10 Cool ‘Holiday’ Things to do in NYC

It’s that time of year, when everyone breaks out the Christmas decorations, hang their lights and decorate their homes until they drop.

New holiday movies come out, they show reruns of ‘A Charlie Brown’ everything and ‘A Christmas Story’, the apparent  Christmas classic which is just weird to us 🙂 ……..

They show Planes, Trains and Automobiles and National Lampoons, and Home Alone , all the Tim Allen Santa Clause movies and all the other wonderful movies about this time of year.

The funny ones, the quirky ones the sad and thoughtful ones.. it all puts you in the mood.

It’s also a time when the City becomes a magical fairy land and glitters in the holiday spirit. I want to say Christmas spirit but it’s not, it’s a very generic, non confrontational, excluding no one decorated City.. And it’s still lovely.

Thousands of tourists flock to the City for Christmas holiday shopping and to see all the special displays. Here’s a beginners list of things you should see while you’re in the City for the Holidays Christmas.

1. Rockerfeller Plaza Tree

Every year a special tree is selected from an upstate farm for the great honour of presiding over the festivities in the City. This tree is transported into the city  in early November and is set up in the Square at Rockerfeller Centre at 50th St Between 5th and 6th Ave. The Tree is lit on November 28th this year and will stay lit through the holiday season, until after New Year. It’s very beautiful and worth a visit.

2. Rockerfeller Ice Skating

While visiting the tree you can hang over the edge of the Rockerfeller skating rink and watch the skaters go round or you can even join in for some time on the ice. It gets pretty crowded but the atmosphere is quite magical.



3. Saks 5th Avenue Light Show

The Light show set up on the side of the Saks building right near the Rockefeller tree is wondrous! It’s always a delight and warms the hearts of young and old alike. It runs every evening from sundown at 6 minutes intervals. There’s a countdown clock this year which builds the excitement.


4. The Radio City Music Hall 85th Annual Rockettes Christmas Spectacular

This show is a must see Christmas spectacular! It runs 6 times a  day from September until New Years. The show runs for 1hr 30 mins and takes you on a magical winter wonderland tour from NYC to The North Pole. It gives you a glimpse of the Nutcracker and shares the shows history…. Topping of the evening with a nativity pageant with live animals! Just being in the old theatre is a treat. There’s a Rockettes museum and you can have you picture taken with a current Rockette. It’s a wonderful family show and well worth the effort.

5. Macy’s Holiday Window Displays

Macy’s really gets into the holiday spirit, beginning the season with the Sponsoring of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Following that as a kick off to the season, The Macy’s Holiday Window displays are the most exquisite displays I’ve seen. Every year, thousands of people bustle along the sidewalk to catch a glimpse of the creativity, which captures the imagination and the spirit of the season. It’s not just for kids. These windows span an entire City block and are a wonder to see. Other Holiday Window Displays worth mentioning are Sak’s Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Lord & Taylor and Barneys.

6. Santaland at Macy’s 

Every year Santa comes to Macy’s. On the 8th floor, you’ll come to the entrance of Santaland, where you’ll catch a ‘train’ to the North pole and as you wait in line to have you picture taken with Santa, you’ll meander through the woods of the North Pole, through the village complete with model train sets and into Santa’s workshop, although the lines can be long, there is so much to see the kids don’t get bored waiting to see the guy in the Red suit. The excitement builds along the way. We go every year. The photos are reasonably priced at around $25 and you can have a digital copy if you prefer.  When you exit Santa you can also go to the floor which is dedicated to holiday ornaments and decorations. There are so many uniquely BIG APPLE ornaments to adorn your tree with and remind you of your trip to the city. You can also send a letter to Santa, here is a link 

7. Cirque De Soleil-Wintuk

While I haven’t been to this show Cirque De Soleil have a great reputation and the reviews are great. This shows through the holiday season.



8. New York Ballet- The Nutcracker

The New York puts on The Nutcracker every year. I have been a couple of times with school field trips and it is lovely! The kids are enthralled by the story and it’s well worth a look.



9. Bryant Park Holiday Market and Ice Skating 

Every year in Bryant Park on 42nd and 6th they erect an outdoor ice skating rink and surround it with a holiday market. The market has many different crafty gifts for the hard to buy for someone. The atmosphere is very festive and just watching the skaters while sipping on a hot chocolate from a local street vendor puts you in the mood. There are other holiday markets around the city as well, one at 59th Columbus Circle at the south west corner of Central Park and one on 14th St.

10. Snow

If you’re very lucky, Mother Nature gives you the gift of snow. NYC covered in snow at anytime is so beautiful but during the holidays with all the lights and decorations it is a truly magical place. The City gets quiet with the snow fall and just for a while you imagine it’s a winter wonderland and Frosty could appear in the streets.

Then of course the Big City comes back to life and the snow is just a bother…. But for Christmas it’s a truly wonderful thing……….

Come for Christmas, or ‘The Holidays’, we really do put on a great show!

Comments 2

  1. LOOOOVE!!!! We’re going to be in the city in December for the husband’s family Christmas party – def checking the tree out this year! Last year was a disaster because the baby wasn’t quite 1 yet. Here’s hoping for this year – i have BIG DREAMS for NYC 🙂 Great post!

  2. Oh, I would LOVE to go! Haven’t been to the city in many years–and it was in the hot summer. These pictures just make me yearn for a trip! Perhaps once the kids are all out of the house and it is just me and the Hubs–we can hop in our RV and drive there

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