Christmas magic and winter weather turn New York into a winter wonderland! While the blanket of white snow adorns every nook and cranny of New York City, the vivid colors and sparkles of Christmas decorations spruce up the city in an eye-popping manner! Experiencing Christmas in New York or rather experiencing NYC during Christmas is a bucket-list item for many travelers!
People make the most of this holiday season by indulging in various Christmas activities of NYC, say visiting the giant Rockefeller Christmas tree, viewing the window displays on the 5th Avenue, shopping at open-air holiday markets, skating under the stars at Central Park, attending the Christmas Spectacular, and so on. Although some of these spectacular Christmas events in New York have gone digital and some others have been canceled due to COVID-19, you could still feel the festive spirit in the air with these best things to do in the Big Apple.
Check out the iconic Rockefeller Center’s Christmas tree:
The beautifully decorated Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is the most famous icon of Christmas in New York! This gigantic Christmas tree overlooking the famous skating rink is more than just a tree for New Yorkers; it’s a ‘symbol of the spirit of the city and the people who create its traditions’. Rockefeller Center, the national historic landmark, hosts the annual tree lighting ceremony, which sees the attendance of millions of people, including tourists who fly to New York for the holiday season.
The 2020 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, 75-feet Norway spruce, will be on display for the public from 6 am to 12 am till early January 2021.
Stroll about 5th Avenue Admiring the Holiday Window Displays:
A leisurely walk along the 5th Avenue gazing in awe at the marvelous holiday window displays is one of the magical experiences of Christmas in New York. Every Christmas, the city’s biggest department stores like Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, etc. bring the holiday cheer by embellishing their windows and storefronts to the nines with pretty Christmas vignettes and holiday installations. Enjoy the walking tour with a mug of hot chocolate in hand!
Go Ice Skating under the Twinkling Sky:
Ice skating, whether it is at the Rockefeller Center Rink or Bryant Park’s free rink or Central Park’s Wollman Rink or the rink at Brookfield Place, is a favorite activity among the locals as well as the tourists celebrating Christmas in New York. So, grab a pair of ice skates and glide across the glassy ice rink; take in the dazzling views of NYC’s skyline and feel the crisp winter wind blowing on your face!
This year, many ice skating rinks across the city are open to the public at a reduced capacity and with extensive COVID-19 safety guidelines in place.
Catch the Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden:
The Holiday Train Show hosted at New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) in the Bronx is one of the interesting Christmas traditions in New York. The show, featuring more than a dozen model trains chugging their way through the brightly lit miniature city of New York, is sure to impress the spectators irrespective of age. Moreover, the stunning replicas of NYC’s iconic landmarks are made using plant materials. Watch the Holiday Train Show and relive your childhood memories!
NYBG GLOW, an outdoor color and light experience, is going to be an added attraction to this year’s holiday festivities in NYC. However, entry to these shows is limited to NYBG members and Bronx community patrons in view of the pandemic.
Behold the holiday lights extravaganza at Dyker Heights:
Head over to Brooklyn to witness the magnificence of Christmas lights illuminating the neighborhood of Dyker heights! Every home is splendidly festooned – the glaring lights, the life-size Christmas nutcrackers, Santas, sleighs, snowmen, and the loudspeakers blaring out Christmas carols will get you high on Christmas spirit and make you go ‘Aww’ at the grandiosity of decorations! Take a walking tour or a guided bus tour from 11th Avenue to 13th Avenue and from 83rd Street to 86th Street to see the most spectacular displays of holiday lights in New York!
Also Read: Top Christmas getaways in India