How to Celebrate the Holidays in New York City

By Nabewise

New York City was just fabulous during the holidays. From the tree at Rockefeller Center lit up in all its glory to the ornate department store windows and even menorah lighting, the city is electric and family-friendly.


Dancing Snowflakes on the side of Saks Fifth Avenue
Dancing Snowflakes on the side of Saks Fifth Avenue

New York remains a paradise for any child despite the biting cold outside. Activities based on family will quickly fill a day, weekend, and even the whole holiday break. Everyone can get many great family options in NYC, regardless of religion or background. Below, we outline do’s and don’ts, a place to sleep and somewhere to eat, and suggest some hints and tips for an enjoyable trip in the Big Apple.

The little one’s eyes will undoubtedly widen and open at the windows of the city`s department store. Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdale’s, and Bergdorf Goodman, among other holiday-lighted storefronts, would form a good part of the glitz and glam sightseeing of Christmas in NYC.

Tips for your visit: The windows are scattered around the city. Hop on a tourist bus or utilize the public means of transport.

Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting is one of the most notable occasions in NYC. The yearly lighting is exhibited until January 6th.

Tips for your visit: The popular tree lighting. Go early! Or visit some other time when there are fewer people.

Bryant Park Holiday Market.
Bryant Park Holiday Market.

Bryant Park, Union Square, Columbus Circle, Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, Long Island City Flea and Food Holiday Market, Astoria Market Holiday, the Winter Flea in Brooklyn, Brooklyn; Holiday Bazaar, Jolly Holly Fair on Staten Island and Grand Central are some of the holiday markets to be found in New York City that kids will love taking a walk through. Each market hosts different artisans and merchants selling handmade hats, gloves, jewelry, and other gifts.

The third likely place to shop and see lights is Chelsea Market, which has terrific holiday lights and boasts many vendors and restaurants.

Tips for your visit: Once you’re done with the market, walk along the High Line. It could be a holiday stroll, a gift drive, or another event courtesy of Friends of the High Line.

Another perfect neighborhood that can be visited over the holidays is Little Italy. The streets are brightly lit, and the restaurant owners will spoil your kids with good food.

Speaking of decorations, you must visit Sixth Avenue in midtown with your kids if you love decorations. It’s quite a holiday spectacle.

Grand Central Station’s Holiday Train Show includes a model of the commuter network with Metro-North, New York Central, and subway trains leaving from a miniature Grand Central Terminal.

You and your kids will be amazed at the beautiful model trains and replicas of some of New York City’s famous landmarks, from the Empire State Building to Grand Central, at the New York Botanical Garden’s annual HolidayTrain Show.

Tips for your visit: Plan with a day and time to enter, as you must make ticket bookings beforehand. Before returning home, get a cannoli and cappuccino at Arthur Avenue & 187th Street in Little Italy in The Bronx.

New Yorkers have a favorite concert series, St. John the Divine’s Winter Solstice. The Cathedral’s beautiful interior and Great Aeolian-Skinner Pipe Organ are showcased during these celebrations.

Tips for your visit: It is also an excellent substitute for Nutcracker and Rockettes, which tickets are indeed harder to secure. Book your tickets in advance.\

Bryant Park Winter Village and Ice Skating Rink
Bryant Park Winter Village and Ice Skating Rink

Bryant Park is an excellent choice if you would like to go ice skating with your children in NYC. Skate rentals are available, or you may bring your own. You can also visit the Fetes de Noel holiday market, have a hot chocolate at the Pond Snackshop, and ride on the carousel.

Tips for your visit: Remember to come with a combination lock in case you want to secure your items.

More from MiniTime: The most festive Xmas destinations in Europe.

Every year, the Museum of Natural History organizes a lively celebration of Kwanza, featuring song, dance, spoken word performances, and an international marketplace.

Tips for your visit: After a museum visit, visit Alice’s Tea Cup on 73rdf and Columbus for some scones and tea.

Dyker Heights Light Extravaganza
Dyker Heights Light Extravaganza

The tour includes a visit to Dyker Heights in Brooklyn, an Italian-American neighborhood in southwestern Brooklyn, and its Christmas light display known as Light Extravaganza. The displays can be viewed from 11th to 13th Avenues and from 83rd through 86th Street.

If you are Jewish and looking to keep the kids entertained on Christmas Day, come to the stunning Eldridge Street Synagogue and participate in Yiddish songs and activities at our annual family concert at the Museum.

The world’s most enormous menorah is lit every night of Hanukkah at 5th Avenue near Central Park. The nightly lighting ceremonies will accompany folk dancing and sufganiyot (holiday jelly doughnuts).

Finalmente, para muchos neoyorkinos con raíces en Latinoamérica o el Caribe se celebra la temporada navideña hasta doce días después de la Navidad. Epiphany, also known as Three Kings Day, is a holiday that celebrates the biblical tale of the three kings bringing gifts to baby Jesus. Annually, El Museo del Barrio through a procession along the East Harlem streets referred to as the Three Kings Day Parade, happening this year on January 6.

Pay a visit to Serendipity 3 on the Upper East Side for a frozen hot chocolate, banana sundae, or hot fudge brownie.

Tips for your visit: Dylan’s Candy Bar may involve waiting, so stop here first to restock.

For instance, The Westin New York at Times Square is good if you want to stay in NYC during the holidays. Family-friendly and centrally located at the heart of Times Square, with a concierge to orient them to Broadway-plus. It is also right across the Street from Carlo’s Bakery, a delight for most children.

Kimberly Hotel is located at 145 East 50th Street near the Rockefeller Center, the American Girl Store, and Bloomingdale’s. This is great for people like us or people who plan to stay in their house for long periods.