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New York City RECOMMENDATIONS See all

Christmas and New Year's Eve in NYC

By Viator, December 2016

3.5 127 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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Christmas Lights in Dyker Heights Brooklyn, New York City, null
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Christmas Lights in Dyker Heights Brooklyn

4.5 star rating: Recommended 30 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 York City Holiday Lights Tour, New York City, Christmas
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New York City Holiday Lights Tour

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 97 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 $49.00
NYC Holidays Lights Double Decker and Walking Tour, New York City, Christmas
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NYC Holidays Lights Double Decker and Walking Tour

Explore the festive side of New York City at the holidays on this tour, 1.5-hour, Christmas walking tour. See Rockefeller Center, decked out with its sparkling ...  Read more

Location: New York, New York
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $75.00
New York City Times Square New Years Eve Celebration, New York City, Christmas
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New York City Times Square New Years Eve Celebration

Bring in the New Year at your choice of two convenient locations in the Times Square "Lock Down Zone". Be in the center of it all – and feel the ...  Read more

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

From USD $375.00
New York Christmas Tour with Private Guide, New York City, New Years
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New York Christmas Tour with Private Guide

Explore the festive side of New York City at the holidays on this private, 3.5-hour, Christmas walking tour. See Rockefeller Center, decked out with its ...  Read more

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

From USD $99.00
Christmas in the City - A Big Apple Private Tour, New York City, Christmas
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Christmas in the City - A Big Apple Private Tour

Christmas in New York is a unique experience and there is nothing quite like it to fill you with the holiday spirit. Your guide will show you some of New ...  Read more

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

From USD $249.00
Horse Drawn Carriage Ride in Central Park, New York City, Private Sightseeing Tours
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Horse Drawn Carriage Ride in Central Park

Pass by many historical landmarks of the Central Park by horse drawn carriage ride. This is a perfect activity for a romantic promenade or a fun ride with ...  Read more

Location: New York, New York
Duration: 45 minutes (approx.)

From USD $63.00
New York City Holiday Lights and Markets Walking Tour, New York City, Horse Carriage Rides
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New York City Holiday Lights and Markets Walking Tour

Get into the spirit of the holiday season by visiting four of New York’s most attractive traditional holiday markets. Soak up the festive atmosphere of the Big ...  Read more

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

From USD $45.00

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