New York City has become synonymous with Christmas due to the city’s appearance in some of our greatest Christmas movies and television shows, which have contributed to millions of visitors heading to the big apple every winter. But what is the inspiration for all of these visitors to choose New York City as their yuletide destination of choice?
In this article we have some reasons why these tourists visit New York and perhaps these are the reasons you should visit New York City this Christmas season.
1. Rockefeller Christmas Tree
New Yorkers say the Christmas season doesn’t commence until the Rockefeller Center’s Christmas tree has been set up and lit, and this year it is scheduled to be on 4 December. During the ceremony, the tree will be illuminated by more than 50,000 lights in front of an audience that gets larger every year.
Pictures of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree are one of the most popular images in New York’s Christmas time and the switch on event is a wonderful evening filled with the excitement of the Christmas period.
2. Go Ice Skating On One Of New York’s Iconic Rinks
Winter time in New York can be cold and the city also sees an explosion of ice rinks in time for the Christmas period
We have already discussed the Rockefeller Christmas Tree but ice skating is also on the agenda here with the appearance of the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink, one of many across the city.
If the admission cost to the Rockefeller Ice Rink puts you off (it can be pricey), then you could head for the Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park which has free admission although you pay to rent your skates.
Central Park’s ice rink – the Wollman Rink – is one of the city’s larger ice rinks and provides another iconic setting for you to skate hand in hand with your loved one.
These are some of New York’s best known ice rinks but there are many other choices available across the city’s five boroughs.
3. New York’s Christmas Light Displays
New York’s Christmas lights are legendary and are a reason many people choose to visit New York this Christmas season. From the Rockefeller Center and Fifth Avenue to Dyker Heights, New York’s Christmas Lights appeal to everyone who loves the glamour and glitz of Christmas and New York.
4. Sledding In Central Park
Central Park is New York’s largest green space but after a snowfall it changes to an amazing winter wonderland. After a heavy snowfall, people grab their sleds and head off to Central Park’s two most popular sledding areas, Pilgrim Hill and Cedar Hill.
Pilgrim Hill has Central Park’s steepest hills for sledding and is the most crowded area, whilst Cedar Hill is divided into two areas with the lower section being a great option for younger and less experienced sledders.
5. Christmas Window Shopping in New York
It goes without saying that New York is a Christmas shoppers paradise, but it’s also a great place for window shopping with some amazing festive shop windows to see. One of the most popular shopping areas with great Christmas window displays is Fifth Avenue, but Manhattan in general offers some incredibly famous retailers such as Bloomingdales, Macys, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co, and Saks to name just a few. So if you have blown your shopping budget elsewhere at least you can go and window shop some of these iconic retailers in the city.
6. Radio City Christmas Spectacular
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular features the Radio City Rockettes and is an annual musical holiday stage show which held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The show lasts around 90 minutes and it features more than 140 performers as well as an original musical score, with singing, dancing, and humour with traditional festive scenes. But book your tickets in advance to avoid being disappointed.
7. The New York Botanical Gardens Holiday Train
This may be a new one for you, but this is magical! This attraction will transport you to a miniature winter wonderland of model trains zipping through a comprehensive display of more than 175 New York landmarks.
Each has been delightfully re-created using natural materials including birch bark, lotus pods, acorns, and cinnamon sticks. You will love watching the carefully designed locomotives whizzing past replicas of New York landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, and the Rockefeller Center on almost a half-mile of rail track. The New York Botanical Gardens Holiday Train is top of my personal list of reasons to visit New York this Christmas season!
8. Dyker Heights Christmas Lights
Dyker Heights in Brooklyn is a neighbourhood which has been putting on the most stunning Christmas light show since the 1980’s. Because it’sFrom mid-November through January, outdoor holiday markets pop-up throughout the city selling jewelry, clothing, arts and crafts, and so much more. Even if you don’t plan to do much shopping, the atmosphere is fun and many markets offer fantastic food and warm drinks.
a neighbourhood the best time to visit is between dusk and 9pm in the evening, as many of the householders switch off at this time. The property owners have an unspoken competition to outdo each other so every year the displays become more spetacular.
Usually the lights go up the weekend after thanksgiving and you can either make your own way over to Brooklyng using public transport or else join one of the many organised and guided tours which take clients to Dyker Heights.
9. Christmas In New York Is Less Busy
Christmas is a great time to visit New York as you will find crowds are less at this time of year, so queues for attractions such as the Empire State Building and other attractions are shorter. But it will be colder than the rest of the year, so be sure to wrap up properly.
10. New York’s Christmas Markets.
Starting in mid-November and through to January, Christmas markets pop-up throughout New York City selling jewellery, clothing, arts and crafts, and fantastic food and warm drinks.
We have already mentioned Bryant Park Winter Village which is both magical and centrally placed with more than 100 small stalls. There are also markets at Columbus Circle, Union Square, Chelsea, Brroklyn and Astoria. You will even find markets in Cathedrals amd museuems across New York.
Our overriding advice for those who wish to visit New York this Christmas season is to book your travel arrangements as soon as possible and then start planning which of our suggestions which most appeal to you and your travelling companions.