When it comes to Christmas in New York City, it is one of the most magical places on Earth.

From the heavenly embellished Christmas pop shops to the mesmerizing light shows, there are loads of activities being arranged throughout the holiday season. If you are looking to spend your Christmas in New York City, you need to know about all the best sites and activities available.

Download your free Preparture App, from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, to navigate your New York City adventure. We have included the addresses of the top attractions.

travel guide

NYC Christmas Attraction #1: Rockefeller Center

There is a lovely tradition at the Rockefeller Center, which takes place every year. It is that a huge signature Christmas tree is set up, at the same spot, the heart of New York.

This tree is unique and beautiful in its own way, and the star sitting proudly at the top is made by Swarovski. You can be one of the half a million people that walks past the tree to admire it.

The tree will be lit on Wednesday 4th December, in a live broadcast ceremony and will remain lit until Friday 17th January 2020.

Other great activities in the Rockefeller Centre are getting a unique festive family photo, eating corndogs and marshmallows and the skating on the world-famous ice-skating rink.

Address: On the plaza between West 48th and 51st Streets and Fifth and Sixth Avenues

 

NYC Christmas Attraction #2: Visit Santa

There are a few stores in New York City that give its younger visitors a chance to sit on Santa’s lap to tell him what they wish for this Christmas. The major department stores go all out when it comes to creating a magical Christmas scene, usually Santaland or North Pole.

If you are travelling with kids or you are a hardcore Christmas fan you must visit one of these stores to get a meet and greet with Kris Kringle aka Jolly Old Saint Nicholas aka Santa Clause:

  • Macy’s Herald Square. Santa arrives November 29th and meets with all the good boys and girls until Christmas Eve. Reservations available from November 25th. Address: 151 West 34th St. Herald Square
  • Bloomingdales at the Holiday Shop on 6. Santa and his elves will be in the Holiday Shop on 6 from November 29 through to December 23 at our Holiday Shop on 6. Mon-Sat: 10am-1pm, 2-5pm and Sun: 11am-1pm, 2-5pm. Address: 1000 Third Ave. at 59th St. Upper East Side.

 Related: 10 Free Things to Do in New York City, USA

NYC Christmas Attraction #3: Radio City Christmas Spectacular

If we are going to speak about a Christmas in New York City, we absolutely have to mention the Christmas Spectacular that involves watching the Rockettes’ show-stopping leg kick precision chorus. This show has been taking place at the Radio City Music Hall since 1933!

Tickets for the 90 minutes extravaganza cost between $25 and $300, and they sell out fast! Each day hosts multiple shows, which have already begun and will finish on January 5th. To check availability, click here.

Address: 1260 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020

christmas guide

NYC Christmas Attraction #4: Union Square Holiday Market

Pick up a large dose of Christmas spirit and a few xmas presents, souvenirs or cards at the Christmas market in Union Square. Its totally free to walk around and is open from November 21st to December 24th. For opening times click here.

Address: 14th St to 17th St between Union Sq West and Park Ave South

 

NYC Christmas Attractions #5: Central Park Lights

This year marks the 23rd Annual Central Park Holiday Lighting ceremony. It is taking place on December 5, from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM. Along with the switching on of the holiday lights, you can meet Santa and fiends, listen or sing-a-long to carols, and enjoy hot cocoa and cookies. The final event is lighting of the trees on the Harlem Meer.

 Address: Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, inside the Park at 110th Street between Fifth and Lenox Avenues

 

NYC Christmas Attraction #6: New York City

Last but not least is the gigantic holiday cheer that takes place throughout the streets of New York City. Beautiful Christmas ornaments are set up all over the city and especially in Central Park where Christmas is celebrated with all its zeal and zest. So, the guide to New York City for Christmas includes the holiday cheer foremost, and you have to participate in it if you want to feel Christmas thru to your core!