Christmas in New York city

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Christmas is a beautiful time in New York, probably one of the best dates to visit the city of skyscrapers. On this route we will indicate the main points we have to visit if we go to New York for Christmas. We will therefore talk about the best shop windows, skating rinks and the main Christmas markets that take place in the Big Apple.

Lighting the Christmas tree

We will start this route by the symbol of Christmas, and that is that Christmas only begins in New York when the Rockefeller Center tree, ceremony that is performed at its highest after Thanksgiving. Located in the square, right next to the ice skating rink, it is taken to its location in mid-November and remains lit from the beginning of December to the beginning of January. With less tradition, but equally precious, we find the Christmas tree of Bryant Park, located also right next to an ice rink. To know the main dates, I recommend you read our article about the lighting of the New York Christmas trees.

Ice skating

And if we talk about the king of sports at Christmas, this is undoubtedly ice skating, of which there are real experts among New Yorkers. The best ice skating rinks are at Bryant Park and the Rockefeller Center, the first one much cheaper but the second with much more glamor. For more information, opening dates and times, I recommend you read our article where we indicate the best ice skating rinks in New York.

Skating at the Rockefeller Center
Skating at the Rockefeller Center

The best Christmas showcase

Nor can we leave New York without visiting any of the shop windows that the main stores of New York ride for Christmas, being authentic virguerias most of them. The most famous is probably that of Sak's on Fifth Avenue, not the Macy's store located on 34th street, right next to the Empire State, or the sophisticated shop windows of Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys or Bloomingdale. In any case it is convenient to go around and see them, they will surprise you.

Christmas markets

To finish, we recommend you go through any of the typical Christmas markets that are put in the squares of the city, three are the main ones:

  • Bryant Park: For me, the best Christmas market in the city. Formed by wooden houses located on the sides of the ice rink, you will undoubtedly find all kinds of original gifts and ornaments for Christmas.
  • Union Square: Another big street market is the one that takes place in this square, and when we get into it we might well believe that we are in the middle of Belgium, Prague or Munich.
  • Grand Central Terminal: The only one that takes place indoors in the city, so it's interesting especially if it's cold outside and covers practically the whole train station of small stands.
Christmas Market in Union Square
Christmas Market in Union Square

Similar to these, and that is gaining fame year after year, we find the flea market Columbus Circle, which is located four steps from Central Park and very close to the Rockefeller Center, and which is quite similar to Union Square or Grand Central Terminal. For more information, I recommend you read our article with The best Christmas markets in New York.

Christmas shows

In New York there is a long tradition of performing Christmas shows for the whole family. The most classic are two: the Nutcracker ballet, where the New York City Ballet performs and you can see at the Lincoln Center, and The Rockettes and their incredible Christmas Spectacular, a show that takes place at the Radio City Music Hall until the end of December.

When is Christmas celebrated?

Finally a tip, and it's go in December to New York if you want to enjoy Christmas in the city. Unlike in our Christian tradition, from Christmas Eve and Christmas many shop windows and markets close and prepare for January sales, so that part of the festive and Christmas atmosphere in New York is lost.

Map of the route


Finally, I leave a list of some places of interest and nearby routes: