Travel Guide: The Holidays in New York City

There’s no better place to celebrate the holidays than in New York City. With its bustling streets, city lights, festive events, and enchanting decor you can’t go wrong. We’ve come up with a list of some of our favorite things to do, see, and experience in the city this time of year, so we hope you get to experience the magic and book a getaway to the Big Apple.

To kick off the holiday season, New York City hosts the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Stretching from Central Park to Macy’s Herald Square, people line the streets for a glimpse of one of the largest parades in the world. Since 1924, Macy’s has been dazzling it’s viewers with magnificent floats, balloons, and famous performers. It’s a timeless tradition that’s broadcast to the world, creating a sense of joy and community to everyone each Thanksgiving Day. So don’t miss your chance to be a part of history!

After Thanksgiving, the rush of the holiday season is in full swing with festive lobbies, decorated squares, and elaborate window displays. Rockefeller square becomes the highlight of the city, as everyone gathers for the annual Christmas Tree Lighting. A giant tree is cut and brought into the city, being put on display for people to enjoy, bringing a sense of hope and joy for New Yorkers and visitors alike. The tree lighting event is one for the books and you can even go ice skating nearby at the famous Rink at Rockefeller Center. The Winter Village at Bryant Park is another event you won’t want to miss as over 175 boutiques pop up offering exquisite gifts, unique apparel, and local foods. It’s the perfect place to find those last minute holiday gifts for friends and family.

Saks Fifth Avenue has one of the most famous light and window displays this time of year, illuminating the city with its elaborate lights. It’s a masterpiece of design and art with each window display telling a different story. You can also experience the magic of Christmas this holiday season meandering through The Plaza hotel lobby, famous for their beautiful tree, decor, and dining. While visiting you can have some yummy ho-ho-hot chocolate from the cocoa cart, experience Eloise Tea with Santa, drink some festive holiday cocktails at The Rose Club, and dine at their famous Todd English Food Hall. When stopping in at The Plaza this season, you’ll feel as though you’ve walked into a Hallmark movie fairytale.

Looking for a show to see this holiday season? The Radio City Rockettes know how to celebrate in their elaborate costume and set designs, combining singing, dancing, and humor with traditional scenes and an original music score. The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is a timeless performance that will take you through the ages and leave you wanting more.

Food is such a big part of the holidays, with traditional dishes being made from all over the world to celebrate. We’ve compiled a list of a couple of our favorite restaurants in the City this season. If you’re looking for a place to eat for Thanksgiving, Union Square Cafe has one of the best traditional Thanksgiving meals. All of your favorite dishes are elevated to a gourmet dining experience, featuring some of our favorite pies such as Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie and Pumpkin Pie. To experience the magic of the holidays while enjoying delicious international fare, we also recommend going to Rolf’s. Rolf’s is a German restaurant and bar that serves traditional German and French cuisine. That’s not even the best part though, Rolf’s is known for decorating their restaurant to the nines, creating a magical experience desired by all. With ornaments and decor covering the space, you’ll feel like you’ve walked into a Christmas Wonderland. 

Looking for a place to ring in the New Year? Time Square has one of the biggest celebrations in the world, with special guest performers, amazing fireworks, and a New Year’s Eve countdown you’ll never forget. People from all over the world fill the square to celebrate and see the famous ball drop. It’s a once in a lifetime experience shared with old and new friends. If you’re looking for a more quiet place to celebrate the New Year though, we recommend climbing aboard a New Year’s Eve cruise in New York Harbor. Experience an elegant evening in formal attire on a yacht, enjoying drinks and hors d’oeuvres with loved ones.

We hope this holiday season you get the chance to experience the magic of New York City with it’s charming streets, joyful events, and holiday decor. Wishing you a Happy Holidays celebrating with family, friends, and loved ones.