25 Things to do in NYC During the Holidays

It’s the end of the semester and between finals, begging professors for forgiveness, and napping because that 8-page paper can totally wait, many of us aren’t able to find time to enjoy the holiday season to its fullest. Here’s a friendly reminder that we’re almost done and that you deserve to TREAT YO SELF after all that hard work/lack of sleep. Can’t think of any winter activities worthy of your time? Here’s a list of 25 things to do in New York City during the holidays:

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Head over to Rockefeller Center to get a glimpse of the famous Christmas tree and check out the restaurants and shops. My personal favorites? Blue Bottle Coffee and the Lego store.

Top of the Rock

Another great place to check out in the area is the observation deck at the top of Rockefeller Center. Tickets are a bit pricey ($32 each) but the views are breathtaking and will guarantee at least 14 likes on Instagram.

The Rink

Last Rockefeller Center attraction, I promise. The rink is one of New York’s most celebrated attractions and a great way to get into the holiday spirit. Tickets range from $25-$32 depending on when you go. Even if you can’t ice skate well, I assure you you’ll have the time of your life. I’m pretty sure. Maybe.

Serendipity 3

At 225 East 60th Street Serendipity 3 is a novelty dessert establishment famous for their frozen hot chocolate. They also boast a full menu ranging from hot springs wings to tortellini primavera. Am I getting emotional remembering their frozen hot chocolate? Yes, yes I am.

Jingle Holiday Pop-Up Store

Located in Chelsea Market, my happy place, the holiday pop-up store is a must-see for those wanting “an edgy yet arty take on gift giving”. Explore the shop and other stores and restaurants located in the market for a fun-filled afternoon.

The Doughnuttery

Also located in Chelsea Market, the Doughnuttery is a small doughnut-making establishment that every person should visit. Their apple cider is wonderful and the mini doughnuts are even better. In the mood for some holiday cheer? Try their mistletoe doughnut (gingerbread, cranberry, and sage). You can thank me later.

5th Ave Display Windows

Walk along 5th Ave. (From 59th Street to Macy’s at 34th) to look at the incredible window displays especially decorated for the holiday season.

Radio City Christmas Spectacular

The show located at Radio City Music Hall is one that every person should see at least once. Tickets range by seating and showtime but are well worth the price. Not gonna lie, their website makes me wanna dust my tap shoes off for one last go.

New Year’s Eve Times Square Ball Drop

This one’s for the adventurers out there/those who don’t mind large crowds. Their website advises visitors to come as early as possible on Dec. 31st as many streets will close as the day goes on.

NYC Ballet’s The Nutcracker

Performed in the David H. Koch theater at Lincoln Center, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker is a beautiful performance by the entire ballet company. Another must-see during the holiday season.

Winter Village at Bryant Park

Within Bryant Park you’ll find an ice rink and several boutique-style shops. Have your own skates? Skating is free in the park. If not, you can easily rent a pair for a fun and memorable afternoon.

Brooklyn Flea Market and Smorgasburg

The flea and smorgasburg have moved indoors for their annual winter market. With 120 goods vendors and 60 food vendors, you’re sure to find something that sparks your interest. Runs every Saturday and Sunday from 10am-6pm until March 30th.

No Pants Subway Ride

Yes. Just, yes. Save the date (Sunday, January 10th) and join countless others in riding public transportation without pants. More information regarding the start time and meeting place will be released one week before the event on their website.

Elf the Musical

You’ve definitely watched the Christmas film about an elf trying to find his way through New York, so why not watch the musical version? Performed at the theater at Madison Square Garden, the show will definitely have you and your friends ROTFLing.

Union Square Holiday Market

From November 19th to December 24th Union Square is home to the holiday market where local artisans and their shops are lined up to display their work. Perfect for finding last-minute gifts, comfort food and snacks, or just to walk around. Weekday hours are 11am-8pm, Saturdays are 10am-8pm, and Sundays are 11am-7pm.

New York Botanical Garden Train Show

The New York Botanical Garden hosts 250 acres and nearly half a mile of track dedicated to their annual train show from November 21st to January 18th. I forgot what else I was going to say...I guess you could say I lost my *train* of thought.

Meow Parlour

Coffee and cats. Need I say more? Visitors are able bring in drinks and snacks from Meow Parlour Patisserie, their cafe just around the corner, and rent time to access the parlour. Is this holiday themed? Not really, but c’mon, cats.

Columbus Circle Holiday Market

From December 1st to December 24th the market is the perfect destination for both shopping and dining. Located at 59th Street and Central Park West the hours of operation are 10am-8pm Monday to Saturday and 10am-7pm on Sunday.

New York Holiday Light Tour

Want an easy way to check out several Holiday-esque attractions? Take this walking tour around the city to attractions from Rockefeller Center, Tiffany’s, and more.

Ice Skating in Central Park

The Wollman Rink is located on the East side of the park near the zoo. It offers ice hockey, a skating school, party facilities, skate rentals, and lockers. Who wouldn’t want to skate with the New York skyline in the background?

Christmas Lights Tour

If you consider traditional tourist attractions overrated then look no more. The Christmas Lights tour takes visitors from Union Square to the Dyker Heights section of Brooklyn for a look at the neighborhoods adorned with millions of lights.

Macy’s Santa Land

Located on the 8th floor of Macy’s Herald Square store the 13,000 square foot north pole village is a holiday spectacle perfect for the whole family. Ho, ho, ho.

Gingerbread Lane

From November 14th to January 9th the New York Hall of Science is host to more than 1,050 handmade gingerbread houses and exhibits like Toffee Boulevard and Eggnogg Bay.

The Chocolate Room

Take a break from the cold and indulge in a few chocolate confections. From award-winning desserts to absolutely delicious hot and cold drinks, The Chocolate Room in Brooklyn is sure to brighten your holidays.

Your home

Clichéd? Maybe, but take advantage of this holiday season to spend time with loved ones. Remember to surround yourself with the very people who will brighten the season even more than those tangled Christmas lights. Ok, that one was definitely clichéd.