We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Christmas in New York

Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
16 posts
11 reviews
Save Topic
Christmas in New York

My husband and I will be spending Christmas in New York. We are first time visitors from Australia. Any must sees? Where should we spend Christmas Day? Best restaurant choices for Christmas Day would also be much appreciated. So looking forward to the trip. Can't wait

New York
Level Contributor
43 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Christmas in New York

Hi Karen,

Museums and most restaurants will be closed on Christmas Day. Try catching a movie or going to the a zoo (such as the Central Park Zoo.) There may be some seasonal concerts playing - try the NY Phil or the Christmas Spectacular at Rockefeller Center. Enjoy!

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
6,158 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Christmas in New York

The main restaurant booking website is OpenTable. Restaurants that will be open on Christmas Day will post their special menus and start taking reservations about a month in advance:

www.opentable.com/new-york-city-restaurants…

If you're arriving a few days before Christmas, you can visit the holiday markets before they close on Christmas Eve. There are markets at Union Square, Bryant Park, Columbus Circle, and Grand Central.

On Christmas Eve you can go caroling in Washington Square Park or Gramercy Park. Gramercy Park is private and the caroling is the only time it is open to the public.

You'll probably want to see the Christmas windows along 5th Avenue from Rockefeller Center to Central Park, and also the windows at Macy's, Lord & Taylor, and Bloomingdales. You can walk a route from Bloomies to Macy's to take them all in. You can even do this on Christmas Day.

I believe the ice skating in Central Park, at Rockefeller Center, and in Bryant Park are open on Christmas Day. (Someone please correct me if I'm wrong about that).

Weather allowing, a nice walk in Central Park is great on Christmas Day. As mentioned, the zoos are open and the Rockettes will have 3 shows that day. And the Empire State Building and Top of the Rock observation decks are open on Christmas Day, too.

Enjoy!

Edited: 06 September 2013, 23:11
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
9,021 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Christmas in New York

Over on the Right side of this page there is a list of links...one of them - What to see and do during the Winter holidays - is great and will answer lots of your questions.....

But evidently you cannot see this list of links if you're looking on a mobile device...

Here's a previous thread on the topic that has a lot of the same info about Christmas Windows, Lights, Trees, Carols, Markets...it also has people's opinions:

tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g60763-i5-k6674…

AND see the links in the posts on that thread....

Have a great holiday..it's a magical time to go to that wonderful city.

New York, New York
Level Contributor
6,943 posts
106 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Christmas in New York

One of the most beautiful and memorable sights at Christmastime is the gigantic Christmas tree in the Metropolitan Museum (metmuseum.org/en/…christmas-tree), laden with Neapolitan handcarved angels from the 18th century, with a stunning creche with animals, the three kings, and a number of village characters. The Museum is always "pay what you wish" despite a suggested contribution. If you don't want to pay the suggested price, simply go up to the cashier and say "I'd like to pay $1 today," or whatever amount. The Trustees want to ensure no one is prevented from enjoying the museum on account of lack of $.

Another beautiful place to visit at Christmastime is the Cloisters section of the Metropolitan, their building in Northern Manhattan completely devoted to Medieval art. It is truly like a time machine, visiting there with the tapestries, portraits of knights, kings, ladies, and spectacular religious art.

I hope it will snow while you're here. A magical quiet descends upon our concrete and iron when it snows. Make sure you bring woolies and a good pair of waterproof boots!

Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
16 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Christmas in New York

Thanks for the tip about carolling on Christmas eve. that sounds fantastic, though my husband may take some convincing. we are arriving in NY on the 19th of December so will have some time to take in the markets. thanks for the tips

Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
16 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Christmas in New York

I have since switched to my laptop and can see them now so will spend quite a bit of time browsing. thanks for that

Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
16 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Christmas in New York

Thanks lizzieanddizzy will be sure to go. The tree sounds magical. We are hoping for a white Christmas, that would be a wish come true. Whilst I love our Aussie Christmases with all the sun an surf it would be fantastic to have snow at Christmas.

New York, NY
Level Contributor
35 posts
1 review
Save Reply
8. Re: Christmas in New York

Hey Karen, Good for you! Glad you're coming to the snow (hopefully)... it really is magical. I forgot to mention Handel's Messiah. In case you are interested in classical music. Here is a link to the NY Philarharmonic: http://nyphil.org/ -- they will be performing it the night you arrive and a few days thereafter (recommend you take it easy arrival day to get over jet lag!). I believe there is a performance of the Messiah at which the audience is asked to participate if they like, but I'm not sure where that takes place. Most of the major churches will have many beautiful choral works on their rosters. Welcome and be sure to check the web closer to Christmas time. OH and if you have a special restaurant in mind for Christmas, it isn't a bad idea to start looking and booking it now. What kind of food are you interested in? (There are literally thousands of restaurants here...serving the 8 million+ people.)

Portland, Maine
Level Contributor
10,977 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Christmas in New York

And although you didn't ask, be aware that there's no such thing as Boxing Day in the U.S. It's a regular workday with lots of traffic in the department stores, returns and sales.

Swansea, United...
1 post
Save Reply
10. Re: Christmas in New York

Let me just say whatever you do, you are going to have a fantastic time, I spent Christmas 2007 in the Big Apple with my family and it's still the best Christmas we've had. A few suggestions Bryant park is better value for money I think it's $15 for hiring the skates but free entry and you can skate all day, at the Rockefeller it's around $25 for an hour and a half and about $10 for skate hire and thats if it's not gone up since 2007. Another must is to go and see Santa at Macy's, another tip is at the hotel you're staying pick up a what's on magazine at the reception and they will have coupons in saving you $$$$$ and also ideas what to do. Have a fab time hope it's helped a bit