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Christmas and New Year's Eve in NYC

By Viator, June 2016

4.5 299 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, New ... 
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Viator VIP: Rockefeller Center Ice Skating Experience and Top of the Rock Observation Deck

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 216 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
Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, New York City, Viator VIP Tours
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Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1380 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 Exclusive: New Year's Eve Fireworks Cruise with Lobster Dinner, New York City, Theater, ... 
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Viator Exclusive: New Year's Eve Fireworks Cruise with Lobster Dinner

4 star rating: Recommended 24 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
New York City Holiday Lights Tour, New York City, Viator Exclusive Tours
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New York City Holiday Lights Tour

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 680 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 $49.00
New Year's Eve Dinner Cruise in New York, New York City, Christmas
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New Year's Eve Dinner Cruise in New York

4.5 star rating: Recommended 296 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
Viator VIP: Exclusive NYC New Year's Eve Luxury Dinner Cruise, New York City, Dinner Cruises
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Viator VIP: Exclusive NYC New Year's Eve Luxury Dinner Cruise

4.5 star rating: Recommended 35 Reviews

While other revelers pack into crowded bars and restaurants on December 31, your group can ring in the new year aboard a luxurious private yacht! Other cruises ...  Read more

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

From USD $437.50
New Year’s Eve Times Square Ball Drop Party, New York City, Viator VIP Tours
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New Year’s Eve Times Square Ball Drop Party

4.5 star rating: Recommended 32 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 d'oeuvres, ...  Read more

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

From USD $799.00
New Year's Eve Fireworks Cruise in New York City, New York City, New Years
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New Year's Eve Fireworks Cruise in New York City

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better 64 Reviews

Ring in the New Year in style on this New York City fireworks cruise! Enjoy this adult only atmosphere as you cruise on New York Harbor and pass sites like the ...  Read more

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

From USD $149.99
New York City: Best of Thanksgiving and the Macy's Parade, New York City, New Years
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New York City: Best of Thanksgiving and the Macy's Parade

This inclusive tour package takes all the events that highlight Thanksgiving in New York City and combines them into one! Experience the best of New York ...  Read more

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

From USD $299.00
New York Holiday Lights and Movie Sites Tour, New York City, Seasonal Events
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New York Holiday Lights and Movie Sites Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 64 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

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