New York in December

New York in December featured imsge

The holiday season in New York is a truly magical time, complete with holiday window displays, Christmas lights, and plenty of events and attractions to get you in the Christmas spirit.

The Big Apple may be cold, but there's no Christmas like a New York Christmas! If you are in New York City in December, you'll find something to keep you occupied and entertained. Check out this list of things to do in New York in December.

Weather in December

New York City is chilly in December, with average daytime temperatures of around 44 Fahrenheit and several rainy days.

Temperatures can easily drop below freezing, which is why it's advisable to bring a warm coat and solid winter boots for navigating the icy streets.

The city can also get quite crowded - but that's only because some of the city's best events and attractions are in full swing during the holidays.

NYC weather in December

Things To Do in New York in December

There is plenty to do in New York City in December, whether you'd like to ice skate, do your holiday shopping, or sightsee.

Here are a few of our favorite New York City December activities:

Attend the Radio City Christmas Spectacular

Radio City Christmas Spectacular

This iconic show at the Radio City Music Hall starring the Rockettes is a must-see for the whole family.

Featuring a mix of modern dance and ballet and high-kicking chorus lines, you'll be thrilled from start to finish.

While you are there, snap a selfie at the world's most famous Christmas tree.

The Rockefeller Christmas Tree has been a proud New York City tradition since the 1930s, and the tree lighting ceremony is the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit.

Visit a Christmas Market

Visit a Christmas Market

New York City is known for its legendary holiday markets, which usually start around November and close in January.

The Union Square Holiday Market, Grand Central Holiday Fair, and other Christmas markets offer food, gifts, and plenty of festivities to enjoy.

Enjoy the Ice Skating at Bryant Park Winter Village

Bryant Park Winter Village

Bryant Park's Winter Village will be the highlight of your New York trip in December.

Unlike Rockefeller Center, which gets extremely crowded, the rink at Bryant Park is free if you bring your own skates - and you can book a spot online.

It's the perfect place to see the city skyline and enjoy the holiday cheer.

There are also plenty of refreshments and a cozy indoor area where you can sip hot chocolate if the snow gets a little too much.

Attend the Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden

Holiday Train Show

The Botanical Gardens turn into a snow-covered dreamscape in December.

View a dozen toy trains zip past miniature replicas of the Lincoln Center, Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center, and other landmarks.

There will also be plenty of family activities, Christmas trees, and Christmas decorations on display.

Celebrate New Year's Eve in Times Square

Let's be honest: Times Square is always crowded, but there's no better place to experience Christmas magic and ring in the New Year.

The famous New Year's Eve ball drop, live music, plus the spectacular New Year's Eve fireworks display is not to be missed.

Alternatively, treat yourself to dinner at a restaurant overlooking the ball drop and drink a glass of champagne to celebrate the year ahead.

While Times Square is iconic, New York City offers a plethora of ways to ring in the New Year. For a full rundown of memorable experiences, don't miss our comprehensive guide on Things To Do On New Year’s Eve in NYC.

New Years Eve in Times Square

Visit Winter Wonderland at Watermark

Pier 15 at 78 South Street, inspired by the Santa Clause film, is truly a sight to behold. 

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This 90-minute experience gives visitors the opportunity to walk through Santa's house, snap photos and sip warming drinks under twinkling holiday lights. You can even take a seat in Santa Claus's favorite chair.

Visit Winter Wonderland

Walk Down Fifth Avenue

Fifth Avenue is probably the best shopping destination in the world.

During December, the big department stores try to one-up one another with beautiful and innovative holiday displays and radiant lighting.

Window shop, enjoy Christmas Carols, and marvel at the creativity on show.

Walk Down Fifth Avenue

See a Show

New York's bustling art scene kicks off the winter season with traditional shows and ballets.

Escape the cold to take in the latest Broadway Show or see the New York City Ballet perform the Nutcracker.

For something a little quieter, take in some traditional holiday music and the beautiful interior of Saint Patrick's Cathedral.

See a show Broadway


New York City might be cold in winter, but it's not quiet! The city comes alive in December with tourists, lights, and Christmas cheer.

If you are in the city in December, there's no better time to experience a little magic in the Big Apple.

You might also be interested in these things to do in NYC:

Hermillis H.
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