With a diverse range of festive activities for travelers, New York City is an exciting place to experience the holidays. NYC has an extraordinary selection of holiday attractions to offer for visitors from around the world. From Rockefeller Tree Lighting to New Year’s Eve line-up of events at Times Square, Night Hotel highlights quintessential NYC holiday activities and destinations during your visit.
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting
Since 1933, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting has become a time-honored tradition in New York City. The annual celebration attracts thousands of people to Rockefeller Center to witness the tree lighting ceremony shortly after Thanksgiving. With an exuberant line-up of live performances leading up to the lighting of the tremendous tree, at minimum 75 feet tall, this event bring together New Yorker’s and worldwide visitors to launch the holiday season.
New York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show
The delightful Holiday Train Show at the Bronx Botanical Garden showcases intricate model trains speeding through a charming environment made of 175 small-scale iconic buildings and landmarks. The fascinating miniature structures include the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty and Grand Central Station, and constructed from natural material such as bark and leaves with One World Trade Center recently added to the collection.
Saks Fifth Avenue Holiday Windows
Magical holiday displays in the windows at Saks Fifth Avenue have long been a tradition in midtown. The Saks team behind the holiday windows work at night for six weeks to create the installations unveiled to the public. Visitors from all over line the sidewalks to view the elaborate and festive scenes depicted at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue.
The Bryant Park Winter Village
Every winter, the city park transforms into The Bank of America Winter Village with joyful decorations, 17,000 square foot ice-skating rink, holiday shops, and food vendors along with caroling by New York City Opera, concerts, Santa, scavenger hunts, and Tasting Tuesday’s makes it a must-see winter destination in NYC.
New York City Ballet: George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker
George Balanchine’s wonderful choreography, Tchaikovsky’s fantastic music, and the story of a young girl’s journey on Christmas Eve, makes this a special performance to catch during the holidays. This enchanting ballet debuted in 1954 by Balanchine, who founded the New York City Ballet. The production has since become an annual holiday tradition for New Yorkers.
New Year’s Eve in Times Square
An estimated one million locals and visitors gather in Times Square on December 31st every year to celebrate this world-renowned event. The historical ball “dropping” tradition began in 1907 with an iron and wooden ball adorned with 100 light bulbs, and currently, the permanent sparkling Big Ball is 12 feet in diameter with over 32,000 LED lights. With a series of dazzling performers, handouts, and dynamic energy throughout the night, New Year’s Eve in Times Square is seen by over a billion people around the world.