The 15 Best Things To Do On Christmas Eve In NYC
When it comes to the holiday season, there's no denying that New York City is a magical place to be. From the towering Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center to the elaborate department store window displays, there are multiple best things to do on Christmas eve in NYC.
But if you're spending Christmas Eve in the city and wondering what to do, fear not! There are plenty of exciting activities and events to enjoy.
In this article, we'll explore some of the best things to do on Christmas Eve in NYC.
Christmas In New York City | Things To Do And Attractions
Ice Skating In Central Park
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Ice skating is a fun activity to enjoy during Christmas Eve in NYC, and Central Park is one of the best places to do it. The Wollman Rink in Central Park is a popular spot for ice skating and is open on Christmas Eve.
Skating on the rink surrounded by snow-covered trees is an experience to cherish forever. You can rent skates and lockers on-site, and there are also skating aids for children.
Visit The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting is one of the most awaited events of the holiday season. The iconic tree stands at over 75 feet tall and is decorated with thousands of lights and ornaments.
The tree is lit up every day, but Christmas Eve is a particularly special night to visit. You can also check out the nearby Rockefeller Center ice skating rink.
Attend The Radio City Christmas Spectacular
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is a holiday tradition in NYC, and it's a must-attend event on Christmas Eve.
The show features the world-famous Rockettes, who perform high-kicking dance routines and a variety of holiday-themed acts. The show is held at the Radio City Music Hall and is a magical experience for both adults and kids.
Watch The Nutcracker Ballet At Lincoln Center
The Nutcracker ballet is a beloved holiday classic, and there's no better place to watch it than at the Lincoln Center in NYC.
The performance features the New York City Ballet and is a magical experience for all ages. The stage is beautifully decorated, and the costumes are stunning.
Take A Horse-drawn Carriage Ride
A horse-drawn carriage ride through the streets of NYC is a romantic and charming way to spend Christmas Eve. The carriage ride takes you through some of the city's most iconic locations, such as Central Park and Times Square.
You can snuggle up under a warm blanket and enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday season. It's a perfect activity for couples and families alike.
See The Dyker Heights Christmas Lights
Located in the Dyker Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, the Dyker Heights Christmas lights are a must-see attraction during the holiday season.
The area features dozens of homes decorated with elaborate light displays, with some even featuring life-size Santas and reindeer. The best time to see the lights is after dusk, when the displays are illuminated. Many of the houses also play holiday music, adding to the festive atmosphere.
Go Window Shopping On Fifth Avenue
Fifth Avenue is famous for its high-end shops and boutiques, which go all out with holiday window displays during the Christmas season.
From Saks Fifth Avenue to Bergdorf Goodman, the windows are often decorated with elaborate scenes and moving displays, making them a must-see attraction during the holidays. Take a stroll down the avenue and marvel at the creativity and artistry of the displays.
Attend The Christmas Eve Mass At St. Patrick's Cathedral
For those looking for a more religious experience on Christmas Eve, attending the midnight Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral is a popular option. The Mass is a beautiful service that includes carols, hymns, and readings from the Bible.
The cathedral itself is also a stunning example of Neo-Gothic architecture, with beautiful stained glass windows and intricate carvings.
Visit The Union Square Holiday Market
The Union Square Holiday Market is an outdoor market that features over 100 vendors selling handmade goods and artisanal food. Located in the heart of Manhattan, the market is a great place to pick up unique Christmas gifts for your loved ones.
The market also features live music and other entertainment, making it a fun place to spend an afternoon or evening.
Explore The Winter Village At Bryant Park
The Winter Village at Bryant Park is another popular outdoor market that features over 170 vendors selling everything from crafts to food. The market also includes an ice skating rink, making it a great place to go skating with family or friends.
There are also several restaurants and food stalls serving up hot drinks and winter treats, making it a cozy and festive place to spend an evening.
Watch The New York City Ballet Perform The Nutcracker
The Nutcracker Ballet is a traditional holiday classic and a must-see performance in New York City. The New York City Ballet's rendition of the Nutcracker is one of the most popular ballet performances in the city during Christmas time.
The show features over 90 dancers, a full orchestra, and an elaborate set design. The performance usually takes place at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, and tickets are often sold out quickly. If you plan to attend the Nutcracker Ballet, it is recommended to book tickets well in advance.
Visit The American Museum Of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History is one of the most popular museums in New York City and a great place to visit during the holiday season.
The museum has an extensive collection of artifacts and exhibits that showcase the natural world and the history of human culture. During Christmas time, the museum offers special exhibits and events such as the Origami Holiday Tree and the Hayden Planetarium Space Show.
The museum is also famous for its dinosaur skeletons, including the famous Tyrannosaurus Rex exhibit. The American Museum of Natural History is a perfect place to visit with the family on Christmas Eve.
Take A Holiday Lights Tour
A holiday lights tour is an excellent way to explore the festive spirit of New York City during Christmas time. The city offers various holiday lights tours that take you around the city's most iconic landmarks, including the Rockefeller Center, Times Square, and the Empire State Building.
The tours typically take place on double-decker buses or trolleys, and some even provide hot chocolate and cookies to passengers. The tours usually last for a couple of hours, and the guides provide interesting facts and history about the city's holiday traditions.
Attend A Christmas Concert Or Show
New York City offers numerous Christmas concerts and shows during the holiday season. You can attend the famous Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall, featuring the Rockettes, or enjoy a classic holiday movie at the United Palace Theater.
You can also attend a Christmas concert at Carnegie Hall or the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. The options are endless, and there is something for everyone in the family.
Enjoy A Holiday Dinner Or Brunch At A Restaurant
New York City is famous for its diverse culinary scene, and there are plenty of restaurants that offer special holiday menus on Christmas Eve. You can enjoy a Christmas dinner at renowned restaurants such as The Russian Tea Room or Delmonico's.
For a more casual dining experience, you can visit the famous Brooklyn pizza joint, Grimaldi's, or have a Christmas brunch at Sarabeth's. It is recommended to make reservations in advance, as many restaurants get fully booked during the holiday season.
People Also Ask
What Are Some Free Things To Do On Christmas Eve In NYC?
There are several free things to do on Christmas Eve in NYC, such as visiting the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree or watching the window displays at famous department stores.
Where Can I Go Ice Skating On Christmas Eve In NYC?
You can go ice skating on Christmas Eve at various locations in NYC, including Rockefeller Center, Central Park, Bryant Park, and Wollman Rink.
What Are Some Family-friendly Activities To Do On Christmas Eve In NYC?
Some family-friendly activities to do on Christmas Eve in NYC include visiting the New York Botanical Garden's Holiday Train Show, watching the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, or taking a holiday lights tour.
Can I Attend A Midnight Mass On Christmas Eve In NYC?
Yes, several churches in NYC offer midnight masses on Christmas Eve, such as St. Patrick's Cathedral, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and The Church of St. Ignatius Loyola.
What Restaurants Are Open On Christmas Eve In NYC?
Many restaurants in NYC are open on Christmas Eve, ranging from casual to fine dining. Some popular options include The Smith, Balthazar, and Carbone. It is recommended to make reservations in advance.
There are many best things to do on Christmas eve in NYC. From visiting famous landmarks to enjoying holiday-themed shows and performances, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Whether you're a local or a visitor, the festive atmosphere and abundance of holiday cheer make Christmas Eve in NYC a truly magical experience.
So, gather your friends and family, put on your warmest coat, and get ready to create unforgettable memories in the city that never sleeps.