A Guide to Spending the Holidays in NYC

Everyone should experience Christmas, Kwanza, Chanukah, or solstice in New York City at least once. The vibrant city comes alive more than ever throughout winter, as it is bursting with energy, activities, and festive lights.

Regardless of the religion that you celebrate, you cannot deny there is magic in the air in the Big Apple from November to January. If you would like to experience it for yourself soon, read this guide to spending the holidays in NYC.

Festive Things to Do

Festive magic comes in many forms in New York City from November. Those celebrating Christmas should look no further than Rockefeller Center, as the historic landmark transforms into a winter wonderland at Christmas, offering an ice rink, a 79-foot Christmas tree, and the iconic show the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes.

Also, you can explore many holiday markets that pop up in various spots across the city, including Union Square, Columbus Circle, Bryant Park, and Grand Central Terminal, to name a few.

Delicious Holiday Menus

Food lovers will be delighted to learn that restaurants across the Big Apple take the time to create stunning seasonal menus to celebrate the holidays. It doesn’t matter if you are a fan of French, Indian, Moroccan, or Italian cuisine; you can enjoy dishes that embody the season and its freshest produce.

For example, you will want to stop by Bien Cuit during a visit, as the Brooklyn bakery puts a festive twist on some of its desserts, such as its millennial pink bûches de noël. Also, Shalom Japan serves Japanese-Jewish dishes perfect for the holidays, such as its potato okonomiyaki with salmon roe and bonito flakes.

Fun Holiday Shows

You will not be short of options for holiday shows in New York City, but you would be wise to book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. For example, you can watch:

  • A Christmas Carol at NederlanderTheater
  • Jingle Ball at Madison Square Garden
  • Kenny G. Holiday Show at NYCB Theater
  • Kwanzaa: A Regeneration Celebration at Apollo’s Historic Theater

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Fantastic Holiday Events

Locals and tourists can enjoy many fantastic holiday events in New York City. For example, the annual Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is scheduled forNovember 30th, 2022, and will illuminate 24 hours a day.

Also, you can attend the lighting of the world’s largest Hannukah Menorahs at sundown at the Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn or Grand Army Plaza in Midtown on December 2nd, 2022. You can view the 32-foot-high menorahs for eight days.


New York City is a melting pot of cultures, cuisines, and religionsreflected in its attractions, food scene, and events. The Big Apple tends to heavily feature Christmas lights, but there are plenty of activities, shows, and events for all backgrounds and faiths. 

One thing is certain, and that is that you will have an unforgettable time during your stay in the Big Apple, which is home to world-famous landmarks, superb Broadway shows, and exciting restaurants, bars, and stores.

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