New York, the city of unlimited possibilities, shows a very special and enchanting side at Christmas time. From Christmas shopping to ice skating in the famous Central Park , a visit to the impressively large Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, the decorated houses in Brooklyn Dyker Heights to Christmas shows or just a leisurely stroll on 5th Avenue and the Christmas markets , New York has a lot to offer its visitors offer many wonderful Christmas experiences. Here are some things you shouldn't miss when you're in New York at Christmas:
Rockefeller Center's large Christmas tree
On November 29, 2017, the Rockefeller Center 's large Christmas tree will be lit for the first time this year. This will take place with a big celebration with live performances from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Unfortunately, it is not yet known which artists will perform. If you don't want to miss this event, plan enough time and be there about 1.5 hours before it starts . It gets pretty crowded. Otherwise, you can look at the Christmas tree at any time of day until January 7, 2018. If you wake up very early in the morning or at night due to jet lag, you can even be very lucky at these times and look at the tree all alone in this magical place.
Thanks to Broadway, New York is already known for its impressive shows. However, there are also some highlights here at Christmas. One is the " Rockettes Christmas Spectacular ",
More than 140 sensational dancers radiate pure Christmas spirit here for 90 minutes. Sparkling costumes, an incredible New York style stage set and lots of Christmas carols bring the audience out of their seats every year.
In addition to Santa Claus and his elves, the stars of the show are the female dance group “The Rockettes”. Until January 3rd, 2016 you can watch the dance performance and Christmas show in the famous theater, Radio City Music Hall.
You can get tickets here .
The New York Ballet is performing a special piece this Christmas season: The Nutcracker , which you can see in the fabulous David H. Koch Theater in the famous Lincoln Center .
Christmas shopping in New York is a very special experience. But be sure to bring enough time with you so that you don't rush through the shops stressed out and get annoyed by sometimes long queues in the shops. Instead, enjoy strolling along 5th Avenue . All the shops have decorated their windows very elaborately and with lots of lights. Standing across from St. Patrick's Church and 5th Avenue, you'll have a perfect view of the impressive Saks department store light show.
The Outlet at Woodbury is offering special discounts during this time. Bus tickets are available here ( CLICK ) or locally in New York at our travel center, just 4 minutes from Times Square 324 W 47th St., NY 10036 ( map )
5th Avenue is a great taste of how to really get into the Christmas spirit and what awaits you on our “ Dyker Heights Christmas Lights ” tour.
The Christmas lights in American homes are often overwhelming and cannot be compared to what we know in Europe. To see the beautifully decorated homes seen in American films and television series, venture from Manhattan to Dyker Heights in Brooklyn. This area is known for its Christmas decorations and has even been named the “Best Decorated Neighborhood in America.” The tour runs from December 3rd to January 3rd, tickets are available here. ( CLICK )
The small Christmas markets , which are spread throughout the city, are also worth seeing. One can be found on 6th Avenue in Bryant Park (address: Sixth Ave, between 40th and 42nd streets), another is at the base of Central Park West, at Columbus Circle, and another can be seen at Union Square. There are lots of great handmade Christmas decorations and delicious food to buy at these small markets. But please don't be disappointed. Alcohol is banned at every Christmas market in New York.
You can find particularly great Christmas decorations in the well-known department store Macy's . It's best to go to the department store's main branch on 34th Street. From our travel center you could choose the following beautiful route:
In winter, ice skating rinks are set up in many places.
The most famous ice rink can be found in Central Park . You can get to the ice rink when you enter Central Park at 59th and 6th Avenue or 59th and 5th Avenue. For $19 an hour for adults and $6 for children, you can skate Mondays and Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. On Sunday the ice rink is only open until 9 p.m. and on the other days until 10 p.m.
Alternatively, there is also an ice skating rink in Bryant Park . You can go to the ice rink here every day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Driving is free. Equipment rentals cost $20 an hour .
Another very great place for ice skating is set up at Rockefeller Center. However, tickets must be pre-ordered there in order to get to the ice rink. There are many different offers.
By the way, it's also worth just visiting the ice skating rinks and just watching the ice skaters with a warm cup of cocoa and enjoying the great Christmas atmosphere. :)
Christmas films about New York
To prepare and increase the anticipation for your vacation in New York or even if you unfortunately won't be in New York at Christmas time, we have put together a few Christmas films for you here, which are set in the enchanting Christmas New York. With the following classic films you can spend the pre-Christmas season in Europe with a little New York Christmas magic if you want :)