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.
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: www.opentable.com 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.
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.
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!!!
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!!
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.
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 (www.sichildrensmuseum.org) about cuisine and decoration.
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: wwwnysci.org/event/gingerbread-lane
– 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: www.nybg.org/event/holiday-train-show
– 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: www.grandcentralterminal.com/event/17th-annual-holiday-train-show
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!!).
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 : www.opentable.com 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!
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.
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.
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.
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