New York City is one of the most fabulous cities in the world. And there are plenty of reasons to visit during any time of the year. But, there is something extra special about New York City during the holidays.
It’s like you can feel the joy and Christmas spirit in the air when you walk down the streets. You can smell the warm chestnuts roasting on the food carts all along the city sidewalks, lights and decorations are abundant.
And there is so much to do and see which is why I wanted to created the New York City Ultimate Holiday Bucket List!
The New York City Ultimate Holiday Bucket List
- Experience the amazing displays of Christmas lights in Dyker Heights. Head over to Brooklyn to see the amazing display of lights and Christmas decorations throughout the neighborhood.
- Go on a holiday jazz cruise on the Hudson River. There are plenty of enclosed boats that will take you around the city to see the sights. Fill up on warm cookies and hot cocoa while listening to a live jazz band play all your holiday favorites.
- Ride the Seaglass Carousel in Battery City Park. Let your inner child out by riding in the magical Seaglass Carousel at the Battery Conservancy.
- Watch the ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s Eve as you ring in the new year. Either brave the crowds and cold on New Year’s Eve or buy tickets to an adjacent restaurant to get a front-row seat to the classic ball drop.
- Visit Santa at Santaland in the iconic original Macy’s. See the iconic department store and walk through a winter wonderland while you are waiting to meet Santa and get your picture with him for the holidays.
- See a different side of Santa and all of his elves during Santacon. If you are in NYC during Santacon, all the Santa’s running wild will be hard to miss. Better yet, donate to Santa’s charities and take part in the debauchery that is Santacon.
- Bake some holiday cookies. What could be more festive than baking some sugar cookies and decorating them with frosting and candy?
- Watch Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. The best of the series, watch this classic film as Kevin galavants all over New York City during Christmastime.
New York City Ultimate Holiday Bucket List: Thanksgiving
- Attend the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade. Go in person to watch the huge balloons float through the streets of New York City. Or head to the Upper West Side the night before to see the floats get inflated in preparation for the parade.
- Host or attend a Friendsgiving with your friends. Get a turkey, some decorations, gather your friends and have a celebration of thanks and friendship. Get tips on how to style your friendsgiving tablescape or find inspiration and recipes on my Pinterest board.
- Watch a Thanksgiving episode of your favorite New York City based TV show to get into the holiday spirit. Some favorites are the Friends Thanksgiving episode or the season 1 Gossip Girl Thanksgiving episode.
New York City Ultimate Holiday Bucket List: Ice Skating
- Go ice skating at Rockefeller Center: You can spend even more time enjoying the Christmas tree and lights at Rockefeller Center by going ice skating there.
- Ice skate at Wollman Rink in Central Park. Get some fresh air and exercise by ice skating at the famed Wollman Rink in Central Park.
- Go ice skating for free at Bryant Park’s Winter Village. The only ice skating rink that you can skate for free. Soak in the Christmas spirit while skating or participating in one of their events here like Broomball. While going ice skating is free, it still costs money to rent ice skates, socks, locks, etc.
New York City Ultimate Holiday Bucket List: Cocktails and Drinks
- Sip the famed hot cocoa at City Bakery. Often regarded as the best hot cocoa in the world, stop in to City Bakery in the Flatiron District to try some for yourself.
- Grab a delicious, festive drink at Bar SixtyFive. Bar SixtyFive is atop the Rockefeller Center with breath-taking views of the city. Make your way over after seeing the Rockette’s Christmas Spectacular and sip on one of their maple-cinnamon cocktails.
- Put on your ugliest Christmas sweater and head to Rolf’s for your most festive drink of the year. Basic Instagram photos guaranteed. Make you reservations early for this year-round, over the top, Christmas-themed bar in Gramercy.
- Have a festive brunch and cocktails at the historic Tavern on the Green in Central Park. This classic restaurant does a festive brunch menu for the holiday season, has a massive fireplace and also does live jazz nights during the winter.
- Brew up some mulled wine. Grab a bottle of wine, some spices and some heat to make a delicious and hearty drink to keep you warm in the winter. It would be the perfect drink to serve for Friendsgiving.
New York City Ultimate Holiday Bucket List: Christmas Trees
- See the lit Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. One of the iconic symbols of Christmastime in New York City. You can go for the annual tree-lighting event or see the tree all lit up all throughout the holiday season.
- Admire the tree in the lobby of the Plaza Hotel. Stay and enjoy a drink at the Champagne Bar or in the Oak Room.
- See the Madison Square Park Holiday Tree. Take a stroll through Madison Square Park and get a taste of the season’s festivities.
New York City Ultimate Holiday Bucket List: Shopping
- Shop at the Grand Holiday Bazaar. Find unique gifts, handmade items and delicious food at this holiday themed market.
- Shop at the Holiday Market in Union Square. Try new dishes, new drinks and get all your holiday shopping done at the Holiday Market in Union Square.
- Walk the holiday displays done Fifth Avenue. See all the lights and holiday displays that are in sync with music throughout the midtown area of Fifth Avenue.
New York City Ultimate Holiday Bucket List: Shows
- See the Radio City Rockettes at the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Enjoy an iconic New York City show that is sure to dazzle you. Taking place at Radio City Music Hall, this show will be sure to take your breath away. You can read more about what it’s like to go here.
- Attend The Nutcracker at the New York City Ballet. A classic Christmas ballet made all the more special by taking place in New York City.
Here’s to a happy and festive holiday season! Cheers to the New York City Ultimate Holiday Bucket List!
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