Did you know? NYC is one of the best Christmas Destinations.
List of things to do in NYC.
1. See Santa at Macy’s Santaland (or elsewhere) before he sails away in his sleigh. FREE
2. Go Christmas caroling on Christmas Eve in Washington Square Park. FREE
3. Spend Christmas Day at one of NYC’s favorite Jewish institutions: The Jewish Museum, the Museum at Eldridge Street, and the Museum of Jewish Heritage are all open.
4. Stroll through the New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show to see model trains and a miniature NYC, including a brand new scene highlighting Midtown’s most iconic skyscrapers. Or check out the more modest train shows at the New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex in Grand Central Terminal or at the New-York Historical Society’s Holiday Express, which comes with hands-on activities (like a scavenger hunt!) for the kids this vacation week.
5. Marvel at stunning department store holiday windows and other awesome seasonal sights in midtown Manhattan. FREE
6. Take a trip to the outer boroughs to check out over-the-top holiday light displays, such as Brooklyn’s famously decked-out houses in Dyker Heights. FREE
7. Stand beneath a giant illuminated Christmas tree and snap a keepsake holiday photo. Rockefeller Center isn’t the only go-to spot. You can find lovely Christmas trees in Bryant Park and at South Street Seaport’s Pier 17, plus a flotilla of illuminated firs on Central Park’s Harlem Meer. FREE
8. Enjoy an underwater experience at the newly opened Ocean Odyssey in Times Square. The scientific minds at National Geographic joined forces with CGI experts to bring this interactive aquatic adventure to life.
9. Visit the Museum of the City of New York to take advantage of its awesome seasonal family programs, which include a Kwanzaa celebration and crafting snow globes. FREE with admission
10. Catch one of the big Hollywood holiday movie releases, such as Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Ferdinand, The Greatest Showman, Coco, or Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
11. Warm up with a cup of frothy, chocolatey goodness at one of Manhattan’s best hot chocolate spots.
12. Or head to Astoria’s Museum of the Moving Image for daily screenings of The LEGO Batman Movie. Use the film for inspiration at the museum’s Super Hero workshop and see the new Jim Henson exhibit. FREE with admission
13. An antidote to the excess of the season, craft with recycled goods at ReMake the Holidays at the New York Hall of Science.
14. While you’re there, gawk at gingerbread houses at the massive GingerBread Lane exhibit and try building your own at the museum’s GingerBread Lane House-Building Workshops on December 23 and December 27–30.
15. Got tweens or teens to entertain? Check out the nearly new VR World for some immersive gaming fun.
16. Indulge in a fancy afternoon tea at the Russian Tea Room, the Plaza, or another high-end eatery.
17. Splurge on high holiday culture at Lincoln Center with George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.
18. Or opt for a less-highfalutin holiday show, such as A Charlie Brown Christmas, or The Snow Queen.
19. Run away and see the circus, as the Big Apple Circus makes its triumphant return under new management.
20. Explore Brooklyn’s underground with hands-on activities at the New York Transit Museum.