There is truly never a bad time to experience the city that never sleeps. New York City does a great job at offering travelers something unique for each season of the year – fall foliage in Central Park, rooftop bars in the summertime, etc. But there is just something inherently special about New York around the holidays! Getting here is easy with most airports offering a range of direct and affordable flight options to one of New York’s three main airports: John F Kennedy (JFK), La Guardia (LGA) in Queens, or Newark (EWR) across the river from Manhattan in New Jersey.
Best Times to Visit: While New York City is truly a year round destination, the months of April – June and September – early November offer warm, pleasant weather and lighter crowds. The holiday season starts around Thanksgiving and continues through New Years.
Things to do:
Ice skate under the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. You can not go to New York City during the holidays without seeing the amazing Christmas tree display in Rockefeller Center! This Christmas icon is free to see and you can spend a couple hours enjoying the view while ice skating in it’s shadow. General admission is first come first serve, so we recommend getting there early!
Christmas lights at Dyker Heights. If you have a love for Christmas lights, Dyker Heights is an absolute must see. The dedicated Brooklyn neighborhood goes all out for the holidays with extensive yard decorations that can capture anyones eye! Take a quick subway ride to Brooklyn and spend a few hours walking the streets or take a tour that showcases all the famous houses!
See the Met’s Christmas tree. The museum displays a beautiful 20-foot Christmas tree in its Medieval Sculpture Hall. The tree is surrounded by a beautiful nativity scene backed by an eighteenth-century Spanish choir screen from the Cathedral of Valladolid. To find this display walk into the Met’s Great Hall then head straight past the stairs to Gallery 305.
Stroll Central Park. Escape the Fifth Avenue holiday shopping crowd with ice skating and carriage rides in Central Park. After a beautiful dusting of snow, there is no place more beautiful than this winter wonderland. Spend a few hours strolling Central Park but make sure to stop for a warm cup of hot chocolate at a nearby cafe afterwards.
Check out the Fifth Avenue window displays. The Fifth Avenue window displays are a NYC staple and made famous by some of our beloved Christmas movies! Peruse the streets, take in the sights, and duck into a nearby lounge for a trendy holiday cocktail.
Explore the Union Square Christmas markets. This is a great place to do your holiday shopping and indulge in some delicious treats (i.e., apple cider doughnuts, empanadas, and warm apple cider)! The market isn’t huge so you can easily walk it all in an hour or so. Bryant Park is another popular holiday marketplace… complete with a ice skating rink!
Feature Hotels: The Michelangelo, The Roosevelt Hotel New York City, The Lexington Hotel
Serendipity – This is a holiday must! Be sure to order their frozen hot chocolate.
Rolf’s German Restaurant – An entire restaurant decked out in Christmas ornaments… count us in!
Bemelmans Bar – This is a slice of old-school Manhattan that is hard to find anymore.
Ophelia Lounge – This bar is perched on the 26th floor in Midtown East with sweeping views of the city.
For more great restaurants, click HERE.