3118270530 3eb01e1299 Z

No one does the holidays like NYC. People come from all around the globe to capture a glimpse of the holiday magic. Many flock to the windows at Times Square and the Rockefeller Tree lighting, but NYC offers much more. Here are a few of our favorite must-do activities in NYC during the holidays.

1. Christmas Caroling at Washington Square Park

On Christmas Eve, head to Washington Square Park to sing Christmas carols under the iconic arch in the park. Carolers join the Rob Susman Brass Quartet for a beautiful rendition of the classics.

2. Check out the Holiday Pop-ups

You can’t beat the holiday markets that pop up around NYC during the holidays. You can find quirky gifts, homemade treasures, and unique stocking stuffers. World Holiday Pop-up, Ethikal Holiday, Etsy Holiday Market, Fishs Eddy, and Jingle Holiday are some of New Yorkers favorite shops for the holidays.

3. Fuji Film Wonder Shop

Turn your holiday memories into special gifts and creative displays at the Fuji Film Wonder Photo Shop in the Flatiron District. The shop has DIY sessions and supplies that allow you to create a one-of-a-kind photo memory gift.

4. Tour Gingerbread Village


Image by Timeout

Take a tour of the largest gingerbread village at Madison Square Park. The gingerbread village arrived on December 6th, and it will only stick around for 2 weeks. Get over to see it now before it disappears until next year. The Gingerbread Village in Madison Square Park ends on December 18th.

5. Ride the Vintage Subway


Image by Gary Burke / Flickr

If you travel between Queens and Lower Manhattan, get a ride on the vintage “City Cars.”  The R1/9 subway cars that go back as far as the 1930’s travel the tracks giving riders a unique holiday experience on Sundays. The cars are donned with holiday holly, green trimmings, and dancing Christmas lights.

6. Drink from a Christmas Globe

Who needs a cocktail glass or wine goblet when you can sip from a snow globe with your favorite holiday character inside. Until the New Year, LOCL Bar on 77th and Broadway in the NYLO hotel will serve you an exceptional alcoholic drink and serve it in a holiday snow globe. The bar is cozy, the bartenders keep your glasses full, the drinks are good, and the holiday cheer is unmatched.

7. Visit the Holiday Botanical Garden Train Show

Take the kids to watch trains traverse the beautiful foliage in the botanical garden in the Bronx. The holiday train show features more than 150 iconic NYC replicas among luscious tropical plants. Each landmark is crafted from natural materials such as acorns, greenery, vines, and twigs. The train show is open until January 17th.

8. See the Lights in Brooklyn


Image by Wally Gobetz / Flickr

Check out the best Christmas lights displays in Brooklyn. One of the most famous places to visit is the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights displays, between 11th and 13th Ave., as well as 83rd and 86th St. There are so many lights and sights that you can take a bus ride to see them all. The bus ride takes more than 3 hours.


NYC is the best place to experience the holidays, but it is also one of the best places to give back during the holidays too. Complete your Christmas spirit journey by donating your time to a local charity such as the Make-a-Wish campaign, a soup kitchen, delivering meals to seniors with Meals on Wheels, or the Dorot Hanukkah home visits campaign.
NYC offers many adventures and sights during the holiday season. Which is your favorite holiday tradition in NYC?


Become an insider