Santa Comes to Town
Every year the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade ends with Santa coming to a stop in front of the department store on 6th Ave, marking the beginning of the Christmas season in the Big Apple. Come explore some of the timeless traditions of Christmas in New York City.
Wollman Rink in Central Park
Make the best of New York City’s cold weather and enjoy ice skating at Wollman Rink in Central Park (on the east side between 62nd and 63rd Streets).
Empire State Building
At the center of the iconic NYC skyline sits the Empire State Building. During the months of November and December, the top of the building is lit up with red and green lights to celebrate christmas. The first lighting each year coincides with the opening night for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
Speaking of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, don’t miss out on seeing the Rockettes’ show-stopping leg kick precision chorus line 5 days a week during the holidays at Radio City Music Hall.
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
Started in 1933, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has become a timeless tradition for New Yorkers and tourists alike. The tree is on average between 69 and 100 feet tall, and its lighting ceremony is accompanied with a live broadcast in early December.
5th Avenue Holiday Window Displays
Shopping in NYC during the holidays can be a nightmare due to the tourist-packed streets. But there is definitely a redeeming quality to making the trek into the crowds: holiday window displays! Every year in mid-November, the biggest department stores in New York City create one-of-a-kind presentations of holiday-cheer in their exterior windows, usually with an original theme or throw-back to years past. (Shown here: one of Macy’s Herald Square 2014 holiday window displays).
Gigantic Holiday Cheer
Giant ornaments are displayed annually during the holidays at different locations in NYC, including Rockefeller Center (across the street from Radio City Music Hall) on 6th Avenue.
Union Square Holiday Market
Open yearly from mid-November to Christmas Eve, the Union Square Holiday Market is the perfect place to get unique handmade gifts for everyone on your list.
Sledding in the City
If weather trends stay on course for New York City, you’ll want to prepare yourself for some major snow this holiday season. Take advantage of the wintery weather and join the fun at any of the dozen local parks for some sledding! Prospect Park in Brooklyn (pictured here) or Central Park in Manhattan are classic locations to enjoy some slip-sliding fun.
Dyker Heights Holiday Lights
For a look at what happens in the boroughs during the holidays, take a trip to Dyker Heights in Brooklyn and tour their annual holiday decorations. The residents won’t label it a competition, but it’s hard not to see it that way when each new year brings bigger and brighter displays.