i used to always tell people the best time to visit new york city was in the fall. maybe early october, when the leaves are at their peak colors and the humidity has finally left us be and the crisp feel of autumn is in full effect. i still love autumn in the city a lot, but i’m starting to feel that being here around the holidays cannot be topped.
since it’s a frequently emailed question, i’ve pulled together some of our very favorite things you won’t want to miss if you’re new to the city or just visiting this season.
christmas in NYC: what not to miss!
- radio city christmas spectacular with the rockettes (it really is quite epic. we loved it this year.)
- visit the holiday markets around the city… columbus circle, bryant park, and union square (our favorite) – check the schedule here!
- if you have little ones, go see peter and the wolf at the guggenheim museum. we have gone the last two years and loved it. it’s different every year… last year it took a more comedic route with the juilliard ensemble playing the music and a few actors and dancers on the stage. it’s short and sweet so the kids adored it. we’re excited to go again this year.
- the holiday train show at the botanical gardens or at grand central! it was a hit with samson in particular last year.
- check out all the decorated trees around the city! …rockefeller, the met museum angel tree, madison square park (fun fact: madison square is the home of america’s first public christmas tree in 1912!) and the origami christmas tree at natural history museum which is my personal favorite.
- the marionette holiday puppet show at central park for your little ones!
- do a santa crawl. you can visit him all over the city but we’ve enjoyed visiting him at santaland at macy’s (the whole set up is pretty fun), the plaza hotel, and ABC carpet and home (he’s only there a few days a week though so check the schedule here.)
- ice skating in central park, bryant park, and rockefeller center.
- if you go to chelsea market for any holiday shopping, check out the lights! also, the dyker heights lights in brooklyn are supposed to be incredible (we need to go. still haven’t been personally.)
- window shop and see the gorgeous displays down 5th ave (here is a helpful interactive map!) i especially love the windows at bergdorfs.
- enjoy holiday treats! …hot chocolate at city bakery, peppermint bark at jacques torres, and gingerbread cookies at sarabeth’s. yum.
- play in FAO schwarz toy store (our kids love the big piano keys!)
- stop by the washington square arch around 5PM on christmas eve for some caroling!
did i miss any favorites from any locals? please share in the comments!
see more NYC guides HERE.