Christmas in New York City

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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.

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

THE RIDE Holiday Edition Bus Tour

Bestseller
Price starting at US$46
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Exclusive Luxury Christmas Eve Dinner Cruise

Bestseller
Price starting at US$264
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Christmas Eve Dinner Cruise with Santa

Likely to sell out
Price starting at US$185
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VIP: Rockefeller Center Late-Night Ice Skating and Top of the Rock

NYC Insider Pick
Price starting at US$96
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Holiday Lights and Movie Sites Bus Tour

Bestseller
Price starting at US$35
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NYC Private Holiday Lights Tour by Limo

Price starting at US$399
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More Holiday NYC Tours

Cocoa and Carols Holiday Cruise

NYC Insider Pick
Price starting at US$64
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THE RIDE Holiday Edition Bus Tour

Bestseller
Price starting at US$46
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Holiday Statue & Skyline Sightseeing Cruise

NYC Insider Pick
Price starting at US$46
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Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Party VIP

NYC Insider Pick
Price starting at US$469
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Slice of Brooklyn Christmas Lights Tour

Bestseller
Price starting at US$52
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Holiday Lights and Movie Sites Bus Tour

Bestseller
Price starting at US$35
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Holiday Lights Double Decker Night Bus Tour

Bestseller
Price starting at US$55
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NYC Holiday Lights Motorcoach Sightseeing Tour

Price starting at US$55
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Holiday Jazz Cruise

Price starting at US$64
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Holiday and Christmas Cruise Specials

NYC Insider Best Sellers every Holiday Season!!!!

Cocoa and Carols Holiday Cruise

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 sail around Manhattan.

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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.

Hotels Near Rockefeller Center

Hotels Near Rockefeller Center

Some of our top value picks near Rockefeller Center include:

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

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 NoMad Hotel - "calm oasis in midtown NYC with perfect lighting, comfortable velvet seating and a festive Christmas tree"
  • Roosevelt Hotel NYC - "Loved the holiday decorations and festive feel”

See More: NYC Hotels Best Holiday Decorations

New York Christmas Vacation Packages

New York City Events December

Prices on hotels tend to skyrocket during NYC's busiest time of year! Luckily, we have a fantastic NYC Vacation Company that has scoured the city to bring you the BEST deals and help you enjoy your NYC vacation. December is a great time to book your all inclusive NYC Vacation Package and save. All New York Christmas Vacation Packages include Hotel, Taxes, Free Attractions and Museums, Discounts, Maps, Vacation Planning Assistance and more.

Best New York Christmas Vacation Packages:

New York City Christmas Eve & Day Dinner Cruise

NYC Christmas Eve Dinner Cruise

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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

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

New York CityPASS - 6 Top Attractions

Price starting at US$122
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New York Pass - 1 to 10 Days, 80+ Attractions Included

Price starting at US$42
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ALL Included - Compare New York Pass Options

Price starting at US$20
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FREE Download Comparison Chart

Price starting at US$20
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New York City Go Select Card - Build Your Own NY Pass

Price starting at US$20
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Explorer Pass - Pick the Number of Attractions - Choose Which as You Go

Price starting at US$84
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Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Ceremony, 7-9 pm

The unlit tree arrives in November, Black Friday and Thanksgiving pass, the department stores open their famous window holiday displays…and 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

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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

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Rockettes Radio City Christmas Spectacular 2018

Radio City Christmas with Rockettes

Nov 9, 2018 – Jan 1, 2019
Daily @ 11am, 2pm, 5pm, 8pm (some variations)

With up to 4 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.

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Christmas Basketball! NY Knicks vs Philadelphia 76ers

New York Knicks Symbol

December 25, 2017, 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!

More Info:

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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 or explore them with a guided Holiday Lights Tours.

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Annual Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square

Annual Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square

November 27, 2017

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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Bryant Park Christmas Tree Lighting

Bryant Park Christmas Tree Lighting

Friday, December 1, 2017, 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.

This free-to-the-public Tree Lighting Skate-tacular narrated by Tony Award winning, Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated actress, Jane Krakowski (30 Rock, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), will feature a stellar line up of live performances from Olympic and World Champion skaters including Johnny Weir, Kimmie Meissner, Meryl Davis, Charlie White and Jeff Buttle, followed by ice skating for all. 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.

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Central Park Holiday Lighting

Central Park Holiday Lighting

Thursday, November 30, 2017
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 Central Park’s 21st Annual Holiday Lighting. Meet Santa and friends, watch a live ice carving demonstration, sing carols on the Plaza, and warm up with hot cocoa and cookies. The event concludes with lighting a flotilla of trees on the Harlem Meer.

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Christmas Holiday Walking Tour Brooklyn

Christmas Holiday Walking Tour in NYC

This 3 1/2 hour holiday tour highlights 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: Slice of Brooklyn Christmas Lights Tour

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Christmas Dinner in New York City

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.

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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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Christmas in New York City Photos

Christmas in New York City

Christmas in New York City Stock ExchangeChristmas in New York City Saks Fifth AvenueHolidays in New York City Central ParkChristmas in New York City Rockefeller CenterChristmas 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 Thursdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas )
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art (Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Jan 1st)
  • 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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