ICONIC Christmas In New York City

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ICONIC Christmas In New York City

Iconic Christmas in New York
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, especially Christmas In New York, where traditional festivities warm your heart and ignite your holiday spirit.

There is a special magic in the air during Christmas in New York, as the city transitions from the brisk chill of fall into the full, snow-filled holiday season. Hotels, restaurants and bars all over the city are suddenly decorated with tinsel, garland, stunning Christmas trees, ornaments hanging from ceilings and an array of holiday decor. There are so many different ways to celebrate and experience the holiday magic, from ice skating in Rockefeller center to strolling down Fifth Avenue and taking in the hotel holiday decor. We rounded up a list of our favorite things to do during Christmas in New York City!

One of the most ICONIC symbols of the holiday season is the Rockefeller Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.

Christmas at Rockefeller Center

Photo by Andrew F. Kazmierski / Shutterstock



One of the most ICONIC symbols of the holiday season is the Rockefeller Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. The sidewalks are crowded with onlookers gazing up to take in the massive tree and its many lights. The tree lighting ceremony attracts thousands of visitors swarming the surrounding streets. If you plan to attend we highly recommend purchasing the VIP tickets, or tickets to Top of the Rock for a more intimate experience. Without a ticket you may find yourself a fair distance from the full-experience standing for a long period of time with no access to food, drinks or restrooms; or, find a great bar or restaurant with a television and join the millions who watch the live broadcast. 

Some might say it is the official launch of the Christmas Season, with live performances by top singers and bands, as well as The Rockettes. Don’t worry if you’ve missed the ceremony, the tree is just as magical throughout the entire season, in fact it shines for a full 24 hours on December 25th and can be viewed until the first week of January with the lights lit from 5:30 pm until 11:30 pm each night. 


Christmas in New York Iconic Life

Photo by Taylor Grewe



There are a ton of places to ice skate in the city but the most ICONIC is The Rink at Rockefeller Center. The holiday crowds make the wait time a bit longer, but get there about 40 minutes early, grab a coffee from the Ralph’s Coffee stand in line while soaking up the ultimate view of the famous Rockefeller Christmas Tree. Trust us, it will be worth the wait! We also recommend checking out the Bryant Park Rink which is larger than Rockefeller Center. Be sure to grab a spiked hot chocolate at The Rinkside Lodge, trust us, you won’t regret it. Another great rink is Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers.



Looking for the perfect place to snag a unique holiday gift, or maybe you’re just in the mood to peruse? Head over to The Bank of America Winter Village in Bryant Park. There are tons of vendors from all over the world and city who have curated unique items that you just can’t get anywhere else. The market is open through January 2, 2023.

Christmas in New York Bryant Park

Bryant Park

Iconic Christmas at Cartier New York

Photo by Manu Padilla / Shutterstock



Whether you take out your wallet or not, taking a stroll down Fifth Avenue is a sight to see! Every window and storefront is elaborately decorated as if there is a secret holiday decor competition happening amongst the stores. A few of our favorites include the Saks Fifth Avenue stunning light show, Cartier wrapped in a big red bow, and of course, the famous Bergdorf Goodman holiday windows. 



No matter where you are staying, don’t miss the iconic hotels with must-see holiday decor. Why not map out your very own Holiday Hotel Tour? Be sure to hit our favorites: The Plaza Hotel, The Essex House, The Lotte Palace and of course, The St. Regis New York. Why not go a step further and enjoy a magical experience that is only magnified by the holiday decor, afternoon tea at Palm Court at The Plaza Hotel.

Christmas Tea at Palm Court New York

Palm Court at The Plaza Hotel

The Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular is absolutely ICONIC.

Rockettes Christmas in New York

Radio City Music Hall




You can’t make a list of holiday activities in the city without including The Rockettes! The Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular is absolutely ICONIC.

ICONIC New York Skyline

Photo by S. Borisov / Shutterstock



Whether you’re visiting the city or are a New York City local, we highly recommend taking a Classic Harbor Line cruise. Cruise around New York Harbor and fall in love with the city views while you fill your belly with delicious food and cocktails on an old-world-style yacht. There are a number of holiday-themed cruises. We are big fans of the Holiday Brunch, the perfect activity while visiting with your family or a festive get-together with friends.

Rolf's Christmas in New York

Rolf's - Photo by Taylor Grewe



Escape the cold and cozy up with a cocktail at one of the many holiday-decorated bars! At the top of every list is Rolf’s—it’s truly a magical experience transporting you to what we imagine a bar might look like up at the North Pole. Cross your fingers that you get lucky and arrive as soon as a table opens up, otherwise it could be a bit of a wait. Snap some pictures and hang tight, the experience is worth the wait. For the more impatient people in your group, send them across the street to the Gramercy Ale House, which is much less crowded. A few other must-see spots include Miracle on 9th Street in the East Village, where you can sip cocktails with a seasonal twist out of vintage Santa mugs, and 230 Fifth Rooftop, which attracts a crowd all year long, but is especially magical during the holidays with its heated igloos, where you can sip on a boozy almond joy hot chocolate while enjoying sweeping views of the city.

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