Christmas in New York City

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 NYC Events & Things to Do

  • Special Christmas Holiday NYC Tours
  • Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting
  • Rockettes Radio City Christmas Spectacular
  • New York City Holiday Lights Tours
  • Cocoa & Carols Holiday Cruise
  • Holiday Cruise with Santa Claus
  • Cirque du Soleil ‘Twas the Night Before
  • NY Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show
  • Central Park Holiday Tree Lighting
  • Bryant Park Holiday Tree Lighting
  • NY Knicks @ Madison Square Garden

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Special Christmas Holiday NYC Tours

All year round, New York City offers fabulous tours of all kinds, but there is nothing on the planet like New York City during the winter holidays, when the entire City just sparkles.

These special tours are offered on Christmas Eve and/or Day.

New York City Holiday Lights Tour

Special Holiday Tours Open on Christmas Eve and/or Day



Best of NYC Holiday Tours

Browse more NYC Holiday Tours


Dyker Heights Christmas Lights

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Holiday and Christmas Cruise Specials

NYC Insider Best Sellers every Holiday Season!!!! Classic Harbor cruises has some holiday treats just for YOU!!! Their upscale cruise line offers dozens of NYC Holiday Cruises, like Cocoa & Carols, Holiday Jazz, Holiday Brunch, Holiday Wine Tasting, New Year's and many more, all year round.

These cruises SELL OUT QUICKLY, so make sure to head over to: Classic Harbor Holiday Cruises to book your holiday sail around Manhattan.

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New York City Christmas Eve & Day Dinner Cruises

NYC Christmas Eve Dinner Cruise

  • 2023 Bateaux New York Christmas Eve Premier Dinner Cruise (7-10pm) – Celebrate the holidays in style on this 3-hour European-inspired Bateaux cruise on the Hudson River. See the New York City skyline sparkle at night from panoramic views aboard your all-glass ship while enjoying a gourmet 3-course dinner and live music.
  • 2023 New York Christmas Eve Signature Dinner Cruise (7-10 pm) – Celebrate Christmas Eve in New York City aboard a three-hour dinner cruise across New York Harbor. You’ll have spectacular views of Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge as you dine and dance on the water, enjoying a special Christmas buffet and a luscious spread of desserts. Drinks purchased separately.
  • 2023 New York Christmas Day Buffet Cruise – (7-9:30) Bring the magic of the season to life with a dinner cruise departing from New York. With cruises featuring festive décor and a delicious meal, celebrating Christmas Day on the East and Hudson Rivers with your friends and family will keep your holiday merry and bright!
  • 2022 Bateaux New York Christmas Eve Premier Lunch Cruise – (12-2pm) With cruises featuring festive décor and a delicious meal, celebrating Christmas on the East and Hudson Rivers with your friends and family will keep your holiday merry and bright!
  • Circle Line Christmas Eve Dinner Cruise (7-9:30pm) – This family-friendly cruises offers a buffet dinner, standard open bar, beer and wine, while an onboard DJ plays favorite holiday hits all night. There’s no better place to enjoy Christmas Eve than a spectacular view of the most beautiful city in the world, painted in holiday colors. Get your tickets today! Seats are limited.

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Christmas in New York City Open Attractions

Christmas in New York City

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



Download our NYC Holiday Hours Cheat Sheet

Wondering what's open on Thanksgiving or How to Spend Christmas in New York? Which attractions are open late and what days they are closed? We put together this awesome NYC Holidays and Hours Cheat Sheet for you. You can download it free just by giving us a share! Keep in mind, schedules are subject to change, so you should always check in advance, but this chart is current as of November..

NYC Holiday Hours Cheat Sheet

See Also : Christmas in New York City – Closed Attractions


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 Discount Passes are a GREAT way to save if you plan on seeing a lot of attractions in a short time!

Save with a New York City Attractions Pass

Want to find the BEST NYC Attractions Pass for your trip? Compare All NYC Passes - Download our FREE side by side Comparison Chart.

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Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting 2023

November 29, 2023 - Jan 13, 2024 (Confirmed)
Ceremony, 7-9 pm

The Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting is a highlight of every winter in NYC. The unlit tree arrives in November, and after Black Friday and Thanksgiving, the department stores open their famous window holiday displays. However, it is the week after Thanksgiving, when the Rockefeller Center Tree is lit, that represents the true start of Holiday Season in NYC for many New Yorkers.

Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting 2023

Check the full NYC Insider Guide to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting confirmed for November 29, 2023.

  • 4 Hour Private Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Gala - A gala reception at a stunning, private townhouse rooftop with grand views of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Fifth Avenue. We’ll keep you warm and entertained for hours, with large screens broadcasting the Tree Lighting festivities, incredible food, flowing cocktails, music and dancing, plenty of extraordinary entertainers and our favorite professional photographer will be stationed right in front of the Christmas Tree for formal photos of you and your friends or family.
  • Sold Out | 2023 Tree Lighting Ceremony Indoor Viewing from 45 Rockefeller Center - Be whisked past security with your NYPD-approved credential letter and up to our private, third-floor retreat to watch the whole ceremony from the eight-foot glass windows in our gala hall. Gourmet food, free-flowing drinks and live entertainment.
  • Sold Out | VIP Exclusive New York City Holiday Tree Lighting Gala at Rockefeller Center & Rockettes - same gala as above with a slightly different menu & the next day, enjoy orchestra seats to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular & afterwards a licensed NYC guide will greet you for a fun and memorable walking tour of the Fifth Avenue holiday window displays. The grand finale will be afternoon tea with the Rockettes.

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Christmas Shows in New York City

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:

Christmas Shows in New York City Schedule

Christmas Eve Shows in NYC


Christmas Day Shows in NYC


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Christmas Spectacular Starring the Rockettes 2023-2024

November 17, 2023 - January 1, 2024 (Tickets On Sale April 2023)
Daily @ 11am, 2pm, 5pm, 8pm (some variations)

Radio City Christmas with Rockettes

With up to 5 shows per day on weekends, 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 – including one with Santa.

Rockettes Tour Packages

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Christmas Basketball!

New York Knicks Symbol

Milwaukee Bucks @ Knicks
December 25, 2023, 12:00pm @ MSG

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!

Knicks MSG Schedule

New York Knicks Tickets

No matter how they are performing, Knicks games are always a blast and there's nothing like an event at MSG! Come join our NY basketball team live in action at Madison Square Garden, "The World’s Most Famous Arena." Go NYC style with cheap seats, fast paced sports action, hot dogs and beer and cheer on the New York Knicks today! As a general rule, with plenty of exceptions, basketball games start at either 7:30pm or 12:00pm, November through April.

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Where to Stay in New York City in December

December is the perfect time to watch the world's most famous ball drop at midnight from your own New Year's Eve NYC Hotel, check into one of our hotels near Rockefeller Center (Rockettes at Radio City, Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, Ice Skating) or near Central Park for more iconic Ice Skating.

Best Hotels Near Rockefeller Center

Some of our top value picks near Rockefeller Center include:

Hotels Near Rockefeller Center

See the Insider Guide for dozens more Hotels Near Rockefeller Center. Rockefeller Center runs from 47th - 50th Streets, between 5th and 6th Aves. Download our free neighborhood maps at Midtown East Hotels and Midtown West Hotels


Best New Years Eve NYC Hotels

If watching the world's most famous ball drop at midnight from your own New Year's Eve NYC Hotel is on your bucket list, then don't miss your chance to reserve a special NYE package in NYC. Some of our favorites include:

Best New Years Eve NYC Hotels

  • New York Marriott Marquis - rooms with Ball Drop views, multiple parties in hotel
  • M Social New York - new in 2021 with bar and lounge right above Times Square with perfect vantage point for the Ball Drop
  • The Knickerbocker (photo) - St. Cloud rooftop bar "New York, New Year's Eve, Times Square, private party on roof top where you can watch the ball drop 180 feet away - what else could you ask for?"

See More: Best New Years Eve NYC Hotels


Central Park NY Hotels

These are NYC Insider hand picked hotels that are not just "near" Central Park, as most NYC hotels claim to be...but on the Park itself, either Central Park South, Central Park West or Fifth Ave. Many other hotels are nearby, or within a few blocks, but these are the closest, and all offer Park views from select rooms.

Central Park NY Hotels

Some of our top value picks near Central Park include:

See the Insider Guide for dozens more Central Park NY Hotels and download our free Central Park map at Central Park NY Guide


NYC Hotels Best Holiday Decorations

Ready to have your own private winter wonderland during your NYC stay? Holiday Trees, Twinkling Lights, Santa's Mailbox, Menorahs and more.

NYC Hotels Best Holiday Decorations

  • Lotte New York Palace - “Beautifully decorated for the holiday season” (photo)
  • The Peninsula Hotel - Nights Before Christmas Package & Holly Jolly New York Holiday Package + their amazing rooftop
  • Club Wyndham Midtown 45 - The "Elf" Suite inspired by the classic holiday film is like “Sleeping inside a Christmas card”

See More: NYC Hotels Best Holiday Decorations


NYC Store Holiday Window Displays

NYC Store Holiday Window Displays

Mid-November through Dec/Jan

NYC’s famous and smaller store windows during the holidays are a must-see! Most stores reveal their displays in mid-November, the week before Thanksgiving and some of the best windows are Barney’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany & Co., but there are plenty more all around the city.

You can check this great list of NYC themed holiday windows, explore them with a guided Holiday Lights Tours or check out this New York Holiday Markets and Christmas Lights Tour



Holiday Markets in NYC

Explore the top holiday markets in NYC, sip hot cocoa, ice skate and shop your way through our fantastic holiday bazaars, featuring unique artisan gifts for the whole family. We review Grand Central Holiday Market, Union Square Holiday Market, Shops at Winter Village Bryant Park, flea markets, Holiday Markets Shopping Tours and more. Cross off your holiday shopping list with our full season Guide to Holiday Markets in NYC

Holiday Markets in NYC

  • Holiday Shops at Bryant Park - October 24, 2023 - January 2, 2024
  • Grand Central Holiday Fair - November 16 - December 31, 2023
  • Union Square Holiday Market - November 16 - December 24, 2023
  • Columbus Circle Holiday Market - November 28 - December 31, 2023

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Macy’s Santaland NYC

Santa kicks off the holiday season the day after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and gladly welcomes your children for a photo opp through Christmas Eve. Santaland is home to a 13,000-square-foot Christmas Village, which is like an amusement park ride or tour – there’s no quick way through it and you’ll have to go with the crowds. However, they now offer a Santa Express Lane Pass on weekends. You’ll still be waiting a while, but it’s a local and tourist favorite during the holiday season.

Where to see Santa in NYC

November 24 – December 24, 2023 (7am-9pm, hours vary)
Online Reservations Open in November
Macy’s 34th Street, 8th Floor

More Info: Macy’s Santaland

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Bryant Park Christmas Tree Lighting

November 28, 2023, 6:00pm–7:00pm

Winter Village at Bryant Park will kick off the holiday season with a live countdown and ceremonious lighting of its iconic Holiday Tree. The 50-foot tree has 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.

Bryant Park Christmas Tree Lighting

  • Broadway stars and co-hosts Jessica Vosk and Jelani Remy
  • Performances by world-class skaters Mirai Nagasu, Polina Edmunds, Ryan Bradley, Ice Theatre of New York young apprentices Oona and Gage Brown, the Haydenettes, and Figure Skating in Harlem
  • Plus, fireworks, Santa, and special guests!
  • Entry will begin at 4pm on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Central Park Holiday Lighting

Central Park Holiday Lighting

Thursday, November 30, 2023
Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, inside the Park at 110th Street between Fifth and Lenox Avenues
5:30 – 6:30 – Photos with Santa
6:00 – 6:30 – Caroling and Lighting Ceremony

Celebrate the season at the 26th Annual Holiday Lighting in Central Park. Meet Santa and friends, sing carols on the Plaza, and take part in other seasonal festivities. The event concludes with lighting a flotilla of trees on the Harlem Meer.

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Christmas Holiday Tours Dyker Heights Brooklyn

There are dozens of walking and bus tours that highlight the festive homes of Dyker Heights, the Italian-American section of Brooklyn made famous in the PBS documentary “Dyker Lights” and seen on TLC’s “Crazy Christmas Lights.” You’ll also visit the festive homes in the Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst sections of Brooklyn.

More Info: Brooklyn Christmas Lights Tour

Christmas Holiday Walking Tour in NYC

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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.

Many restaurants in Little Italy and Chinatown are open as well, though some may not serve traditional Christmas Dinner. More NYC Christmas Dinners.

Christmas Dinner in New York City

 

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Christmas in New York City – Ice Skating

Ice Skating New York City | Rockefeller Center

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 city and outer boroughs.

Here are the details for Ice Skating in New York City, including rates and dates plus NYC Insider Tips for discounts and coupons.

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Fun Things to do in New York in Winter

Fun Things to do in New York in Winter


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Christmas in New York City Photos

Christmas in New York City

Christmas in New York City Stock Exchange Christmas in New York City Saks Fifth Avenue Holidays in New York City Central Park Christmas in New York City Rockefeller Center Christmas in New York City Midtown Lights

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More Christmas in New York City Events Coming Soon

Christmas in New York City
Christmas in New York

Christmas in New York City – Closed Attractions

  • Statue of Liberty (Open Thanksgiving)
  • New York Botanical Garden Train Show (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas)
  • Guggenheim Museum (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas )
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art (Closed Thanksgiving, December 25, January 1, and the first Monday in May)
  • Museum of Modern Art (Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas)
  • Whitney Museum (Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day)
  • American Museum of Natural History (Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas)
  • Ground Zero Museum Workshop (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas)
  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum (Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas)

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CLOSED – Annual Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square

2021 Update: "We are planning a new and different holiday celebration by offering the community and visitors a month-long series of smaller pop-up family friendly performances and activations for everyone to enjoy. Although we are bringing back a holiday tree at Dante Park, a large tree lighting celebration will remain on pause. "

Annual Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square

December TBD

Winter’s Eve kicks off with a neighborhood tree lighting ceremony and features free entertainment, food tastings, in-store activities and shopping around and about this colorful and vibrant neighborhood.

Stores, restaurants, cultural organizations and public spaces in the district will be buzzing with activities for both children and adults. At the same time, sidewalks along Broadway from Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle to 68th Street will be alive with performers, street musicians, jugglers, stilt-walkers and more, making for a festive fun-filled stroll through the streets of this dynamic Upper West Side neighborhood. More on Annual Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square.

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NYC Insider Guide
NYC Insider Guidehttps://www.nycinsiderguide.com
Welcome! I'm Melissa, a fourth generation New Yorker, who has been lucky enough to live in New York for over 30 years. I love just about everything in New York City, the very reason I started this web site, and I look forward to sharing it all with you. Please explore the New York City Insider Guide at your own pace. I hope it helps you plan your New York City Vacation, so you not only go home as a NYC Insider, but plan to visit us again soon.

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