What to do for Christmas and New Year’s Eve in New York?

If you don’t know what to during Christmas and New Year’s eve in New York, I have some great advices and tips for you.

Thanksgiving in New York City

The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade

In New York, the celebrations begin early with the famous Santa part of Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, a New York tradition for Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 28, 2019.

Read my post here

Christmas in New York City

On Christmas day, most stores and museums are closed.
I advise you to take advantage of the outdoors and discover some of New York’s neighborhoods and boroughs, especially Central Park.
Along with Thanksgiving, Christmas is the only holiday where NYC is slowing down, even finding a restaurant might be a difficult task.
I know that Petit poulet is having a special menu and it’s delicious!

Here is a non-exhaustive list of some great things to do on Christmas Day:
Radio City Christmas Spectacular – Shows during the day.
– Empire State Building – Open from 11am to 2am.
– Top of the Rock – Open from 8am to 11pm.
– The Rink at Rockefeller Center – Open from 8:30am and midnight.
– The Pond at Bryant Park – Open from 8am to 10pm.
– Wollman Rink in Central Park – Open from 10am and 11pm.
– Central Park Carousel –Open from 10am and 6pm.
– Jewish Children’s Museum – Open from 10am to 7pm.
– Jewish Museum –Open from 11am to 4.30pm.
– Museum of Jewish Heritage – Open from 10am to 5.45pm.
– Madame Tussauds Wax Museum – Open from 9am to 10pm.
– Restaurant open during Christmas Day: and enter the date of your choice: December 24th or 25th, 2019

If snow has fallen on Central Park, then prepare to be blown away and make sure to take some photos on that special day.
Keep in mind that in this time of year, New York tends to be very cold. Make sure to wear warm and comfortable clothing. My special trick is to wear layers, leggings or tights, hats and gloves are a must if you want to enjoy spending time outdoors!!

On December 26 in New York, it’s sale time!! Shopping fans, rejoice and be ready to score some great deals!!! 🙂
And for the others, it’s a good day to go visit museums since everybody will be out shopping!!! 🙂 🙂

Holiday Displays at NYC department stores

During the holidays, all department stores offer amazing holidays decorations including: Bloomingdale’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Barney’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s among others.

Read my post here

Rockefeller Christmas tree

During Christmas in New York, stop at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, especially when it’s lit up at night.
For Christmas 2018, the lightning ceremony for the Christmas tree will take place at Rockefeller Center on December 4 from 7 to 9 pm. It will stay lit up until January 17, 2020.
You can also follow the journey of the Rockefeller Christmas tree along with its decorations and lightning on this website.

More info

New York ice skating rinks

Once you’ve seen the Christmas tree and snapped some photos, put your ice skating shoes on and enjoy skating under the tree, just like millions of people you probably have seen in movies and on TV shows, and now this is your chance to experience it.
In addition, there’s nothing more romantic than ice skating with your better half under the Rockefeller tree in New York.
So, if you’re traveling during the Christmas holidays then enjoy it to the fullest!!!

Read my post here

New York’s Christmas Markets

Here are some great tips regarding the most famous and recognized Christmas markets in New York.
I highly recommend visiting some of them, Christmas time in New York is truly a magical time so don’t hesitate to brave the cold and discover NY’s Christmas Markets!!

Read my post here

Union Square Christmas Market Caro NYCTT

The Christmas spirit in New York City

Enjoy the special Christmas spirit that you can only find in New York.
You’ll see that in every stores, you’ll hear Christmas songs. In the streets, many people are chanting Christmas Carols just like in the movies. The Salvation Army, as a tradition, rings a bell in the streets of New York to raise some money during the holidays.

Christmas Decorations in Brooklyn

Dyker Heights is a very nice neighborhood in the South of Brooklyn. The houses are impressively decorated by their owners. It’s a bit far away from Manhattan, however, you’ll be amazed by the creative decorations.

Read my post here


Spending Christmas in NYC with children

– Staten Island Children’s Museum

During the month of December, children are invited to learn about celebrations around the world in Staten Island at the Children’s Museum ( about cuisine and decoration.

American Museum of Natural History

Come and see the Museum’s Christmas tree! The ornements are made with origami! You can see it from November through January.

Bronx and Queens Zoos

New York zoos hold special holiday events as well; the Bronx Zoo offers winter shows in its special program “Wild Winterland” (ice sculpture, Christmas carols and more).On weekends Queens’s zoo offers a special Christmas menu to its residents under the amused watch of the crowd.

– New York Hall of Science

Every year, you can see a gigantic homemade gingerbread houses at the New York Hall of Science. Actually, GingerBread Lane is the record-holder of the Guinness World Records for largest gingerbread village!
You can see it from November 23 to January 12. More info:

– Holiday Train Show®

The New York Botanical Garden invites you to marvel at model trains zipping through an enchanting display of NYC most famous landmarks!
It will be open from November 23 to January 26. More info:

– Grand Central Terminal Holiday Train Show

This one is in Grand Central Terminal. The trains leave the station to go to the North Pole 😉
It will be available from November 15 to February 24. More info:

New Year’s Eve in New York City

In New York, just like every year, the celebration is everywhere but it’s in Times Square where everything is happening!!!
You have to arrive early to find a spot. However, I do not recommend bringing small children since it’s extremely crowded and cold.
Anyhow, don’t miss the fireworks in Times Square!!!
If you manage to make it, I’m sure that must a fantastic experience (I say that since I never had the courage to brave the cold and stand long hours until the ball drops!!).

Read my post here

Most things are closed on New Year’s Day but here’s a non-exhaustive list of things to do on New Year’s Day:

– Guggenheim Museum – Open from 11am to 6pm
– Museum of Modern Art – Open from 10.30 am to 5.30pm
– New-York Historical Society – Open from 10am to 6pm
– New York Botanical Garden – Open from 10am to 6pm
– Museum of the Moving Image – Open from 11am to 5pm
– NY Hall of Science – Open from 9.30am to 5pm
– Liberty and Ellis Islands – Ferries – Departure from 9.30am until 3.40pm
– Met Opera – ‘Magic Flute » matinee in English and « Die Zauberflöte » in German at night Merchant’s House Museum – Open from noon to 5pm
– Jewish Children’s Museum – Open from 10am to 5pm
– Museum of Jewish Heritage – Open from 10am to 6pm
– Empire State Building – Open from 11am to  midnight
– Top of the Rock – Open from 8am to midnight
– The Rink at Rockefeller Center – Open from 9am to 2am
– The Pond at Bryant Park – Open from 8am to 10pm
– Wollman Rink in Central Park – Open from 10am to 11pm
– Central Park Carousel – Open from 10am to 6pm
– Madame Tussauds Wax Museum – Open from 10am to 10pm
– Circle Line downtown Harbor Cruises – Ride from 10.45am to 4.30pm
– Museum of Sex -Open from 10am to 9pm
– Restaurants open for New Year’s Day : and enter the date of December 31st 2019

Enjoy Central Park on January 1st 2020!!!
Especially if snow has fallen just like this:


Celebrate New Year’s Eve in New York City

You can spend the evening away from Times Square. There are a lot of events in the city and fireworks where you can shout the final countdown!

Read my post here


Active New Year’s Eve in New York!!!

Here’s a great, affordable and original tip to start the year 2020 with a program including: jogging, dancing, a contest and a costume show.

Read my post here

Go for a swim during or before the new year!!!

2 unusual events are happening during winter time, but beware, this is only for the braves and is an open call to all swimmers out there who want to take a chance to swim in the frozen water of the Atlantic.
The first one is a ritual that started in 1903 on New Year’s Day in the south of Brooklyn: it’s the Coney Island Polar Bear Club.
The second one is taking place on December 7 in Staten Island: it’s the Polar Plunge.

What to do in New York for Christmas and New Year’s Eve?

Special Christmas shows, concerts and sport events

– Just like every year, the The Nutcracker will be played in NYC.
– The traditional Christmas Rockettes will perform at Radio City Hall, a real treat for the entire family, shows starts from November to January.
– There are also special concerts and events in New York City, Brooklyn… Most of them are on the calendar of events.

Browse concerts Browse Broadway shows

Browse sport events


My fist trip to New York was in 2007 when I was working for an airline company. I was born in the US, I lived in Mexico, in Europe in between Belgium, Spain and France… Well, let’s say I know about travelling! I bring my experience of NYC to the blog, to provide the best travel tips you could imagine!

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What to do for Christmas and New Year’s Eve in New York?

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  1. Shelley Vandebogart says:
    That swim looks like fun but I don’t think I’m brave enough for it! Great list of things to do!