Things to Do in NYC for the Holidays

December 8, 2017 4:03 pm

Few cities know how to celebrate the holidays like New York. Whether you’re interested in seeing a show, shopping, or sightseeing, it’s easy to get into the spirit of the season with so many things to do in NYC for the holidays. It’s fun to see the city’s most iconic landmarks transformed for the holidays with lights, decorations, events, and activities.

We’ve put together a list of some of the most popular things to do in NYC for the holidays so you can make the most of your vacation with these seven quintessential activities:

  • View the top NYC Fashion window displays
  • Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular
  • Ice Skating in Central Park
  • See the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center
  • Take a Gospel Tour of Harlem
  • Shopping at Woodbury Common’s premium outlets
  • Taste authentic New York City dishes with the family.

Free Entry with The New York Pass®

Free entry to many of these popular New York attractions and activities are included on The New York Pass®.

Used by over 3.5 million travelers, the New York Pass is the ultimate sightseeing pass, which includes admission to 90+ attractions, Fast Track Entry at select attractions, a free guidebook, & much more.

Learn more about the New York Pass benefits & how to save up to 70% off attractions.

Check out the Holiday Window Displays

Every holiday season, world-famous New York City department stores compete to create the best holiday window display. This window display competition creates a great tourist activity that’s perfect for the holiday season, and it’s free!

There are six major department stores to check out: Bloomingdale’s, Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor, and Macy’s Herald Square. These department stores are all located fairly close to each other in the Midtown area along Lexington Avenue, Madison Avenue, Fifth Avenue, and Broadway.

Needless to say, the holiday window displays also present a great opportunity for some holiday shopping  in the Big Apple.

Admission: viewing the holiday window displays is free and open to the public.

Tip: New York Pass holders can get exclusive savings at Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s Herald Square.

See the Christmas Spectacular at the Radio City Music Hall

Radio City Music Hall, Holidays,

Radio City Music Hall is perhaps most famous for the Christmas Spectacular and the Rockettes. No holiday season visit to New York is complete without seeing the Christmas Spectacular.

Every year, the Christmas Spectacular is packed with new surprises. One constant element in the show is the Rockettes performing eye-high kicks to the beat of festive holiday music.

After viewing the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall, continue the holiday festivities at the Bryant Park Holiday Market. Just head eight blocks downtown to check out the Market at 6th Avenue and 42nd Street.

Admission: Radio City Music Hall tickets are included with the New York Pass.

Explore Central Park and Go Ice Skating

Central Park, Holidays

The City of New York gets Central Park all decked out for the holidays. Decorations and lights are put up all over, and you may hear Christmas carolers during a holiday visit. A walk through Central Park is especially festive when it’s snowing. The park also offers horse-drawn carriage rides that contribute some rustic charm to a wintertime ride through the park.

One wintertime activity that you should definitely take advantage of when you’re in the city for the holidays is ice skating at the Wollman Rink. The Rink offers ice skate rentals for those who haven’t packed their own, and it’s located only minutes from the Central Park Zoo.

Admission: Admission to Central Park is free and open to the public. Ice skate rentals and carriage rides are separately ticketed and available for purchase at the park.

Tip: New York Pass holders can receive exclusive discounts on horse-drawn carriage and pedicab rides and tours in Central Park.

See the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center

The sight of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is as impressive as it is famous. A New York City icon, the Christmas Tree reaches up to 100 feet tall and has been an NYC tradition since 1933.

If you’re lucky, you might be in town for the annual tree lighting ceremony. The ceremony usually takes place in either late November or early December. In addition to viewing the tree, you can also take advantage of the many shopping and dining options available near Rockefeller Center or, lace up a pair of rental skates and glide around the rink.

Admission: viewing the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center is free and open to the public. Rockefeller Center Tour tickets are included with the New York Pass. Ice skate rentals are available for purchase at the rink upon arrival (or you can reserve a skating time online in advance).

A Gospel Tour of Harlem

Harlem is known for its rich culture and historic churches, making a visit to this bustling neighborhood a great thing to do during the holiday season vacation. In fact, there are more than 400 different churches that dot the streets of Harlem in the northern part of Manhattan.

On a Gospel Tour of Harlem, you’ll visit many churches and hear uplifting music. You’ll also gain an appreciation for the strong influence churches have on the Harlem community.

Whether you’re interested in architecture, music, religion, or culture, a Gospel Tour of Harlem is a unique and festive experience.

Admission: Guided Gospel Tour of Harlem tickets are included with the New York Pass.

Go Shopping at the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets

Woodbury Common, Holidays,

If you’re hoping to check off a lot of items on your holiday gift list during your visit, consider a trip to the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets. You can take a bus to Central Valley and shop from top designers. The shopping center features a total of 220 different outlet stores and can be reached within one hour of Manhattan.

Among the outlet stores offered at Woodbury Common are Polo Ralph Lauren, Nike, Dolce & Gabbana, and Salvatore Ferragamo. This is a great area for shopping with discounts. You’ll find name brand items priced for much less here than you would in Manhattan. In fact, you can enjoy savings up to 65 percent over what you might pay on Fifth Avenue or Broadway.

Admission: Admission to the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets is free and open to the public. New York Pass holders can receive $7 off roundtrip transportation and a VIP Coupon Booklet worth hundreds of dollars in additional savings.

Enjoy a Hearty Meal with Family for the Holidays

The holidays are a great time to enjoy being with family and loosening your belt to do some serious eating. One great New York restaurant for those who enjoy a hearty Italian meal is Ristoranti Settepani. Your family will enjoy an evening uptown as the restaurant is located at Malcolm X Boulevard and 120th Street in Harlem.

Admission: Admission to Ristoranti Settepani is free. New York Pass holders can receive a FREE glass of wine with the purchase of any entree.

Remember to Save on Attraction Admission

With so many things to do in NYC for the holidays, the possibilities are endless. Whether you’re looking to shop, visit some of the top attractions, or take advantage of the seasonal outdoor activities, remember you can save on admission to lots of New York City attractions with The New York Pass.

If you purchase a New York Pass, you’ll get free entry to over 90 attractions in NYC, plus exclusive special offers and discounts. Purchase your New York Pass today and start saving on your trip. Click here for more information.

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