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The Best Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in New York City in 2023

Last updated Nov. 6, 2023 by Staff
Lead image for the article The Best Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in New York City in 2023
Illustration: Jillian Goeler

There’s nothing quite like New York City during the holidays! Whether you’re coming into the city for the day or are hoping to add some magic to your extended trip, there’s always time to add a little Christmas to your winter visit. From spectacular decorations to shopping til you drop and more, here are some of the can’t-miss holiday moments in New York City this season.

Around Midtown and the Theater District

  • Spend a perfect day at the Winter Village in Bryant Park. Nestled in the center of Midtown Manhattan, the scenic greenspace transforms into a winter wonderland, featuring ice skating, bumper cars on ice, curling and more family-friendly activities. The open-air holiday market along the periphery of the park offers artisan crafts, unique gifts and delicious treats. Feeling a little chilly? Warm up in a cozy igloo!
  • Walk along 5th Avenue to see the spectacular holiday window displays at the many stores between 42nd St. and Central Park South. Make sure to stop at Saks Fifth Avenue for their magical light show, taking place throughout the night. Don’t forget your shopping list!
  • No trip to New York City is complete without a visit to Rockefeller Center! See the legendary Christmas tree, dine at one of the many restaurants, show off on the famed ice skating rink, visit the The Candy Cottage of Christmas Magic, even head up to Top of the Rock for a spectacular bird’s eye view of the city.
  • Be a kid again at Macy’s Santaland! New York City’s iconic department store is all dolled up for the holidays, and features an entire floor dedicated to celebrating. Don’t miss your chance for a pic with the man with all the toys!
  • Find the perfect gift for the theater fans in your life (or yourself!) at the Drama Book Shop.
  • Take in a Broadway show! From kid-friendly musicals like Aladdin to celebrities on stage and more, we can help you find the perfect show to see during your holiday visit.
Michael Maliakel as Aladdin stands tall while looking out
Michael Maliakel in Aladdin
(Photo: Matthew Murphy)

Looking for more to do in the area? Check out our guide for The Best Things Around Time Square!

Explore More of New York City

  • Head to Central Park for a wintry walk! Wander to Tavern on the Green for a holiday dining experience, Woolman Rink for ice skating or just explore the many paths. There is always something fun to see!
  • Have a magical experience at New York Botanical Garden’s annual Holiday Train Show. Be amazed by model train displays as they navigate legendary New York City landmarks, take holiday photos in the outdoor gardens and more. For visitors 21+, Bar Car Nights offer the curated cocktails, music, food and more to make the experience even more memorable.
  • Be amazed by the ultimate display of holiday spirit in Dyker Heights! This Brooklyn neighborhood features spectacular holiday light displays, nativity scenes, inflatable snowmen and much, much more. Take a hop on/hop off bus that also offers a fantastic view of the evening skyline or head to the neighborhood via subway on your own!
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