New York City is festive at the best of times, but when you add the extra lights, cheer and snowy scenery of a white Christmas, it’s truly something else. With so many things on offer in the city that never sleeps, here’s my top ten must-dos for Christmas in NYC.
- Rockefeller Center
The Rockefeller (45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York) is an icon with so many options! Climb to the Top of the Rock for an astonishing view of Manhattan that includes the Empire State building (rather than seeing NYC from it). Then head out on the ice and skate the afternoon away. Wrap up in the evening and spend some quality time in awe of the enormous Christmas tree (which is lit early December if you’re around for the ceremony!).
No matter the time of year, Dia:Beacon gallery (3 Beekman St, Beacon) should be on everyone’s NYC to-do list. Start the fun by catching a relaxing Metro-North train from Grand Central (abuzz at Christmas time) to upstate New York. The gallery and town itself will take your breath away. Tip: pre-pay for reduced gallery admission when you purchase your train ticket.
- Walk the High Line
Another adventure that is good at anytime of year, the High Line (Manhattan’s West Side) is free and fabulous. Wander over the elevated railroad tracks, now transformed into a linear park, for glorious views of Chelsea, the West Side and if you look closely, the Statue of Liberty in the distance.
- Window display at Macy’s
If you miss Macy’s (151 W 34th Street, New York) Thanksgiving Parade (late-November) be sure to visit the store’s fabulous and famous window displays. Every year there are two – one featuring the iconic sequence from Miracle on 34thStreet, with the other varying year to year.
- Radio City Christmas Special
This grand holiday tradition stars the Rockettes and will definitely get you in the mood to spread Christmas cheer! The Radio City Music Hall (1260 Avenue of the Americas, New York) Christmas Special is one for the whole family.
- Christmas lights in Dyker Heights
For even more razzle dazzle, head to Dyker Heights in Brooklyn, once named ‘the undisputed capital of Christmas pageantry’. Attracting thousands of visitors each year, these wonderfully-lit homes are both kooky and awe-inspiring. Prepare to witness Christmas cheer bursting forth before your eyes.
- Brooklyn Flea Market
Look no further for your Christmas shopping needs – the Brooklyn Flea has everything. On a usual weekend the Flea kicks ass, but at Christmas time it moves indoors, has extra stores and everything you could ever want in a market. Visit the Brooklyn Flea website for venue and dates as they may change.
- Ice skating at Central Park
This activity is a movie cliché because it is one of the most romantic activities you can undertake in NYC. And what better time to be romantic and open your heart than at Christmas time? (The Wollman Skating Rink is located in Central Park South, near 59th Street and 6th Avenue.)
Baby It’s Cold Outside is a classic Christmas anthem for a reason, so why not warm up with some indoor evening entertainment? This isn’t just any theatre strip, this is Broadway – the place to see the world’s hottest shows.
- Hang out with locals for a Christmas meal
Whether you dine out at one of the beautiful and bountiful eateries in Manhattan or Brooklyn, be sure to share Christmas lunch with NYC. What better place to eat, drink and be merry?
A trip to New York at Christmas is a magical experience you’ll want to try at least once in your lifetime! Find out more about student rates and deals for those under 26.
Author: Student Flights consultants are huge fans of New York city, and have the most up to date travel advice to help you plan your trip of a lifetime.