‘Tis the season to love living in NYC despite the frosty cold. Be dazzled by treestrains and more holiday decor, see a seasonal show and say hi to Santa.

Create some holiday spirit with fun family volunteer opportunities. And all can celebrate Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

Still shopping? Visit a holiday market and see our ideas for experience gifts.

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Lights & Decor | Trees | Santa | Trains | Shows | Markets | Ice Skating

Gingerbread Lane

Check out rainbow light shows at fancy malls like the jazzy holiday under the stars, new Shine On at Hudson Yards and downtown Luminaries. Find Frozen 2 fun at Saks and intergalactic slow globes at Bloomies.

Head to Queens for an elaborate gingerbread village or huge, heated Hello Panda Lantern Festival. And the Holiday Lights at the Bronx Zoo return for far-fling festive fun.

See all lights & decor


You better watch out…Santa is all over NYC. Face the crowds et reservations for the full Macy’s Santaland experience, join Santa for breakfast and ice skating at Rockefeller Center and many more options. The shortest lines are usually at Bloomingdale’s, the Paley Center (where you can see him on the big screen too) and the Plaza.

More info on NYC Santas

met christmas tree

Beyond the famous Rockefeller tree, find unique evergreens all over town. Go classic and classy at the Plaza Hotel or Lotte New York Palace, admire original decorations including origami dinosaurs, hundreds of paper cranes and baroque Italian figurines and enjoy proximity to ice skatingholiday markets and iconic architecture.

More info on holiday trees

Holiday Train Show at Grand Central Terminal

Train lovers are in luck during this season. Make a day of it at the New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show, go All Aboard to Richard Scarry’s Busytown on the UWS, stop by the smaller, free Holiday Train Show at Grand Central Terminal actually ride vintage subway cars.

More info on holiday trains

George Balanchine's The Nutcracker Tickets on Sale

While family-friendly theater and dance abound all year long in NYC, young show lovers are especially spoiled during the holidays. Quality classics like The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center or Radio City Christmas Spectacular are worth a splurge, but more intimate and less expensive options are also available including Yeti, Set, Snow! at the charming Swedish Marionette Cottage, relaxed holiday concerts and a Kid On The Town presented interactive Nutcracker.

More info on holiday shows | Nutcracker guide

Winter Village at Bryant Park

Gilde on ice at the traditional at the iconic (and crowded) Rockefeller Center, try the newest rink or  disco roller skate with Santa. Those too young to skate can ride pushable sit-down sleighs at the Rink at Brookfield Place.

More info on ice skating


Shop for one-of-a-kind gifts and sample treats at festive outdoor and indoor markets & pop-up shops, often with nearby trees, ice skating and other attractions.

Plus check out our weekly deals for savings online and in NYC.

More info on holiday markets