10 NYC Christmas Activities Worth the Hype

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Who doesn’t love Christmas? While Christmas is celebrated in many different ways around the world, there’s something particularly magical about spending Christmas in New York. Though many Christmas activities in the Big Apple can feel touristy and tacky, many of the popular activities are really worth the hype. Here is a list of 10 NYC Christmas activities that visitors shouldn’t miss.


10/10 The Rockefeller Tree

Christmas trees are planted all over New York City during the holiday season, but is undoubtedly the most famous The Rockefeller Tree in Rockefeller Center in Manhattan. Coming from Queensbury, NY in 2022, the tree stands 82 feet tall and will be adorned with the brightest Christmas lights as usual.

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9/10 Bryant Park Winter Village

Bank of America sponsors Bryant Park Winter Village every holiday season in New York, and it’s a great place to find unique shopping and fascinating dining all in one place. Bryant Park is located at 42nd Street and 6th Avenue, and this year’s stores include Casa Toscana, with Tuscan sandwiches and candy; Brooklyn Woke Vintage, The Trufflelist featuring truffle products; Yumi Jewelry + Plants to name a few.

8/10 The Christmas tree at the Peninsula Hotel

Christmas tree at The Peninsula Hotel, NYC
about Kaitlyn Rosati

Christmas tree in 2021 at The Peninsula Hotel in NYC

The Peninsula Hotel may be pricey, but seeing the tree in the lobby is completely free. The tree is typically adorned to the nines with gold and red ornaments and ribbons, adorned with light gold lights, and never has a large, glittering star at the top. Aside from the Christmas tree, the Peninsula Hotel is one of the most luxurious in New York and worth a visit alone.

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7/10 drinks in the plaza

Best known for its appearance in Home Alone 2, the Plaza Hotel is certainly not New York’s best kept secret. That’s because in a city with hundreds of hotels, The Plaza is easily one of the best. Treating yourself to a drink at either the Shops of The Plaza or The Palm Court, their elegant champagne bar, is a guaranteed way to feel chic and enjoy the luxe side of Christmas in New York.

6/10 The windows at Bergdorf Goodman

Every year, Bergdorf Goodman put on an exhibit of Christmas windows right in Central Park. The windows are modern enough to be surreal, showing everything from a window full of couture cats to candy cane striped suits and women in fluffy pink dresses reminiscent of cotton candy. The windows are a magnet for the eyes, and of all New York window displays, Bergdorf Goodman wins best year after year.

5/10 Frrrozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity 3

Serendipity desserts
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A frozen hot chocolate surrounded by colorful desserts from Serendipity 3 in NYC

The Frrrozen Hot Chocolate served at coincidence 3 in Manhattan is one of NYC’s most famous desserts, and for good reason. In fact, it’s the same one served up in the movie Serendipity, and it’s absolutely, undeniably delicious. this christmas, Skip the hot stuff and grab one of those giant drinks. The Frrrozen Hot Chocolate consists of a base of homemade cocoa powder using 14 different types of cocoa and then blended into a frozen concoction that is topped with whipped cream and shaved chocolate. It’s served in a bowl big enough to share, but there would certainly be no judgment if you ate it alone. It’s just that good! Adults: You can even spice up yours with amaretto, chocolate liquor, or coffee liquor, to name a few. The spiked drinks are served with an umbrella so kids know which ones not to take! If regular chocolate isn’t your thing, the Frrrozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity offers 3 flavor options such as vegan coconut, birthday cake, cookies and cream, and even cotton candy.

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4/10 The Rockets

Since 1925, The Rockettes have taken over at Radio City Music Hall every year during the holiday season. The Rockettes are an American dance company and they put on quite a festive Christmas show. Sure, it’s a cliché to see the Rockettes at Christmas time, but it’s a cliché worth your money and time. The millisecond precision of kicking all legs at the same time makes it difficult to look away and is guaranteed to put a happy smile on your face.

3/10 Dyker Heights Christmas Lights

There are many places where you can enjoy the bright view Christmas lights in New York City, but there’s no doubt that Dyker Heights is the best place to do it. Dyker Heights is a neighborhood deep in Brooklyn accessible by either the D Train to 20 Ave or the R Train to 86 St. Each year, the residents of Dyker Heights put on what can only be described as the most spectacular Christmas lights in New York City. It’s almost like visiting a small town Christmas lights only in New York City. It really is great and worth wandering deep into Brooklyn to enjoy.

2/10 ice skating (everywhere)

There are ice rinks all over New York City during the holiday season, and visitors really can’t go wrong with their choice. By far the most popular options are The Rockefeller Center Ice Rink and Bryant Park Winter Village Ice Rink, but there are ice rinks in Prospect Park, central parkIndustry City and many other locations throughout the city in all five boroughs.

1/10 Drink at the Serra By Birreria Rooftop

Even though Rolf’s German Restaurant in Manhattan is perhaps the most famous Christmas spot in NYC, Serra Birreria roof at Eataly is just as festive. As it’s technically part of the Italian chain Eatery, there’s a wide range of Italian wines, but Serra by Birreria doesn’t skimp on globally-inspired beers and cocktails either. If alcohol isn’t your thing and you just want to take in the gorgeous views and decor of this rooftop terrace, they have a wide range of desserts like tiramisu and panna cotta, as well as a full dining menu with offerings like arancini, homemade fresh pasta and large dishes to share for the table.

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