New York, also known as the city that never sleeps, doesn’t sleep in winter either: it is alive and kicking all year round. During the holiday season, there is a unique, magical atmosphere in the city that is well worth experiencing. Here are my top 5 tips on what to do in New York this Christmas season:
Americans love to ‘go big or go home’, and Christmas is no exception. Want to be blown away by festive decorations? Then taking the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Tour is an absolute must. During this tour, you’ll see that Christmas decorations, as you know them from American movies, exist in real life too!
Every year in the Dyker Heights neighbourhood of Brooklyn, residents compete to see which house has the best, craziest and biggest Christmas decorations. Some decorations can cost up to 10,000 dollars! Besides all the work that goes into these Christmas decorations, the creativity of the residents is particularly admirable. The tour has become so popular that it’s hard to get tickets for Dyker Heights on certain days, so don’t wait too long.
Want to see a fun show filled with dancing, singing, plenty of sparkle and even an appearance from Santa? Then the Radio City Christmas Spectacular is for you!
The show starring the Rockettes is not only beautiful to watch, but also perfect to get into the Christmas spirit as it incorporates all things Christmas.
For me and many other New Yorkers, this family-friendly show is a must-see every year! So make sure you get your tickets for the iconic Christmas Spectacular in time so you can enjoy this New York Christmas tradition.
Ice-skating in New York
When the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center lights up to match the city’s Christmas decorations, you know it’s time to go ice-skating on what is probably the most famous ice rink in the world, the Rockefeller Rink! Even if you’re not a figure skater, the unique atmosphere alone makes it a real winter highlight. You can even see the rink from one of the hotels in the area.
Ice hockey at Madison Square Garden
While winter reigns in the Big Apple, the cold season brings a special treat: the ice hockey season is in full swing! One of the highlights of a winter holiday in New York is undoubtedly attending an ice-hockey game of the New York Rangers. They play at Madison Square Garden, New York’s largest and most famous arena, which is a New York attraction in itself.
The good thing about ice hockey games is that ticket prices are usually cheap and you don’t have to know much about the rules to have a good time. The fans create a great atmosphere and with a giant hot dog in hand, you’ll feel like a true New Yorker.
Christmas markets in New York are very popular. My personal favorite one is in Bryant Park. There are no traditional stalls here, but over 125 shops that resemble boutiques, hence the name ‘Winter Village’. You can find something for everyone: young, old and even your pet! Hungry? Indulge in a yummy pretzel, crepes or churros, and warm up with a hot chocolate. Want to move after stuffing your face? Put on your skate rentals and hop on the nearby skating rink!
Can’t decide which Christmas market to visit? Book a Christmas market walking tour! You’ll stroll around the best NYC Christmas markets with a guide and a small group.