New York City transforms into a winter wonderland during Christmas, and there’s no better way to end the year than by diving into its festive cheer.
In ‘End the Year in Style: 8 Christmas Things to do in NYC,’ we’ve curated a list of must-visit attractions and activities that will fill your holidays with joy and create lasting memories.
Embrace the holiday spirit and explore the city’s most enchanting Christmas offerings with our guide!
#1 Ice Skating under Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
Ice skating under the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a quintessential New York winter activity, offering a picturesque setting that captures the festive spirit of the season.
The Rink at Rockefeller Center provides a unique experience, allowing visitors to glide on the ice amidst the dazzling lights of the iconic Christmas Tree and the surrounding cityscape. It’s a tradition cherished by many, creating special memories and moments of joy during the holiday season.
Whether you’re taking a spin on the ice, enjoying a lesson, or participating in a special event, The Rink at Rockefeller Center invites everyone to join in the fun and embrace the magic of winter in New York City.
#2 BrainXcape Escape Rooms
Immerse yourself in a world of mystery and suspense, where every creak and whisper adds to the spine-tingling ambiance. This is not just a game; it’s an adventure that challenges your wits and bonds you with your team.
The meticulously designed puzzles and the eerie atmosphere provide a unique and exhilarating experience that you won’t find at your typical holiday party. So, if you’re looking to spice up your Christmas celebrations this year, look no further.
Gather your bravest friends and family, and dive into the haunted mysteries that await at BrainXcape. This is your chance to create unforgettable holiday memories, filled with laughter, challenges, and maybe just a touch of fear.
Don’t miss out on the adventure of the season!
Explore more games and event celebrations from BrainXcape.
#3 Radio City Christmas Spectacular
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is a must-see during the holiday season in New York City, captivating audiences since 1933. This 90-minute stage show is a brilliant fusion of singing, synchronized dancing, and humor, guaranteed to immerse you in the holiday spirit.
The performance features iconic numbers like “Rag Doll” and the “Parade of Wooden Soldiers,” as well as a heartwarming story of two brothers searching for the perfect gift for their sister.
With additional attractions like aerialists, spectacular lights, and large LED screens, the show is a product of months of hard work and practice.
Over one million people attend annually, both tourists and locals alike, making it a beloved seasonal tradition that you won’t want to miss.
So, make sure to book your tickets and experience the magic of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular!
#4 Holiday buys from NYC Markets
Shopping at Christmas markets in NYC is a unique experience that captures the essence of the holiday spirit.
With markets like Bryant Park’s Winter Village, Union Square Holiday Market, and Columbus Circle Holiday Market, you’re immersed in a festive atmosphere filled with local crafts, savory treats, and hot specialty drinks.
These markets provide an authentic environment to enjoy the season, complete your gift shopping, and indulge in seasonal delights. It’s more than just shopping; it’s a merry time to be cherished with loved ones, making it a must-do during the Christmas season in New York.
#5 Bryant Park Winter Village
Visiting Bryant Park Winter Village during Christmas offers a festive and vibrant experience in the heart of New York City. The 17,000 square foot Rink is the centerpiece, providing free admission ice skating, quality rental skates, and dazzling skating shows.
Shoppers can explore the European-inspired Holiday Shops by Urbanspace Markets, featuring unique gifts and artisan goods from around the world. For a fun twist, try the Bumper Cars on Ice.
Cozy up at The Lodge Bar + Food Hall with a festive cocktail and delicious food, or enjoy private time in a cozy igloo. There’s also iceless curling at the Curling Café & Bar, and spaces like Overlook and Polar Lounge for private events and gatherings.
The Winter Village creates a magical holiday atmosphere, making it a must-visit destination.
Indoor group activities to escape the rain in NYC.
#6 Candlelight Tour of Historic Sites
The Catacombs by Candlelight Tour in New York offers a unique and fascinating journey into the past, allowing visitors to explore the only Catholic catacombs in the city and uncover the rich history and spirituality hidden beneath the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral.
This 80-minute tour takes you through off-limits areas, including mysterious catacombs and ancient walled cemeteries, shedding light on the long-forgotten secrets and stories of some of the most influential figures in New York and American history.
During Christmas, this experience becomes even more special as the candlelight adds a warm and serene ambiance, creating a profound and contemplative atmosphere.
It’s a chance to step back from the usual holiday hustle and connect with the city’s historical and spiritual roots, making it a meaningful and enriching experience.
More fun group activities in NYC.
#7 Check out the Holiday Lights Tour
Embarking on a Holiday Lights Tour in New York City during Christmas is like stepping into a festive fairy tale. The city undergoes a magical transformation, with millions of twinkling lights adorning streets, landmarks, and neighborhoods.
Iconic displays at Rockefeller Center, Central Park, and Saks Fifth Avenue, along with over-the-top decorations in Dyker Heights, offer breathtaking views and a unique holiday experience.
This dazzling spectacle not only enhances the city’s already vibrant atmosphere but also brings people together, creating a sense of community and shared joy.
Whether you’re a local or a visitor, participating in a Holiday Lights Tour is a perfect way to soak in the holiday spirit, make lasting memories, and indulge in the festive cheer that envelops the city during this special time of the year.
#8 Ho Around with Santa at SantaCon
SantaCon in New York City is an annual gathering where thousands of people dressed in Santa Claus costumes or other Christmas-related attire flood the streets to spread cheer and celebrate the holiday season.
It’s a charitable event that encourages participants to embrace the absurdity and joy of the season, all while giving back to the community. Participants are urged to be respectful of the city, the law, and each other, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
The event is a unique way to experience the holiday spirit in the Big Apple, creating a sea of red and white, filled with laughter, singing, and festive cheer. It’s a chance to let loose, be merry, and share in the communal joy that defines the holiday season.
So, hoisting around with Santa at SantaCon is all about embracing the holiday spirit, spreading joy, and being part of a larger community celebration.
As the year draws to a close, immersing yourself in NYC’s Christmas charm is the perfect way to celebrate. From iconic tree lightings to festive shows, the city offers unparalleled holiday magic.
Our curated list of 8 Christmas activities ensures that you experience the best of New York’s festive cheer.
Whether you’re strolling through twinkling lights, enjoying seasonal treats, or finding the perfect gift at a holiday market, NYC provides endless opportunities to make memories.
Embrace the spirit of the season and end your year on a high note with these captivating holiday experiences in the heart of Manhattan.
Explore more Christmassy things to do in NYC!
Until then, cheers!