Christmas in New York City
Even though it’s the start of winter, December is an extraordinary month to visit New York City.Be sure to dress warmly since temperatures can go as low as 32-degrees F to 42-degrees F and there can be wind, rain and snow. Although the probability that New York will have snow at that time of year is only 10%, it’s best to bring gloves, a hat, scarf and boots.
Here are some unforgettable events you don’t want to miss:
- Christmas tree lighting
New York has an abundance of events, and there are several Christmas tree lightings to choose from. They are accompanied by carols and live music, provide a wonderful spectacle and children will love it.
November 29 Tree lighting at Rockefeller Center
November 30 Tree lighting at Central Park
December 3 Tree lighting at Park Avenue
- Seasonal markets
In the style of European markets, these seasonal markets offer local crafts including jewelry, clothes, toys made by hand, and food with hot chocolate and Christmas drinks for warming up in the cold weather. They open Nov. 28 and last through Dec. 24 at Central Park, Grand Central Station, and Union Square.
- The Nutcracker
This famous ballet is a December tradition known for its lavish scenery and costumes including a tree that grows before the eyes of the spectators, snowflakes and above all the refined choreography of the New York ballet accompanied by the music of Tchaikovsky. The performances begin on November 24 and end on December 31 at the David H. Koch Theater.
- Handel’s Messiah
The Messiah is performed from Dec. 12-16 by the New York Philharmonic at the Lincoln Center. The concert hall is spectacular as is the music. Tickets should be purchased well in advance as the performances are quite popular.
- Ring in the New Year in Times Square
One of the best-known celebrations in New York this time of year is New Year’s Eve in Times Square. Thousands gather for the countdown to the new year and the celebration includes live music by well-known artists, a colorful light show, confetti, fireworks, and the huge crystal ball that descends at midnight to mark the start of the new year. It’s best to arrive early for optimal viewing.
- Listening to carols
Get together with others to enjoy Christmas caroling, a tradition from England with music that tells the story of Christmas. Enjoy it live the entire month at the Arch in Washington Square. Join in with song or just go to listen.
- Ice skating at Rockefeller Center
The most famous ice rink in the world turns 81 this year and opens to the public in October and closes in April. To enjoy it you can book online or buy your tickets at the box office. There are many interesting events: skating with breakfast included, skating in the last hours of the night, skating with dinner, and more. Fun is guaranteed!
- A Winter Village at Bryant Park
One of the most attractive destinations to visit in December is this park, which offers the only free ice skating rink in the city, as well as shopping, restaurants and many food options. Everything is surrounded by the charm the decorations and Christmas lights provide. Don’t miss it!
- River boat ride
Bateaux New York offers a very special experience for the entire month of December. The Holiday Lights Dinner Cruise includes a trip on the Hudson River, a 3-course dinner, live acoustic music including piano, and unforgettable city views. Check the Bateaux New York website for more information on this event perfect for romance!