Christmas in New York City
Central Park in Winter
Spending the holidays in NYC is an experience unlike any other. Ice skating in Times Square, watching the snow glisten in Central Park, and viewing the winter wonderland displays in flagship stores along Fifth Avenue have made NYC a popular spot for celebrating Christmas. With chilly weather conditions ranging from the low-30s to the mid-40s, NYC offers plenty of fun things to do both indoors and outdoors during the holidays season. Whether it’s viewing a play on Broadway or watching a tree lighting ceremony, here are some fun NYC winter activities that also offer great deals for cheap things to do in NYC.
Christmas Activities in NYC
The Rockefeller Center Ice Rink in Manhattan is a New York Favorite during Christmas time.
There are a number of popular things to do in Manhattan during Christmas time in NY and many are cheap NYC winter activities or are completely free! Ice skating has become a favorite pastime for for both locals and visitors and there are many ice rinks in New York to choose from. Rockefeller Center Ice Rink at Rockefeller Center is by far the busiest NY ice rink during the holidays in NYC but the spectacular views of Times Square are well worth the wait. Central Park has two ice skating rinks open during New York holidays, Laser Rink located at 106th and 108th Streets and Wollman Ice Rink at 62nd and 63rd Streets. Chelsea Piers has The Sky Rink open during NY winter located at 61 Chelsea Piers Road. Prices vary depending on the time of year you skate and which rink you choose, but total cost averages to $25 per person (includes rentals) with seniors (65+), students, and children qualifying for discounted rates. One of the best free NY Christmas events that has remained a tradition for nearly 80 years is the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony. Taking place the week after Thanksgiving at Rockefeller Center, a Norway Spruce ranging from 70 to 90 feet high will be illuminated in Times Square with both live and taped performances to kick off the holiday season. The best part about this event? It’s completely free for all spectators! Viewing a sight such as the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting for no cost at all is the best NY holiday deal around.
Christmas & Holiday Shows NYC
Christmas at Rockefeller Center in New York City
New York has wide variety of affordable Christmas shows that welcome guests of all ages and interests. The Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular begins in early November and plays until late December, featuring live singing and dancing performances that dazzle audience members of all ages. The best NY deals for tickets are available in September when they first go on sale. Another must-see NYC Christmas show is The Nutcracker performed at the Lincoln Center from late-November to early-January. This classical Christmas production provides an intimate and romantic saga restoring its traditional story line. Purchasing your tickets early is the best way to receive a discounted rate. The closer to Christmas, the more you’ll pay. Students under age 29 receive a cheaper rate, as well as if you purchase tickets in the fourth ring rows C-O , this section has the best deals when it comes to experiencing the magic of ballet.
Best Hotels in NY for Christmas
The key to booking the best places to stay in NYC during the holidays is location, and Times Square is where you want to be. With a close proximity to Radio City Music Hall, Broadway shows, Rockefeller Center, and Fifth Avenue Shopping, all of the popular holiday spots are easily within reach.
- The Palace Hotel NYC: Located at 455 Madison Avenue, this prestigous NY hotel is kid-friendly, close to Madison Avenue Shopping, and fully equipped with an immaculate spa and fitness center.
- Hotel Edison NY: Located at 228 West 47th Street, this contemporary NYC hotel accentuates comfort and charm for all visitors and is just a few steps away from the world’s best Broadway shows.
- The Michelangelo NYC Hotel: Located at 152 West 51st Street, this elegant NY hotel features class and luxury with Italian accents. Accommodating pets to enjoy your stay with you, as well as an amazing view of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, this exquisite hotel offers special discounts when booking far enough in advance.
Holiday Shopping in NYC
Macy's Christmas windows
Shopping in NYC during the holidays is a completely different experience than during the spring and summer months. Instead of hitting the mall and outlets for all of your Christmas gift shopping, swing by a holiday market in NYC for great deals and cheap finds. Beginning in November, at 6th Ave/42nd Street, Bryant Park is transformed into an old-fashioned European market complete with street vendors with the best deals on Christmas presents for everyone on your list. Admission is free, along with free NYC ice skating at The Pond. Located in Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Station, the Grand Central Terminal Holiday Fair opens in mid-November until Christmas Eve. This indoor holiday fair offers hand-made jewelry and other specialty items for great prices for all of your holiday shopping needs. The Columbus Circle Holiday Market is open the beginning of December until Christmas Eve and is a favorite place for NY holiday shoppers. Serving delectable treats and hot apple cider, this holiday fair is centrally and conveniently located at Columbus Circle in NYC.