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NYC Holiday Guide

There is no place quite like New York City in December. The city is full of life, lights, and is sure to put you in the holiday spirit! I visit NYC frequently, so I compiled a NYC holiday guide featuring can’t miss sights and experiences in the city during the holidays!

Browse the Christmas Markets at Bryant Park

My number one recommendation in my NYC holiday guide! Head over to Bryant Park on 5thAve for some Christmas market fun. Each winter there are several pop-up shops that sell homemade goods and treats. There is also an ice skating rink in Bryant Park that is cheaper and less crowded than the one in Rockefeller.

Bryant Park at Christmas time!
Shopping the Winter Village shops in Bryant Park!
Drinking a hot chocolate and walking around the rink in Bryant Park!
Drinking a hot chocolate and walking around the rink in Bryant Park with my sister!

Shop in Times Square

Although this area is always swarmed with tourists, it’s an iconic NYC destination and has great stores for Christmas shopping. I was able to score some great deals on gifts while here and also visited M&M world to look at all their holiday goodies!

See the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall

Seeing Radio City Music Hall around the holidays is a must! It’s beautifully decorated and there are several Christmas displays around the area, including Christmas lights and red ornaments.

If you are looking to go into Radio City Music Hall you have to see a show. What better way to get into the holiday spirit than seeing the Christmas Spectacular featuring the world famous Rockettes! Although there are several shows a day, they tend to fill up quickly. Additionally, the show is expensive- each ticket was close to $200 the day that we were trying to go.

We decided to try our luck and check the box office to see if there were any last minute deals and we were able to get seats that were ten rows back from the stage for only $60! I’ve heard of people having similar luck with Broadway shows, so definitely try your luck at the box offices in NYC!

A view of the ornaments and Radio City Music Hall in NYC around the holidays!
Standing in front of the ornaments and Radio City Music Hall in NYC around the holidays!

Ice Skate at Rockefeller Center

After seeing the show we walked a block to Rockefeller Center to see the famous Christmas tree at night. The skaters and the tree are really a sight to see! 

We ended up returning to Rockefeller Center again the following day to go ice skating and to see the tree during the daytime. If you are trying to ice skate, I recommend arriving early in the morning to avoid the crowds. We skated on a Monday morning and still had about a 40 minute wait. Since you have to rent skates, the total cost is quite expensive, but well worth it! They played Christmas music and there was a skating Santa to accompany us!

The tree at Rockefeller Center in December!
Ice skating at Rockefeller Center with my boyfriend in December!

Visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral

St. Patrick’s Cathedral is a can’t miss spot in NYC (really it sticks out like a sore thumb from Manhattan’s skyscrapers). During the holiday season it is beautifully decorated with wreaths and a navity scene. 

St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City around the holidays!

Check out the Window Displays on 5th Ave

Spend some time browsing the window displays on 5thAve. The stores on this street spend months planning their displays and are truly amazing. Be sure to swing by Saks 5thAve at nighttime to watch their light show!

Take a Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride Through Central Park

Each winter there are guided horse-drawn carriage tours that will take you through Central park! The ride lasts about 30 minutes and is well worth the price.

Another fun thing to do around Central Park is to check out the Plaza Hotel. This iconic hotel is the setting for several famous movies, such as Home Alone 2, and is beautifully decorated this time of year.  

See the Famous Christmas Displays in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn

If you’re itching to get out of the hustle and bustle of midtown Manhatten, I recommend taking the hour train ride or 30 minute uber to Dyker Heights in Brooklyn! This neighborhood is known for its elaborate Christmas displays and is worth the trek. Buy yourself some hot chocolate from the food trucks, flick on some Christmas music, and enjoy the holiday walk!

Decorated homes in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn!
Decorated homes in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn!
Decorated homes in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn!

That’s all for my NYC holiday guide! New York is so magical around Christmas time, I hope these ideas help put you in the holiday spirit!

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