Few destinations can compare with New York when it comes to the holiday season. Beginning with a Thanksgiving parade, the Big Apple transforms itself into a winter wonderland, which lasts until the Times Square Ball drops to celebrate the New Year.

Holiday Activities

Ice rinks pop up across the city such as Central Park’s famous Wollman Rink, which has been showcased in many iconic movies. You can also enjoy sledding when snow is present in Central Park and Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.

Get all your Christmas shopping done at Grand Central Terminal’s Holiday Fair or head to Union Square Holiday Markets, where you’ll find all sorts of unique handmade treasures. A visit to Saks Fifth Avenue will offer luxury shopping in addition to one of the best Christmas light displays of any New York storefront.

After shopping for gifts, head to Serendipity 3 for a frozen hot chocolate or head to Bryant Park’s Winter Village where you can skate, shop, and eat all in one place. It is the only rink in NYC where admission is free.

Must See Holiday Attractions

At the centre of the holiday attractions is the huge Norway spruce Christmas tree known as the Rockefeller Christmas Tree which gets decked out in over 50,000 lights and a massive Swarovski crystal star to top it off. Ice skating beneath the display is a truly memorable experience.

You should also head to Dyker Heights in Brooklyn to witness residential Christmas light displays, which can cost households upwards of tens of thousands of dollars each and be sure to check out Radio City Hall’s Christmas Spectacular, where you can witness the high leg kicking action of the Rockettes.

For the perfect place to take a selfie, seek out the massive red Christmas ornaments off 6th Avenue or Time Warner Center’s 14 foot LED stars.

Experience Christmas Music at its Finest

The New York City Ballet puts on an annual magical Christmas performance, which includes George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra’s Messiah performance.

Don’t forget to attend Christmas carol sing-a-longs or witness many free choirs as they perform all your Christmas favourites.

New Year’s Celebration

For over 100 years, New York’s Times Square has hosted the iconic Ball Drop to ring in the New Year. Enjoy top notch music performances and experience massive fireworks displays with over a million people, making for a truly once in a lifetime celebratory experience.

There are also numerous other ways in which to celebrate New Year’s Eve including NYE cruises, NYE parties across the city, restaurants offering special menus, NYE bike rides, and more.

For New Year’s Day, take part in the Coney Island Polar Bear Club’s New Year’s Day Swim or attend one of many special brunches offered by the city’s finest restaurants.

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