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Christmas and New Year's Eve in NYC

By Viator, December 2016

4.5 328 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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Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, New York City, null
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Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 120 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 $76.25
Viator VIP: Rockefeller Center Ice Skating Experience and Top of the Rock Observation Deck, New ... 
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Viator VIP: Rockefeller Center Ice Skating Experience and Top of the Rock Observation Deck

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 27 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 $95.00
New Year's Eve Dinner Cruise in New York, New York City, Viator VIP Tours
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New Year's Eve Dinner Cruise in New York

4.5 star rating: Recommended 37 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 $507.00
Christmas Lights in Dyker Heights Brooklyn, New York City, Dinner Cruises
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Christmas Lights in Dyker Heights Brooklyn

4.5 star rating: Recommended 14 Reviews

Christmas in New York City becomes a dazzling spectacle of holiday lights. Visit the neighborhoods of Dyker Heights and Bay Ridge in Brooklyn, where it's a ...  Read more

Location: New York, New York
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $55.00
New Year’s Eve Times Square Ball Drop Party, New York City, Christmas
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New Year’s Eve Times Square Ball Drop Party

4.5 star rating: Recommended 4 Reviews

Watch the famous Times Square ball drop on New Year’s Eve from an exclusive Manhattan party suite, high above the crowds. Enjoy an open bar, hors ...  Read more

Location: New York City, New York
Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $749.00
$799.00 Save $50.00
New York Holiday Lights and Movie Sites Tour, New York City, New Years
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New York Holiday Lights and Movie Sites Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 8 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 $42.00
Viator Exclusive: New Year's Eve Fireworks Cruise with Lobster Dinner, New York City, Christmas
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Viator Exclusive: New Year's Eve Fireworks Cruise with Lobster Dinner

4 star rating: Recommended 3 Reviews

Celebrate New Year's Eve like a VIP with an unforgettable New York City dinner and fireworks cruise. On this Viator Exclusive, get up-close views and the ...  Read more

Location: New York City, New York
Duration: 4.5 hours

From USD $361.43
Exclusive New Year's Eve Cruise with View of the NYC Skyline and Fireworks, New York City, Viator ... 
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Exclusive New Year's Eve Cruise with View of the NYC Skyline and Fireworks

4 star rating: Recommended 3 Reviews

The best party this New Year's Eve is aboard New York City's coolest yacht, the ZEPHYR. This New Year's Eve cruise, full of champagne, dancing, and an ...  Read more

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

From USD $275.00
New York City Holiday Lights Tour, New York City, New Years
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New York City Holiday Lights Tour

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 87 Reviews

New York City at Christmas is one of the most spectacular sights to see. Get in the festive mood by taking a 1.5-hour evening tour of Manhattan's glittering ...  Read more

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

From USD $39.20
$49.00 Save $9.80
Big Bus New York City Holiday Lights Tour, New York City, Christmas
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Big Bus New York City Holiday Lights Tour

3 star rating: Worth doing 10 Reviews

See the best of Manhattan’s holiday lights and decorations on this 2-hour coach tour by Big Bus. Shielded from the wintery chill, you’ll be chauffeured around ...  Read more

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

From USD $40.00

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