New York City is a magical place to get in the Christmas spirit and celebrate the holidays. Tourists and locals alike can enjoy all of New York’s festive parks, restaurants, window displays and more. Whether it’s your first time visiting NYC or you’re a local looking to experience more holiday cheer, this list is sure to help you make the most of this holiday season!🎄🎅🏼
- Ice Skate!
Nothing screams “winter!” like lacing up a pair of ice skates and going to your favorite rink. Luckily, NYC has multiple ice skating rinks, such as Bryant Park (our fave– its FREE if you bring your own skates & its part of the park’s Winter Village), Wollman Rink at Central Park (amazing views of the city and the park), Brookfield Place (you can see the Statue of Liberty from the rink!), and of course, Rockefeller Center (the most famous rink in NYC, right near so many other holiday attractions).
2. Check out a holiday market
We have a whole separate post about all of the best vendors and attractions at the four major holiday markets: the Union Square Holiday Market, the Columbus Circle Holiday Market, the Winter Village at Bryant Park and the Grand Central Holiday Fair! Each of these markets has hundreds of vendors selling food, drinks, and handmade and unique arts, apparel, jewelry, accessories, and many more.
3. Go to a show
Two of the most iconic shows to attend during the holidays are the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center. Each of these shows is incredible and a great way to relax after a long day of shopping or ice skating!
4. Eat & drink festively
One of the most popular rooftop restaurant & bars in the winter is 230 Fifth, AKA Igloo Bar, which is famous for its heated igloos that can fit up to 12 people! This allows you to enjoy an amazing rooftop view while staying warm. Another great festive spot if Rolf’s. This German restaurant is decked out in tinsel, lights, ornaments, icicles– a Christmas dream.
5. Visit the windows on 5th Ave
High-end retailers such as Barneys, Hermes, Tiffany & Co, Cartier, Bergdorf Goodman, and Henri Bendel create absolutely stunning window displays that tell stories and exhibit their best and brightest new styles. This year, some retailers such as Barneys are pushing activism in a beautiful way, with the words “Make Change” shining through their display. Saks puts on their famous annual “Theater of Dreams” light show on the side of their building, which is a spectacle for tourists on their way to and from viewing the Rockefeller Plaza tree. Our favorite store to visit is Cartier– their displays are always incredible, and their flagship store has FREE hot chocolate and a candy bar to build your own bag of Cartier Red colored candies.
6. Help someone in need
Maybe you and your friends can decide to skip gifts this year and use the money to help people in need instead. This can be anything you want it to be: volunteer at a soup kitchen, a senior citizen home, a hospital, or even an animal shelter. There are so many ways to help make your community a better place, use this holiday season to make a change! We promise this will be 100% better than giving or receiving ANOTHER Starbucks gift card from your friends.
7. Meet Santa
You can meet Santa in most shopping malls, but in our opinion, Macy’s Santaland is the best. The 8th floor of Macy’s Herald Square is dedicated to all things Christmas. You can interact with elves while exploring, and of course meet Santa. Fun for kids & adults!
8. Shop for gifts!
After you meet Santa in Macy’s, explore the other floors and do some shopping!😉Holiday markets are also great for special and unique gifts, and NYC has every store that you may want to shop at within blocks. But remember that the holidays are all about doing these fun activities with friends and family, and spending time with loved ones!
In the name of print, pattern, & celebration,
Design Works International is a lifestyle studio located in the heart of Manhattan that’s been helping to define and capitalize on trends for over 30 years. Originally (and still) a print studio, the in-house artists at Design Works International are busy every day exploring, inspiring, and creating to bring you original prints that are on-trend and sure to sell!