NYC at Christmas: Festive, Fun, Memorable

  • Giant Ornaments of Sixth Avenue

    Each Christmas, New York City pulls out all the stops when it comes to decorations, and nowhere more so than along Sixth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. During the holiday season, the Avenue of the Americas is adorned with giant red ornaments, human-sized Christmas lights, toy soldiers, model trains and plenty of trees.

    Photo courtesy of Michael Ostendorp

  • Snow-Covered Central Park

    Central Park is beautiful year round, but there's something magical about the green space when it's covered in a sheet of icy white snow. Holiday experiences here abound – skate hand in hand in a seasonal ice rink or simply stroll through this New York-style winter wonderland.

    Photo courtesy of stu99/iStock/Thinkstock

  • Ice Skating at Rockefeller Center

    It's not the biggest skating rink around, and the wait can get long, but those things are forgivable when you consider that Rockefeller Center has the city's most iconic skating rink beneath the twinkling lights of the nation's most famous Christmas tree. For a real wow, show up on the evening of December 4 for the first tree lighting of the season.

    Photo courtesy of petercruise

  • Cozy Carriage Rides

    For the ultimate romantic night out on the town during the holiday season in New York City, book a ride in a horse-drawn carriage decked in holly and ready to take you and your friends, family or loved one on a charming ride through Central Park. If you'd rather see other parts of the city, opt for a pedicab tour instead. Either way, it's a great way to see the sights during the holidays.

    Photo courtesy of Joshua Haviv/Hemera/Thinkstock

  • Macy's Santaland

    Relive scenes from Miracle on 34th Street with a visit to Macy's iconic Santaland. This elaborate Christmas display is a spectacle of trees, elves, toy soldiers and snap a photo of the kids visiting with the man of the season, Santa Claus. This longtime holiday tradition draws a crowd, so come early on weekdays for the best experience.

    Photo courtesy of Macy's Inc.

  • Saks Fifth Ave

    Fifth Avenue Window Displays

    One of New York's best holiday sights is also free! For a dose of seasonal cheer, bundle up for a walking tour of holiday window displays at the iconic department stores along Fifth Avenue. Start from Macy's and turn left down Fifth Avenue, passing the traditional displays of Lord & Taylor, the playful windows of Saks Fifth Avenue and the sophisticated and whimsical designs of Bergdorf Goodman. If you're still in the mood for more, continue on to Barneys on Madison Avenue and Bloomingdale's on 59th.

    Photo courtesy of Randy OHC

  • Radio City Music Hall's Christmas Spectacular

    If you're in the city for the holidays, forget Broadway and snag tickets for a showing of the Radio City Music Hall's Christmas Spectacular instead. Short of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, it's the best time to see the sexy Rockettes in their full Christmas get-ups high kicking on one of the city's most famous stages.

    Photo courtesy of amanda tetrault

  • FAO Schwartz

    If you need to do some last minute Christmas shopping in the Greatest City on Earth, there's no better place than at the Big Apple's favorite toy store, FAO Schwartz. For 150 years, this New York institution has served as a larger-than-life dreamland for kids and the young at heart, an experience that starts with a greeting by one of the Toy Soldiers standing guard at the entrance.

    Photo courtesy of

  • New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show

    An annual favorite, especially with kids and train enthusiasts, is the New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show. Come watch as tiny trains zip past a miniature New York or enjoy the activity stations in the train-themed Everett Children's Adventure Garden.

    Photo courtesy of New York Botanical Garden

  • Holiday Markets

    You don't have to fly to Europe to shop a Christmas market. New York has plenty of them! The European-inspired Holiday Shops at Bryant Park include a skating rink and frozen karaoke booth, while the more traditional Union Square Holiday Market sells a variety of handcrafted items perfect for holiday gifts. Other markets include the Columbus Circle Holiday Market near Central Park, the Brooklyn Winter Flea Market and the Grand Central Holiday Fair.

    Photo courtesy of