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Christmas in New York

Christmas in New York

With so many events, here is what not to miss to keep you in the holiday mode.

(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

Wednesday, November 28
Ceremony, 7-9 pm

The unlit tree is here and the tree lighting represents the true start of Holiday Season in NYC for many New Yorkers.

Rockettes Radio City Christmas Spectacular 

Radio City Christmas with Rockettes

Nov 9, 2018 – Jan 1, 2019
Daily @ 11am, 2pm, 5pm, 8pm (some variations)

With up to 4 shows per day on weekends, the Rockettes are a tradition during the NYC Holiday Season for more than 75 years. Don’t miss the signature eye-high kicks, precision choreography and exciting, show-stopping numbers – including one with Santa.

The New York Philharmonic

Things to do NYC Holidays
Macy's HThings to do NYC Holidayserald Square Santaland - 2017

Take a trip to the New York North Pole this year at Macy’s’ iconic Santaland. Perfect for the whole family, the 13,000-square-foot holiday display and indoor wonderland is located inside the Herald Square Macy’s at 151 West 34th Street. Inside, you’ll be met with caroling snowmen, prancing reindeer, a whimsical array of decor, and of course, Santa himself. Santaland opened on Friday, November 24, 2018, and runs through Christmas Eve. Tickets can be purchased here.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical

How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical

December 13–30, 2018

Enjoy the hilarious tale of Buddy, who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to NYC to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

Things to do NYC Holidays

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the crown jewel of New York City’s Museum Mile any time of year, but it takes on a dusting of Christmas magic all its own around the holidays.

During the Christmas season, visitors to the storied museum can stop by the Medieval Sculpture Hall to take in the Met’s magnificent tree—a 20-foot blue spruce—and spend long minutes marveling at the gorgeous 18th-century Neopolitan nativity scene displayed at its foot. For a little extra sparkle, catch a tree-lighting, daily at 4:30 p.m., with encores at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on weekends.

Wollman Rink at Central Park

NYC Christmas

With shorter lines than The Rink at the Rockefeller Center and a killer view of the city skyline, the Wollman Rink at Central Park is the perfect place to go for a twirl with tourists and natives alike. Opened in 1949, the rink offers ice hockey, a skating school, party facilities, and skate rentals—so all you need to do is pack your mittens.

You might recognize this rink from Home Alone 2, where crooks Marv and Harry attempt to ice skate and plot crime respectively. Instead of getting up to no good yourself, you can stroll through the park afterwards and stop for a holiday weekend brunch at the famed Tavern on the Green restaurant, or head to the Central Park Zoo to watch the penguins race for fish.

Also check out ice skating rink in front of the Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District. For beginners they have very cute penguins you can hold on to while you skate, and there is an outdoor cafe where you can get hot chocolate after you come off of the ice. It’s hours are: Monday – Thursday, 12 p.m. to 12 a.m., Friday 12 p.m. to 1 a.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 a.m., and Sunday 9 a.m. to 12 a.m. The hotel’s address is 848 Washington Street at 13th street.

Christmas With The New York Pops

Things to do NYC Holidays

This concert will have you in the holiday mood, no matter if you are a Scrooge. Christmas With The New York Pops brings out the classics at Carnegie Hall on December 21st and 22nd.


things to do in new york city

New York City Holiday Lights Tours

New York City during Holiday season is a don’t miss! Get in the festive spirit by taking a Holiday Lights Tour. Choose from Bus Tours, Holiday Dining Cruises and Movie & TV Site Holiday tours.

There is no shortage of Santas and this will help you take the perfect photo.

Macy’s Santaland

Expect a long but jovial wait. You can reserve a time slot for photos beginning on Friday, November 25.

  • Where: Macy’s West 34th St. bet. Broadway and Seventh Ave. on 8th Floor.
  • When: Friday, Nov. 27-Thursday, Dec. 24th. See website for times.
  • Cost: Free to visit but photos with Santa cost about $20 and up.

Winter Wonderland

See Santa at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem along with a free choir performance.

  • Where: Apollo Theater in Harlem at 253 W. 125th Street
  • When: Saturday, Dec. 3, 2 pm – 6 pm
  • Cost: Free!


At the Bloomie’s Santaland lines are usually shorter than Macy’s and if you are a Sex and The City fan, a trip to Bloomingdale’s is essential!

  • Where: Bloomingdales at 1000 Third Avenue at 59th St. 6th Floor
  • When: Nov. 27- Dec. 23, 10am-6pm.
  • Cost: Photo packages start at $22.

Santa’s Winter Wonderland

The wait to meet Santa Claus is about 10 minutes, but there is a lot to do here at Brookfield Place, from holiday-themed activities, from ornament making and coloring sheets to creative toys.

  • Where: Brookfield Place in Battery Park City at 220 Vesey Street at West Street
  • When: Friday, Dec. 2-Thursday, Dec. 24 (See website for times)
  • Cost: Premium photo packages range from $27 to $49 with options for digital downloads.
  • Tip: Since you’re there, why not go ice-skating at the new rink! See our ice skating post.

The Santa Experience at The Plaza

  • Where: The Plaza Hotel, concourse level. Enter at 58th Street between Fifth and Sixth Aves.
  • When: Friday, Nov. 27-Thursday, Dec. 24
  • Cost: Photo packages start at $29.



Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email:

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