Saks Fifth Avenue New York
Saks Fifth Avenue is another department store in New York.
Its located on 5th Avenue, and every year they decorate the window with a specific topic: 2016: Land of 1000 Delights, a colorful display in a world of candies! On 5th Avenue, youll see the Nutcracker Sweet. 2017: celebrated the 80th Anniversary of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs! 2018: its show-time with the theme Theater of Dreams 2019: Disney is back with the theme Frozen 2! 2020: The theme is This Is How We Celebrate, from November 23 to January 2021. 2021: Saks Fifth Avenue partnered with Michelle Obama to promote and celebrate how we are reconnecting with our families and friends.
Address: 611 Fifth Avenue , NYCWhen: The extravaganza will play daily from 5 to 11 pm every ten minutes until January 4, 2022.Watch the unveiling ceremony: www.saksfifthavenue.com
Take A Picture With Santa
Santa Claus is not camera shy and hes arriving in New York in late November to pose for photos with your kids or grown-ups too!
Expect a long but jovial wait. You can reserve a time slot for photos.
- Where: Macy’s West 34th St. bet. Broadway and Seventh Ave. on the 8th Floor.
- When: 2021 dates are to be determined.
- Hours: Santaland hours vary between 7 am – 9 pm.
- Cost: Free to visit but photos with Santa cost about $20 and up.
NOTE: This event was taken digital for 2020, but it may become an in-person activity once again in 2021.
See Santa at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem along with a free choir performance.
- Where: Apollo Theater in Harlem at 253 W. 125th Street
- When: 2021 date to be determined.
- Cost: Free!
The wait to meet Santa Claus is about 10 minutes, but there is a lot to do here at Brookfield Place, from holiday-themed activities, from ornament making and coloring sheets to creative toys.
- Where: Brookfield Place at 220 Vesey Street at West Street in Lower Manhattan.
- When: 2021 dates are to be determined.
- Cost: Premium photo packages range from $27 to $49 with options for digital downloads.
At the Bloomies Santaland lines are usually shorter than Macy’s AND if you are a Sex and The City fan, a trip to Bloomingdales is essential!
- Where: Bloomingdales at 1000 Third Avenue at 59th St. 6th Floor
- When: Date TBA.
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
The famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is an attraction in its own right. The tree needs to be a minimum of 20 metres tall and around 7.5 metres wide but its usually much taller . The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is put in place in mid-November. It is decorated with 8 kilometres of fairy lights which are lit in a public ceremony that takes place the Wednesday after Thanksgiving. This year, the tree lighting ceremony falls on November 30th. Read all about the Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony here. The lights will be turned off in January 2022. The tree is illuminated daily from 06:00 until 00:00 and over Christmas is illuminated for 24 hours. On New Years Eve, the lights are turned off at 21:00.
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How Do I Get To Rockefeller Tree 2020
To see the tree, visitors must enter through one of the tree viewing entrances at 49th and 50th streets and 5th and 6th Avenues, where they will follow social distancing markers on the ground to the tree viewing zones. Once in the tree viewing zone, groups will have five minutes to take photos and enjoy the tree.
Community Chiropractic Whitestone Queens
199-04 22nd AvenueFor the past 15 years, Dr. Michael Montalbano has transformed his office, Community Chiropractic of Whitestone, into a winter wonderland. It takes about nine days for Montalbano and his wife to set up the displays at the office, which was previously a residential home. This year they have three sections: the North Pole, city streets, and a nativity sceneeach with its own music. They also accept donations for St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital. Santa will be outside the office Saturday, December 18 . Drop by to say hello and snap a photo.How to get there: The fastest way to get there is by car. Another option is the Q31 bus, which drops you off about 10 minutes away from the office.
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The Christmas Lights Tour Of Dyker Heights
The Christmas lights decorating American houses are breathtaking. To see exuberantly decorated houses you should not stay in Manhattan but go to Dyker Heights in Brooklyn. This affluent area has even been chosen as the best-decorated neighbourhood of America. Take part in the 3.5-hour Brooklyn Christmas Lights Tour of Dyker Heights and explore the beautifully lit and decorated homes.
The tour begins in Midtown where your bus with guide heads to Brooklyn. Once in Dyker Heights, you wont believe what youre seeing! Some of the extravagant creations cost more than $10,000. To keep your Christmas spirit high, Christmas videos and Christmas carols will be played in the bus.
Do You Add Anything To Christmas Tree Water
While many additives are available for Christmas tree water, most expertsincluding the National Christmas Tree Association say there is no reason to use them. Your best bet is just plain tap water added to the Christmas tree stand. It doesnt have to be distilled water or mineral water or anything like that.
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Broadway Under The Stars
Another great occasion to kick off the holiday season is the Broadway Under the Stars with a breathtaking light display at Columbus Circle Shopping Mall. Every Monday, the second floor hosts free performances from Broadways most popular shows. All this happens under the largest specialty crafted colorful display in the world. The exhibit features twelve huge stars hanging from the ceiling of the Great Room. The show and wonderful view of Central Park make it a real urban oasis during the winter months.
New Years Eve Celebration
More than a million people go to Times Square to celebrate the beginning of the New Year: the crystal ball starts descending one minute before midnight, and when it reaches the ground, the scoreboard lights up with the four digits of the new year. Many people arrive as early as in the morning of December 31st to be able to get a good spot before the area becomes too crowded. Security is very strict: no backpacks or bags are allowed, and everything you might need has to fit into your pockets. It is usually pretty cold, so its best to wear clothes in “layers” to feel comfortable and not to get hypothermia. The nearest restrooms are in Port Authority Bus Terminal, 8th avenue and 42nd street, but the line will be so long that you risk to miss the ball drop and the actual onset of the new year. Also please keep in mind it is unlikely you will be able to come back to your original spot – youll need to go through the security check one more time, and the crowd is so tight that the chances of returning to the same place are minimal. If you do decide to go to Times Square to celebrate the New Year, put sandwiches in your pockets, drink less liquid, put on more clothes – and you will have a lot of fun. Want to make a wish? Write it down and leave the day before in the tourist center in Times Square, or leave it online. Millions of cards with New Years wishes will be scattered like confetti on the New Years Eve on Times Square.
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Christmas Horse Carriage Ride
Christmas in New York is magical, but it can get even more magical in the back of a horse carriage. During this tour, you can sit back and enjoy Central Park, the Rockefeller Christmas Tree, Saks Fifth Avenue light show, and many more. See how all the lights are twinkling and get the true New York Christmas spirit.
Book the Horse Carriage Ride here
Rockefeller Center Ice Skating Package
In addition to a beautiful Christmas tree, Rockefeller Center is also famous for its skating rink. Skating in New York at Rockefeller Center is a great experience. The queues at the Rockefeller rink can be quite long. Do you want to skate here during the Christmas season? Then you can opt for an ice skating package.
This package offers an ice skating session with skate rental and an audio tour at St. Patricks Cathedral.
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Enjoy The Empire Estate Buildings Annual Holiday Musical Light Show
Finally, every year the Empire Estate Building celebrates the holiday season with an elaborate light and music show. The shows theme changes every year, and production features top-notch performances by people like John Legend and Carrie Underwood.
So these are the best things to do in New York at Christmas!
For more New York travel tips, be sure to read the following posts:
Where To Stay If You Visit New York At Christmas
If youre going to be in The Big Apple for a few days, make the most out of your Christmas in New York and stay centrally. Within minutes from Broadway and major Midtown attractions think Rockefeller Center, Empire State Building and Madison Square Gardens The Westin New York at Times Square is the perfect base for a New York stay.
With over 800 rooms, from a standard double to a one bedroom suite, there’s something for everyone’s needs. By New York standards, the rooms are large and they come with Westin’s famous ‘Heavenly Bed’, flat-screen TVs, and rainfall showerheads. If you’re lucky, you might even get a view of the Empire State Building.
Family Rooms come with two queen beds, microwaves and refrigerators. Other rooms can easily fit a rollaway bed for an extra per night fee. Cribs are free.
Most commendable, though, is the hotel’s commitment to energy conservation and all-around sustainability. There’s recyclable carpet on the walls, non-toxic paint on the walls, and low-flush toilets and faucets in all bathrooms. Even the room keys are 100-percent recycled and biodegradable.
For a casual meal or a quick cocktail before heading out, go to the Foundry Kitchen & Bar. Steal a seat by the window and watch life happen on Eighth Avenue while sipping a Manhattan.
Rooms start from around $463 USD per night, mid-week, in early December.
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Enjoy Central Park In December
Everyone loves the picture-perfect white of freshly falling snow. One of the best NYC things to do when snow magic happens is to stroll through Central Park and admire the serene winter setting.
If you enter at 59th Street in Columbus Circle, grab a hot cocoa from the holiday market. Your camera will thank you for the clean white wonderland landscapes and the tall city buildings rising all around.
Book New York City Christmas Tours
The Dyker Heights Christmas lights tour is one of the most popular. This Brooklyn neighborhood goes all out during the holidays, with every last roof shingle and inch of yard space covered in lights and decorations.
Dont be fooled. These are not your average residents displaying their holiday cheer. The Dyker Heights holiday lights displays are done by the pros, costing tens of thousands of dollars to pull off! The best times to visit are from the middle of December onward through the holiday season from dusk until 9 pm.
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New York Christmas Tree At Rockefeller Center
This is something you cant miss during the holiday season in New York City. The famous Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center is the highlight during Christmas in New York. What most of the visitors only know from pictures or movies comes to reality during that special time of the year. The annually Tree Lighting Ceremony is always a big event with live performances until they light up the tree around 10 p.m. for the season. Theres even a Rockefeller Tree Lighting party where you wont have to wait for hours in the crowds to see the tree in full effect!
This year, the lighting of the tree ceremony at Rockefeller Center will take place on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021.
Take To The Ice In Midtown Manhattan
The ice-skating rink at Rockefeller Center is perhaps the citys most famous seasonal spot, and although gliding by that giant tree is a lovely experience, its also tiny, expensive , and the lines regularly drag on for hours.
Instead, theres Central Park’s Wollman Rink, which is bigger, mostly cheaper and equally atmospheric, thanks in part to a recent refurbishment, which added a new clubhouse, murals from local artists and concessions from Harlem restaurant Melbas.
For an even better deal, reserve ice time at Bryant Parks Winter Village, where admission is free, though rentals range anywhere from US$15 to $45 . Unsteady on those blades? Theres street curling here too, as well as private igloos accommodating up to eight people, for those who prefer to come in from the cold.
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Queens County Farm Museum’s Holiday Open House
Take a break from the bustling city and spend the afternoon on 47 acres of quiet farmland in Queens . This historic estate still operates as a farm today and it welcomes visitors for several festive events around the holiday, one of them being the annual Open House. On the days following Christmas, folks can come warm up by the fire at the Adriance Farmhouse in Floral Park while they partake in crafts and sip on mulled cider, all for free.
Catch A Classic Holiday Show Or One With A Twist
The Winter Solstice celebration at St John the Divine is a beloved, and rather secular, concert series , while Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular is the show every New York kid sees growing up, with dozens of dancing Santas and that amazing line of Rockettes legs a-kicking.
Up at Lincoln Center, New York City Ballets Nutcracker is making an in-person return, kicking off November 26 and running through January 2 with a cast and crew of hundreds not to mention a much-beloved score by Peter Tschaikovsky and choreography by the legendary George Balanchine.
Too conventional for your taste? Try the Hip Hop Nutcracker instead, a touring show melding that classic Tschaikovsky score with modern dance, touching down in Flatbush, Brooklyn, on December 19.
For all indoor activities in NYC, proof of full vaccination is required for those ages 12 and up, along with photo ID. Mask mandates vary from venue to venue, so check on the specifics before you go.
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Where Can I See Christmas Lights In Nyc
Here are some of the best holiday lights to date: Chelsea Market, Meatpacking. Facebook/ Chelsea Market. Brooklyns Largest Menorah, Brookyln. Shutterstock. NYBG Glow, Bronx. Seaport District, Manhattan. Edge NYC, Hudson Yards. The Shops at Columbus Circle, Midtown West. Pulitzer Fountain, Midtown. Dyker Heights, Brooklyn.
See The Worlds Most Spectacular Christmas Tree
Between the beautiful decorations, ice skating rink, and enormous Christmas tree decked out in thousands of colorful twinkling lights, there is nothing quite like Rockefeller Center at Christmas!
This is THE spot to go in New York at Christmas, so just be warned that the crowds can be insane!
The best time to visit the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree for minimal crowds is late at night on a weekday.
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Stay At The Peninsula New York
The Big Apple is filled to the brim with fantastic hotels, but if youre looking to capture the true magic of New York City at Christmas, go to The Peninsula New York. Its enviable location right on Fifth Avenue and exquisitely decorated Neo-classical facade along with the tempting seasonal packages on offer make this 5-star establishment one of NYCs best Christmas hotels.
Stop at the elegant Gotham Lounge for a holiday-themed afternoon tea, feast on a four-course Christmas dinner accompanied by Victorian carolers at the onsite Clement Restaurant, and sleep in one of the festively decorated rooms, complete with gingerbread playhouses and Christmas movie libraries.
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 sail around Manhattan.
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Take A Christmas Movie Tour
From Elf to Home Alone 2 to Scrooged, New York Citys been featured in many of your familys holiday favorites. If youd like to learn more about them, book a Holiday Lights and Movie Sites tour with On Location Tours. Youll board a heated motorcoach near Lincoln Center , then drive around town for approximately 2 1/2 hours.
The tour guides are aspiring actors, like my enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide Benji. We made 3 stops along the way for photo opps before ending at Macys. I enjoyed reliving some of my favorite holiday movie scenes.
TravelingMom Tip: The tour does not stop at the Rockefeller Center tree, but does drive by it. Sit on the right side of the bus, not the drivers side, if you want the best photo opp.