Free Activities for Christmas Time in New York City
When I think about Christmas time in the city, I can’t help but think about the song, Silver Bells. The city sidewalks are busy, dressed in holiday style and there’s a feeling of Christmas, with children laughing and (thousands of) people passing.
One of my favorite times of year to be in New York City is during the holiday season. There is nothing like the streets of New York to get you into the holiday spirit. Between the lights, the windows and the hustle and bustle of New York, December is all about the holidays in New York.
As someone who was born and raised in New York, a family tradition of ours is to go into the city during the holidays. Without breaking the bank, we have an amazing time in the city and tend to happily do the same thing every year. Since most of the activities we do year after year are free, I thought I would share them with our readers:
- Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center – if you haven’t seen the tree first hand, you have definitely seen it in a movie or on television. Since 1933, the tree has been the center piece of Rockefeller Center. Adorned with more than 45,000 lights, there is a tree lighting ceremony held every year, that is televised with special musical performances from top artists.
- Ice Skating Rink at Rockefeller Center – Also located in Rockefeller Center is an ice skating rink. While it is usually crowded it can be intimidating to skate, so we are just as happy to watch the skaters at the rink.
- The Window Displays – there are a number of window displays throughout New York City, but one of our favorites has always been the windows at Macy’s in Herald Square. This year’s display, entitled, ‘Santa’s Journey to the Stars,’ symbolizes the power of magical thinking and follows a young boy who receives a magical and mystical telescope that enables him to experience the wonder of Christmas on other planets before landing back on Earth at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Other great window displays can be found at Bloomingdales, Lord & Taylor, Saks 5th Avenue and Barney’s New York.
- FAO Schwartz – for those traveling with children, FAO Schwartz is a MUST see! The oldest toy store in the United States is famous for the floor piano that has appeared in a number of movies. While the toy prices can be steep, with limited quantities of luxury items, it is definitely a store that holds a piece of history worth visiting.
These are just a few of the fun places you can visit during the holidays in New York City. Is there someplace you have visited in New York City for the holidays that wasn’t mentioned that you would recommend?