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Christmas and New Year's Eve in NYC

By Viator, December 2014

4.5 300 Reviews | Add your review

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!

Tours & Tickets

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Viator VIP: Rockefeller Center Ice Skating Experience and Top of the Rock Observation Deck

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 13 Reviews

Among quintessential holiday experiences is ice-skating at the world-famous Rockefeller Center. What could make it even more special? This VIP package allows ...  Read more

Location: New York City, New York
Duration: 90 minutes (approx.)

From USD $80.00

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree-Lighting Party

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 4 Reviews

Kick-off the Christmas celebration at the iconic Tree Lighting Ceremony at Rockefeller Center in New York City! Get unbeatable views of this famous tradition ...  Read more

Location: New York City, New York
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $459.00

Breakfast with Santa and Ice Skating Session at Rockefeller Center

Get into the Christmas spirit in New York City during a special breakfast with Santa at the Rockefeller Center, followed by a spin on the Rock’s iconic outdoor ...  Read more

Location: New York City, New York
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $101.50

Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 96 Reviews

America's most beloved holiday theatrical, the ‘Radio City Christmas Spectacular,’ starring the world-famous Rockettes, returns to New York City's Radio City ...  Read more

Location: New York City, New York
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $97.62

Viator Exclusive: Luxury Christmas Eve Dinner Cruise in New York City

This holiday season, skip the overcrowded restaurants and treat your loved ones to a luxury Christmas Eve dinner cruise, a Viator Exclusive available nowhere ...  Read more

Location: New York City, New York
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $219.00

New York City Holiday Lights Tour

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 65 Reviews

New York City at Christmas is one of the most spectacular sights to see. Get in the festive mood by taking a 2-hour, early-evening tour of Manhattan's ...  Read more

Location: New York City, New York
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $43.99

New Year's Eve Dinner Cruise in New York

4.5 star rating: Recommended 35 Reviews

Ring in the New Year in style aboard New York's premier dining yacht. Enjoy a sumptuous dinner followed by dancing and of course, front-row seats to the world ...  Read more

Location: New York City, New York
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $375.00

Viator VIP: Rockefeller Center Late-Night Ice Skating and Holiday Lights Bus Tour

Experience the Rockefeller Center ice rink as if you were a Rockefeller yourself with this Viator VIP skating and holiday lights combo tour, a Viator exclusive ...  Read more

Location: New York State, New York
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $139.00

New York City Holiday Music Cruise with Live Carols or Jazz

Grab your loved ones and get into the holiday spirit with this 90-minute musical cruise in Manhattan. While you admire views of the Statue of Liberty, ...  Read more

Location: New York City, New York
Duration: 90 minutes (approx.)

From USD $88.00

New York Holiday Lights and Movie Sites Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 3 Reviews

Capture the holiday spirit at festive locales and settings from your favorite flicks during a holiday lights and movie sites tour of New York City. On this ...  Read more

Location: New York City, New York
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $37.99

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