Insider Tips on Christmas in NYC
Christmas in New York City is magical. The Rockefeller Tree, glamorous store window displays and holiday lights everywhere you look bring the most amazing city and landmarks in the world to a whole new level.
Christmas in New York City – Attractions
Many New York City Tourist Attractions are open 365 days per year, although some with limited hours.
Christmas Day may be a great day to try and see some of the more popular attractions as many people will be celebrating the holiday
Christmas in New York City – Open Attractions
- Empire State Building (365 days)
- Top of the Rock and most of Rockefeller Center (365 days)
- 9-11 Memorial (7:30am – 9pm) and 9-11 Memorial Museum (9am – 9pm)
- Madame Tussauds Wax Museum (365 days)
- CitySights New York City Bus Tours
- Times Square – Hershey’s Store, M&M Store, Hard Rock Cafe and more
- Central Park – Zoo, Carousel, Wollman Ice Skating Rink
Christmas in New York City – Closed Attractions
- Statue of Liberty (Open Thanksgiving)
- New York Botanical Garden Train Show (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas)
- Ground Zero Museum Workshop (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas)
- Guggenheim Museum (closed Thursdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas )
- Metropolitan Museum of Art (Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Jan 1st)
- Museum of Modern Art (Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas)
- American Museum of Natural History (Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas)
- Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum (Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas)
Which is the BEST New York City Discount Pass?
Christmas in New York City is a great time to visit the 9-11 Memorial and Museum, Empire State Building, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, take a New York City Bus Tour and much more! The New York City Pass Discounts are a GREAT way to save if you plan on seeing a lot of attractions in a short time!
41% off Top 6 Attractions
NY Explorer Pass
Customize Your Pass
New York Pass
80+ Attractions, 1-10 days
- New York Pass - $30 Off 5, 7 and 10 Day New York Passes - through 5/25 (You have a year from the purchase date to activate passes and bus packages, so buy when on sale!)
- NEW in 2015! Both New York CityPASS and New York Pass now offer the 9-11 Memorial and Museum as an attraction choice.
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting
82nd Annual Tree Lighting
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Ceremony, 7-9 pm
The tree arrives in November, Black Friday and Thanksgiving just passed, the department stores just opened their famous window holiday displays…the week after Thanksgiving represents the true start of Holiday Season in NYC for many New Yorkers.
Read the full NYC Insider Guide to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
Christmas Basketball! NY Knicks vs Washington Wizards
12:00pm game at Madison Square Garden
Watching the Knicks at MSG on Christmas Day (or sometimes Christmas Eve) is a really fun NY Tradition! The game always has a great crowd, awesome food choices and some holiday fun for those who participate! Read More: New York Knicks Tickets, Schedule and Directions
New York City Holiday Lights Tours
NYC Insider Review: New York City Holiday Lights Tour. New York City during Holiday season is a don’t miss! Get in the festive spirit by taking an evening Holiday Lights Tour of Manhattan’s glittering holiday-season lights including: Central Park’s Holiday Markets, The tree at Lincoln Center, The World’s Largest Snowflake, all the store displays on Madison, Park and Fifth Avenues and lots more!
Christmas is a great day to find excellent tickets for a Broadway or Off Broadway show in New York City! Broadway and other NYC shows are hit or miss on Christmas. In prior years, some Broadway Shows have performed, the Rockettes always have multiple shows and other shows are open around the city.
Christmas Shows in New York City Schedule
Rockettes Radio City Christmas Spectacular 2014
November 7 – December 31, 2014
With shows all day Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the Rockettes are a tradition during the NYC Holiday Season for more than 75 years. Don’t miss the signature eye-high kicks, precision choreography and exciting, show-stopping numbers. Get Your Discount Tickets: Radio City Christmas Spectacular with Rockettes
Half Price Tickets on Christmas Day in New York City
- Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
- Madame Tussauds New York
- My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy
- The Maccabeats
- The Berenstain Bears LIVE!
- Madison Square Garden All-Access Tour
New York City Christmas Eve Dinner Cruise
Check out this upscale and sophisticated Christmas Eve dinner cruise by World Yacht Cruises. Guests enjoy a leisurely four-course meal that allows time for viewing the city from the rooftop lounge, taking photos, sipping drinks and slow-dancing to tunes from a live jazz band or DJ.
More Info: New York City Christmas Eve Dinner Cruise (choose December 24th, 7pm).
Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Bryant Park
Tuesday, December 2, 2014, 6:00pm
Winter Village at Bryant Park stars a 50-foot tree with more than 3,000 ornaments and tens of thousands of lights. Don’t forget to browse through the amazing Bryant Park Holiday gift fair and take a spin on their FREE Ice Rink.
Christmas in New York City Vacation Packages
All New York City Vacation Packages include Hotel, Taxes, Free Attractions and Museums, Discounts, Maps, Vacation Planning Assistance and more.
Christmas Day New York City Lights Tours
The Twilight Cruise and Total Big Apple are open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as are many of the other boat cruises, so you can see our beautiful Skyline from all angles – in any weather!
Note: Harbor Lights does not operate November 24, 2014 – February 26, 2015.
Christmas Holiday Walking Tour in NYC
November 28 – December 20, 2014 – Fridays and Saturdays at 5pm PLUS Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at 5pm.
On this tour, you’ll learn all about the history of Christmas in NYC, our famous lighted trees and Christmas music written in New York. See Holiday displays and store windows, holiday markets, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Saks Fifth Avenue, Cartier’s and, of course, the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.
More Info: Christmas Holiday Walking Tour in NYC
On this 75-minute tour the noted Christmas Historian Sibyl McCormac Groff, who coined the word Gothamtide, will explain how Christmas became the most important holiday towards the end of the 19th century due to New Yorkers such as Washington Irving, John Pintard, Clement Clark Moore and Thomas Nast. Christmas Holiday Walking Tour in NYC Highlights Include:
- Development of the Christmas tree, lights, cards, gifts and entertainment
- Holiday markets around the town
- History of the lighted trees in the midst of Park Avenue and in front of the Seagrams building
- Holiday displays in and on hotels, department stores and boutiques
- Christmas music written in New York
- Strolling past St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Saks Fifth Avenue and Cartier’s
- The famous Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center (lit the first week of December)
Christmas Dinner in New York City
Some restaurants are open on Christmas in New York City, though not nearly as many as on Thanksgiving. Open restaurants post their Christmas Menus and begin accepting online reservations for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in late October or early November.
Christmas in New York City – Ice Skating
For tourists and locals alike, ice skating at Central Park, Rockefeller Center and Bryant Park is a classic New York winter experience.
We also have several other Ice Skating Rinks around the Manhattan and the other boroughs.
Here are the details for Ice Skating in New York City, including rates, dates and NYC Insider Tips for discounts and coupons.