There are few places as magical in the wintertime as New York City.
And when it comes to celebrating the Christmas holidays, you better believe that NYC has got plenty going on.
If you’re traveling to New York this holiday season, check out our list of the top things to do for Christmas in New York City.
Save on Attraction Admission for the Holidays
Regular admission to a number of these attractions is available on the New York City Explorer Pass®.
Choose as you go from dozens of top attractions and save up to 50% on combined admission vs. paying at the gate.
Please note, some of these special Christmas & holiday events may be separately ticketed and not included on the New York City Explorer Pass.
New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show
When: November 22, 2017 – January 15, 2018
Participate in one of NYC’s most beloved holiday traditions with the visit to the New York Botanical Garden.
Their Holiday Train Show is a one-of-a-kind experience. You’ll see trains wind through over 150 different New York landmarks – all made of organic, botanical materials.
Think tiny depots made of bark and acorns, bridges made of sticks and stones, and décor made of dried mosses and flowers.
It’s a truly inspiring work of artistic labor and a super fun thing for the whole family to see.
Getting In: New York Botanical Garden tickets are available on the New York City Explorer Pass.
THE RIDE Holiday Edition
When: November 16, 2017 – January 7, 2018
Take NYC’s most enjoyable bus tour with a special holiday twist!
Now in its sixth year, it’s more fun and festive than ever, with a focus on holiday sights and sounds.
This is a great way to get to know NYC and soak up the Christmas spirit, all at the same time!
Getting In: THE RIDE tickets are available on the New York City Explorer Pass.
View the Holiday Lights from the Empire State Building
One good way to see the city’s best and brightest Christmas lights is with a trip to the top of the very tall building – one of the city’s most famous very tall buildings, to boot!
The Empire State Building is an amazing experience any time of year, but when you build in the festive atmosphere and twinkling lights of the holiday season, it simply can’t be beat!
Getting In: Empire State Building tickets are available on the New York City Explorer Pass.
Origami Holiday Tree at the American Museum of Natural History
When: Now through January 7, 2018
If you’re in search of a unique spin on a Christmas tradition, pay a visit to the American Museum of Natural History.
Their 30-year tradition of putting up an origami tree has inspired kids and adults alike for quite a long time, and it’s well worth your time to visit.
The origami itself has been made by volunteers throughout the preceding year who have been inspired by some aspect of the museum’s collections.
Getting In: American Museum of Natural History tickets are available on the New York City Explorer Pass.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche
When: November 21, 2017 – January 7, 2018
On the other hand, if traditional is more your thing, then a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art is in order.
Their iconic Christmas tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche are signature elements on the NYC holiday scene, and are not to be missed. The massive spruce tree itself is lushly decorated, with a detailed Neapolitan Nativity Scene below.
There are other holiday items in the display, too, including angels of several different designs or different objects (like the one pictured above).
Getting In: Metropolitan Museum of Art tickets are available on the New York City Explorer Pass.
Rockefeller Center Tree
When: December 2017
Come to see the country’s most famous Christmas tree – the iconic tree at Rockefeller Center.
It’s already been illuminated, but it makes the perfect backdrop to ice-skating, cocoa-sipping, and plenty of holiday photos.
Keep in mind that it will be pretty crowded during much of December, so don’t expect to get an empty rink, for example.
Getting In: The Rockefeller Tree is free to view! Ice Skating requires a separate fee and is not included with the pass.
Remember to Save on Attraction Admission
So there’s our brief list of the top things to do in New York City during Christmastime and the holidays.
Remember, many of these options are included on the New York City Explorer Pass, which can save you up to 50% on combined admission vs. paying at the gate.
Please note, the Christmas events taking place at some of these attractions may be separately ticketed and not included with the New York City Explorer Pass.
We hope you plan to add a few of these fun options to your winter vacation itinerary!