Visitors to New York can feel the city’s electric energy and powerful vibe at any time of year. But when the holiday season kicks off, the Big Apple definitely turns its spirit up a notch. From the holiday windows and the Christmas trees to watching the big ball drop, travelers will find dozens of ways to celebrate the season on these city streets.
Ice skating is a popular and traditional holiday activity, and there are plenty of places to take part. Whether it's in Central Park at Trump Rink or Wollman Rink, at Bryant Park or at Rockefeller Center, the lights and whir of people skating to classic songs will be a delight. Rockefeller Center Plaza also has the famous giant Christmas tree.
No trip to New York City during the holidays would be complete without seeing the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular either. The show is a holiday tradition, having been put on for over 80 years since 1932. And as the largest indoor theater in the world, Radio City delivers an enormously entertaining show with state-of-the-art special effects, high-quality sound and talented dance acts.
As for New Year's Eve, Times Square is the place to be. It is, however, too crowded for many, so those looking for something more low-key can opt for a New Year's Eve cruise. See the city skyline from the water, and choose from several options, such as the New York New Year’s Eve Cruise, which includes open bar and appetizers, as well as a champagne toast as you watch the fireworks at midnight. You’ll also get prime views of the Statue of Liberty, while the three-hour tour also features a DJ entertainment and docks at 1 am. Fireworks also flash through the night sky in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. Spike your hot chocolate and tuck into a cup of warmth while ringing in the New Year!
But there’s another way to experience the holidays in the city—by soaking it in at your own pace in your own way. The Empire State Building, one of NYC’s top attractions, turns red and green; most storefronts have themed decorations; jazzy tunes play in coffee shops and the general vibe is just a little bit nicer. Peruse the Holiday Markets at Bryant Park, Union Square or Grand Central and pick up some crafty gifts, or perhaps treat yourself to a warm drink on a street corner and let the city’s contagious holiday magic come to you!