Best Winter Holiday Activities as You Embark on a Hop on/Hop off Adventure in New York City

When it comes to amazing holiday travel destinations, New York City is at the top of the list. The city that never sleeps is known for its endless options for activities year-round, but New York City really thrives in the late fall and early winter months.

Here are some of the best activities in New York City to get the most out of the winter holidays.

Bryant Park Winter Village

The opening of the Bryant Park Winter Village is a sign that Christmas has arrived in New York City, despite the fact that it tends to open near Halloween. With a 17,000 square foot ice rink, and an extensive marketplace, this New York City hot spot is the perfect spot for a romantic evening, some solo shopping, or to take your nomadic family for a night on the town.

Given the time of year, Bryant Park Winter Village is the perfect place to get some holiday shopping done. Visit one of the small coffee shops, then peruse through the 150 vendor locations at the park. Located in Midtown Manhattan behind the New York Public Library’s main branch, the Winter Village is a must-see.

The Rockefeller Christmas Tree

The Rockefeller Christmas Tree is a spectacle to behold. With the 2017 version standing at over 70-feet tall and weighing over 20,000 pounds, the tree lights the night at the Rockefeller Center. If you make it to New York City in November, you can even catch the lighting ceremony. Featuring live musical performances and television coverage, the lighting is an unforgettable event that captures the heart of Christmas in New York City.

If you aren’t going to be in town for the lighting ceremony, it’s still worth a trip to the Rockefeller Center to witness the 50,000 light bulbs burning brightly. In fact, it would be the perfect place to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate after skating at Bryant Park.

Window Displays on Fifth Avenue

Talk about taking window shopping to a whole new level. The stores on Fifth Avenue– Macy’s, Barneys, Bloomingdale’s, Bergdorf Goodman, etc.– are famous for their holiday window displays. Starting in mid-November, plan to take an after-dark walk down Fifth Avenue to see these amazing works of art and design.

Each store presents their own theme, complete with a witty title. 2017 themes worth mentioning include “To New York With Love” and “Cactus What You Preach.” Viewing the window displays is by far one of the best free activities in New York during this time of year.

Go Sledding

When you think of activities to do in a major city, sledding usually isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Winter in New York is the perfect time to grab a toboggan and hit the hills. There are a few great spots for coasting in the city, including Brooklyn’s Prospect Park and the ever popular Central Park in Manhattan.

Both Pilgrim Hill and Cedar Hill are popular sledding spots in Central Park, with the former being the busier of the two. Keep in mind that you will have to find the equipment to be able to partake in this activity, and you’re likely to be cold and wet afterward. However, that’s a small price to pay for nostalgic, childhood fun.

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular

An iconic New York City event, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular is a show featuring the Radio City Rockettes. With lights, dancing, life-size props, and amazing theatrical feats, the Christmas Spectacular is a must-see for performance fans spending time in the Big Apple.

The show starts in mid-November and ends on New Year’s Day. Tickets range from $45 to $350 depending on the date, time, and seat selection. If you have a few hours between events, consider checking out the Radio City Christmas Spectacular to get you into the holiday spirit.

Getting Around

The holidays are a busy time in New York City, and the weather can impact transportation for all. To get the best experience possible, give yourself lots of extra time when traveling or book a hop on hop off adventure to pick and choose your destinations. With the lights, music, and spectacles, New York City is guaranteed to feel like a home away from home for the holidays.