The Best Things to Do in New York City for Christmas

Image courtesy Time Out New York

New York is one of the best cities to celebrate Christmas in. The lights, the food, the shows! Where else could you enjoy everything like this in one place! I mean, have you seen Elf? Could there be a more magical Christmas setting in the world?

As a New York City local, here are the things that even us locals find amazing. Check out my tips though to ensure you’re not stuck in the tourist traps during the height of their crowds!

And lucky you I just published a special article for Forbes about my favorite things you can do for Christmas in New York City! Check it out! And if you’re looking for a winter getaway from New York, check out my favorite Winter Trips from New York City that I wrote for Forbes!

Rockefeller Plaza: Nothing is more New York at Christmas than Rockefeller Plaza, the Christmas Tree, the lights, the skating rink. This is what I call my favorite, hot-chocolate spot. You simply must grab a cup (Jacques Torres Wicked Hot Chocolate is my favorite), grab a bench, and take in the views and a couple of pictures too. This is worth wrestling a few other tourists for. What is not worth the money or the crowds is actually skating the rink unless you’re here at an off-time. Otherwise you’ll be inching along on the skating rink for about $30 per person. There are many other rinks in the city, like Bryant Park that are less crowded and more conducive to actually skating.

Macy’s: Even though you’re going to wait in line to see this Santa, he’s the only REAL Santa to see.

Window Shopping: Stroll down Fifth Avenue and witness the elaborately decorated windows at famous department stores like Henri Bendel, Lord & Taylor, Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue. This is fun and free and a must-see! Try to go early during the week if you want to miss the major crowds. For this one time a year, I can truly say that midtown is the best area of the city to be. Downtown is too “cool” to embody the Christmas spirit.

The Nutcracker: Tickets for this New York classic ballet come as cheap as $10 so there is no excuse not to check out this heartwarming ballet performance.

Radio City Rockettes: No show is more Christmas than the Christmas special at Radio City. You will be dancing in your seat! I make a point to visit this show every couple years to get in the holiday spirit. Check for deals online before you come you can often find discounted tickets.

FAO Schwartz: Anyone who has seen BIG or Home Alone 2 knows that a trip to New York would not be complete without a visit to New York’s most famous toy store. Visit here during the week or expect lines that wrap around the corner (though admittedly they do move quickly)

Dylan’s Candy Bar: Tis the season to be jolly–round and jolly. Snatch up unique Christmas treats at this fabulously famous candy store owned by Ralph Lauren’s daughter. Come in and jam to candy-themed music as you pick from nearly any candy you can think of!

Rolf’sIt’s like you’ve died and gone to Christmas heaven with the decorations here! And the booze and German food ain’t bad either. Here is another article I wrote for Forbes about the best New York City bars to stay warm and cozy this winter!

What are your favorite things to do in New York City around Christmas ? Let us know in the comments!

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