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Fun Christmas Ideas When in New York

Fun Christmas Ideas When in New York

‘Tis the season to be jolly and why not treat yourself to a trip to New York Christmas 2022? All over the city it is filled with Christmas cheer for you to enjoy, from uptown to downtown, the city celebrates the holidays like no other. With the Rockefeller Centre Christmas Tree, light festivals, and the best holiday markets and ice-skating, there are so many things to do at Christmas in NYC. We understand how cost effective the Christmas season can be regardless of adding a holiday into the mix, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have fun. We created list of both affordable and free activities to do this Christmas in New York.

Rocking Around the Christmas Tree

No Christmas trip to New York isn’t complete without visiting, although you can’t miss it, the world tallest Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Centre. The tree is located in the middle of the Rockefeller Centre complex between West 48th and 51st Street and Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Last year’s tree (2021) was approximately 85 years old and a 79ft tall Norway Spruce, 46 feet wide and weighed 12 tons. Each year there is an iconic lighting ceremony which live performances from famous singers, previously the ceremony included, included Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, Sarah McLachlan, Dolly Parton and many more. This is a memorable experience for anyone who is around New York during this time, the Christmas 2022 date has been announced which is Wednesday 30th November 2022. There are no tickets to attend the lighting. Attendance is first-come, first-served. It is recommended that you arrive by 3 pm, and absolutely no later than 4 pm, though going early is even better since the event is always very crowded.

Holiday Windows

The New Yorkers go BIG when it comes to Christmas window displays, shopping departments such as Macy’s, Lord and Taylor, Bergdoff Goodman and others come alive from early November with vibrant colour, lights, grand movement and music, a treat for both visitors and locals to see.

A top tip for window shopping viewing is to take A, C, E, 2,3, or F trains to the 34th Street stop, walk up to 7th Avenue and start from the Macy's window display. As you continue up to 7th, then turn onto 6th and 5th avenues all the way up to 50th street for a festive and free evening of what must be the most colourful Christmas thing to do in New York City.

Christmas Markets

Make your Christmas gifts extra special this year with some New York local and handmade products. There are Christmas markets all over town from uptown to downtime showcasing local talent, you could easily find yourself spending all day looking around all the stalls. You will find anything from brew-your-own beer kits, artwork, jewellery, toys and much more -something for everyone on your good list this Christmas.   The Bank of America Winter Village in Bryant Park is another holiday market to stroll through artisan shops and sample foods from vendors like Momofuku Milk Bar, Bar Suzette, Wafels & Dinges and No Chewing Allowed! The winter village also houses New York City’s only free admission ice skating rink, an 17,000-square-foot outdoor rink (you may bring your own skates or rent them for $20). Another market to note are the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg, these two markets normally run in the summertime however, during the Winter months the two host an indoor winter market extravaganza.  There are up to sixty vendors which consist of antiques dealers, local artisans, designers, jewellers, and furniture dealers, showcasing the Brooklyn Flea section of the market and combing with Smorgasburg you will find around 20 local food vendors like Blue Chicken, Mao's Bao, Leitao, and Vayalo! Cocina. Delicious and riveting bargain hunting.

Christmas Ice Skating

If you research close enough you will find that there is actually lots of activities to do in NYC at Christmas time, one being free ice skating (provided you bring your own skates) at Bryant’s Park Winter Village, the perfect Christmas activity. Set the scene, ice skating with a Christmas tree and romantic carousel as your background – ideal for a romantic date or a family holiday memory. After your ice-skating hit the local stands nearby that after warm hearty drinks and delicious baked goodies, to warm you and your hands up.

Christmas Movies Sites Tour

Christmas movies are a rite of passage during the holidays and imagine getting the opportunity to walk the scene of iconic movie sets such as Elf, Home Alone 2: Lost In New York, Serendipity, or Miracle on 34th Street, the list is endless. There are many tours available, all lasting around 2.5 hours where guides take you around the famous scenes we all know and love from over the years. See the spot where Buddy the Elf succeeded in a snowball fight and where Kevin McAllister met the Pigeon Lady, our very own Irish native, Brenda Fricker!


Looking for Ireland to New York holidays offers? Let  us help you to plan your ideal holiday to New York. City breaks to New York are hugely popular for a reason! We love helping Irish holidaymakers discover one of the world's greatest cities and it's easy to book online. See our flights to New York and holiday deals here.

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