As the holidays are approaching, the bright lights of New York City seem to become even brighter. They’re joined by countless light installations, lit-up trees, and sparkling holiday displays. Keep this guide handy to find the best spots in New York City to live and breathe the holiday spirit.

Go Window Shopping

Macy's Christmas John Wisniewski

PC: Wisniewski

The holiday displays of some New York City shops are so gorgeous, you’ll forget that you actually wanted to buy something as well.

Bergdorf Goodman’s window decorations are no joke. Other competitive participants in the race for the best decorations are Sak’s Fifth Avenue and Macy’s. In fact, just stroll along Fifth Avenue and see where it takes you.

Get Your Skates On

Rockefeller Center rockcenternyc


There are some obvious choices for this, and and some more affordable ones. The most spectacular and, unfortunately, one of the pricier options is visiting the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center. Beware, though, the lines can get extremely long and you might end up spending more time waiting than enjoying yourself.

More winter fun can be found at Union Square, with typically shorter wait times. Another ice skating rink is the one in Bryant Park, surrounded by the Bank of America Winter Village, where you can get holiday snacks, hot drinks, and cute holiday gifts.

Check Out Rooftop Bars

230 Fifth Rooftop


You may be thinking, “Uh, rooftop bars? Isn’t that more of a summer thing?” It’s true, going on rooftops in the summer and taking in the skyline while escaping the scorching heat is the best.

On the other hand, rooftop bars evolve into an entirely different world in the winter. For instance, the 230 Fifth rooftop erects heated igloos in the winter to cover their seating. This lets you take in the city lights from high above, while still keeping warm and enjoying a drink.

See a Broadway Show

newyokertips Broadway


Another tradition that will surely get anyone in the holiday spirit is seeing a cheery Broadway show. An absolute must is the Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. The group is known for their precision dance and puts on a hell of a show. During the holiday season, they put on five shows a day, seven days a week. Other crowd pleasers are Wicked, The Lion King, and newcomers, Kinky Boots and Anastasia.

Go Tree Hunting



You don’t need to actually buy a tree. You don’t need your own tree in New York City, you can just enjoy the ridiculously tall, brightly colored trees all over the city.

Here are just a few places where you can spot some beautiful trees:

  • Rockefeller Center
  • Washington Square Park
  • New York Stock Exchange
  • New York Botanical Garden
  • American Museum of Natural History

Have a Taste of the Holidays

Pixabay Holiday Drinks


Another way to get into the holiday spirit is to get a good taste of it! Find some cute bars that serve holiday-themed drinks or make a visit to Starbucks for their seasonal beverages. If you know your way around the kitchen, mull your own wine. This actually just needs a bottle of cheap red wine and some selected spices. Heat it all up in a pot and enjoy!