synchronized leg kicks by fabulous ladies and buckets of festive cheer. The show runs daily in the legendary Radio City Music Hall since 1932. The show is the perfect start to a fun evening out in the city or go to one of the matinee shows as an afternoon treat. Highly recommend as I absolutely loved this show when I went with family.
Broadway Christmas Musical
There are lots of special Christmas musicals on this time of the year including the Nutcracker, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Magic Flute, Christmas in Hell and many more. I love going to Broadway shows and highly recommend some of these festive shows to get you in the spirit.
Fancy Afternoon tea
As I mentioned in my Galway blogpost, I love afternoon tea, especially for occasions. Christmas is the perfect time to dress up and treat yourself to an afternoon tea with the ladies! Some great places are the The Ritz-Carlton, The Whitby Hotel, Gotham Lounge Russian Tea Rooms and Tea & Symphony. For a slightly hipster afternoon tea, visit the Williamsburg hotel which includes avocado toast. Visit St. Regis to listen to a harpist playing during tea and for a very fancy surrounding.
Although a bustling tourist haven, this is a must to visit. The giant tree stands tall and come November, it is an iconic symbol in NYC that the holidays and festivities have arrived. The ice-skating rink is open at the center throughout December and long into April so plenty of time!
It wouldn’t be a holiday visit to NYC without some Christmas shopping. The shops on 5th Avenue are great for shopping as well as the mall at Columbus Circle, West Village, Madison Ave & SoHo.
5th Avenue Holiday Windows
I love strolling along 5th Ave looking at the creative showcases displayed in each window. Favorites are Bergdorf Goodman, Macy’s, Barney’s & Lord & Taylor.
Home Alone in Concert
Home Alone in Concert shows for 2 nights (Dec 20-21) at Lincoln Center. Music is played by New York Philharmonic which is one of the most renowned American orchestras, and one of the oldest musical institutions in the U.S. There are more festive concerts on throughout December. I went to Home Alone in concert in San Francisco and it was one of the most memorable nights. A childhood movie with the most amazing orchestra and choir.
Visit Brooklyn to be dazzled by homes with lashings of sparkling fairy lights and life sized santas, reindeers, snowmen and more. An unspoken competition where houses seem to get brighter by the year. Visit 11th to 13th Avenues (also known as Dyker Heights Blvd) from 83rd to 86th St in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. Visit before 9pm as some of the homes turn of their lights after 9pm. Tours are available but I recommend wandering about yourself.
Enjoy a festive cheery time in NYC. For more top things to do in NYC, visit a recent blog post HERE.