New York decks up for Christmas 2023

Numerous options for festivities in NYC
/ New Delhi
New York Christmas 2023
New York decks up for Christmas 2023

Empire Outlets in NYC will feature festive decorations including a beautiful Christmas tree amongst its high-end shops

Be it iconic landmarks like Rockefeller Center's towering Christmas tree, ice skating rink or the city's multitude of Christmas markets, New York City has opened up its festive season offerings in unique gifts, tasty treats and more.
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New York City Tourism + Conventions, the city’s destination marketing organisation, convention and visitors bureau, is showcasing a selection of free and affordable things to do in the five boroughs this holiday season.  

“New York City feels extra special during the holiday season, and there are so many ways to celebrate across the five boroughs. We expect to welcome roughly 7 million visitors between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, and the City offers something for the whole family to enjoy, no matter your interests or budget,” says Fred Dixon, President and CEO of New York City Tourism + Conventions.

Free Annual Celebrations

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

With live music, latkes & children’s gifts, NYC Christmas is a gala celebration

Among the free annual celebrations include the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, on view through January 13. The statement says that the 80-foot Norway spruce is covered in 50,000 multi-coloured LED lights. The lighting of the world’s largest menorahs takes place at sundown on each night of Hanukkah at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn and Grand Army Plaza in Midtown. 

The celebrations also feature live music, latkes and children’s gifts. Visitors can also enjoy free New Year’s Eve festivities in city parks, including spectacular fireworks in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, or join thousands of revellers from around the world to ring in 2024 at the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Times Square. 

Festive lights displays

 Brooklyn’s Dyker Heights

New York City is famed for transforming into a wonderland with millions of holiday lights right after Thanksgiving

The board says that for visitors keen on exploring festive lights displays, they can head to the Brooklyn’s Dyker Heights neighbourhood for over-the-top Christmas décor. The Dumbo Improvement District is presenting a series of holiday events and activities, including animations projected on the Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, on view through December 31, from 16:00 to 22:00 every day. Shine Bright illuminates Hudson Yards with 2 million twinkling lights, with displays including 725 evergreen trees and 5 metre-tall lights in the shape of hot air balloons. The ‘Shops at Columbus Circle and Holiday Under the Stars’ will feature a dozen 4-m stars hanging from the ceiling. 

Outdoor activities


The city is abuzz with fun, frolic & charming activities throughout the festive season

The statement adds that outdoor activities also feature an array of options. The festivities include Rink at Winter Village at Bryant Park’s free ice-skating, open-air holiday market and dining offerings, open through March 3, 2024. NYC’s Open Streets programme will create a pedestrian-only zone around Rockefeller Center and on Fifth Avenue from 48th Street to 59th Street. 

It adds that the Fifth Avenue Association is partnering with Nest New York to pump the brand’s signature Holiday fragrance into the air. On January 1, hundred swimmers will gather for an icy dip in the Atlantic Ocean during the Coney Island Polar Bear Club New Year’s Day Plunge. 

Family entertainment

Macy’s Herald Square is decked with Christmas windows, many animations, magical characters, lights & ornaments

The board adds that NYC is the backdrop of many beloved holiday films. Whether visitors want to stop by the Empire State Building to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Elf, play on the large-scale Fao Schwarz piano as in Big or visit the Plaza Hotel in honour of Home Alone 2, Fun in New York, there is something for the whole family to enjoy. 

Visitors can meet Santa Claus at Macy’s Herald Square where reservations are free and can be made up to five days before visit. Santaland will host sensory-friendly early mornings on select days throughout the holiday season whereas the Children’s Museum of Manhattan is offering a series of public holiday programmes throughout December, including a singer-songwriter series, cultural celebrations, New Year’s Eve programming and more. Wave Hill in the Bronx is celebrating the holidays with a variety of programming. 

On December 14, winter-inspired crafts will feature in the free Family Art-Palooza. The National Park Service will hold free Kwanzaa events at the African Burial Ground National Monument from December 26–30. Family-friendly activities include doll making, quilting, face painting and more. Battery Park City Public Library on December 18 will offer a free Holiday and Christmas Carols Sing Along. 

Holiday Shopping

Union Square Holiday Market

Union Square Holiday Market, till December 24 will feature more than 150 festive vendors and food stalls

With a vast array of holiday markets popping up across NYC, visitors can choose from artisanal products, crafts, food and more, ideal for sourcing uniquely NYC gifts. The statement says that Union Square Holiday Market, till December 24 will feature more than 150 festive vendors and food stalls. Brooklyn Flea in Dumbo offers good opportunities for thrifting in housewares, vintage clothing, antiques, jewellery, crafts and more while Grand Central Terminal will present Holiday Fair in Vanderbilt Hall. 

The Long Island City Partnership is presenting a Pop-Up Holiday Art Market on Thursdays–Sundays through December 17 for handcrafted art pieces, complimentary panettone and hot drinks. Empire Outlets in NYC will feature festive decorations including a beautiful Christmas tree amongst its high-end shops.

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