In December, the Christmas spirit really hits NYC and makes it a wonderful time to visit the city. The Christmas shopping in New York is amazing, but there are so many things to see and do after the shopping is done. Here are some of the things I think you should check out, if you are visiting NYC during this time of the year.
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
The tree is more than 20 meters tall and beautifully decorated. The lights on the tree are turned on at a big ceremony on December 4th (2019) and the lights are on every day until early January.
There’s also an ice skating rink in front of the Christmas tree, but it is rather pricey. The ice rink entrance fee varies depending on which day and time you are visiting, and there’s an additional fee for rental of ice skates.
The giant Christmas ornaments on 6th Avenue
The ornaments in front of Exxon Building on 6th Avenue are among my favorites, and judging from the photos in my Instagram feed, I’m not the only one who adores those giant decorations. They are most beautiful after dark
Exxon Building 1251 Avenue of the Americas, between 49 and 50th Street
Bryant Park Winter Village
From late October to the beginning of January, Bryant Park is transformed into Winter Village. Where the lawn use to be, there’s a big ice skating rink, which is free of charge to use. You can buy snacks and drinks from the vendors, and shop for Christmas presents and souvenirs at the Christmas market lining the park.
The ice skating rink in Bryant Park is open each day 8am-10:30pm
Christmas decorations in the department stores
The department stores across the city make a real effort creating enticing displays and decorations. The Christmas window decorations Macy’s on Herald Square is probably the most famous, and they are known for going all in. The Christmas decorations and shop windows are really something special and shouldn’t be missed. The 9th floor at Macy’s is dedicated to Christmas shopping and holiday atmosphere.
In New York City you’ll often hear people referring to the Christmas season as “The Holiday Season” or just “The Holidays” so non-Christians also feel included in the celebrations. In the stores, it’s more common to be greeted with a “Happy Holidays” than a “Merry Christmas”.