With ice skating rinks, festive store windows, holiday markets, and of course, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, the Big Apple around the holidays is something that has to be experienced at least once. Make the most out of your holiday trip to New York City with our list of must-do and must-see attractions.
Bronx Zoo holiday lights
A family favorite, the Bronx Zoo’s seasonal celebration is not to be missed. From mid-November to early January, the park comes alive after dark with lights displays and shows, animal lanterns, holiday music, seasonal entertainment, treats, and more.
Complete your holiday shopping
Whether you’re shopping for everyone on your list or just want to pick up something for yourself, all of the stores – from the big-names to local shops and boutiques – are all decked out in November and December with festive window and in-store displays. If you’re looking for more artisanal or hand-crafted gifts, check out one of the many winter markets such as the one at Union Square or the Grand Holiday Bazaar. Coffee or hot chocolate in hand, of course.
See the Rockefeller tree
It’s easily one of the most famous Christmas trees in the world, and you can’t go to NYC in December without at least walking by. The Rockefeller Christmas tree is lit in early December each year and remains up until early January. With over 50,000 lights, it’s as magical as it is large.
Lace up your skates
A quintessential New York City activity, be sure to grab a pair of skates and take a couple laps around one of the many ice rinks in the city. Some of the most iconic include the rink at Bryant Park and the rink at Rockefeller Center.
Experience Central Park
Central Park is beautiful all year round, but after a crisp snowfall, it turns into a real-life winter wonderland. Take in the skyline while you skate around Wollman Rink (yep, another ice rink!) or simply stroll around and marvel at the snow-covered trees. You’re sure to feel like you’re inside of your very own snow globe.
Find the city’s best hot chocolate
There’s no shortage of hot chocolate in New York City, especially during the winter time. Whether you’re looking for something more upscale, like the drinking chocolate from La Maison du Chocolat, or something whimsical, like the hot chocolate from Squish Marshmallows where the focus is on – you guessed it – the marshmallow toppings, you’re sure to find it in NYC. We suggest pairing your hot chocolate with a soft black and white cookie because, why not?!
Check out the lights in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn
While the Rockefeller Center tree and the store windows in the heart of downtown boast incredible displays, one of the best places to see Christmas lights is in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, where it’s been a tradition since the 1980s to go all out in the holiday decor department. You’ll find massive, elaborate, professional displays that you can enjoy by foot or by car.
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