Top NYC Holiday Attractions to Visit This December

Spending some time in the Big Apple this winter? Check out a few of our recommendations for things to do this holiday season in NYC.

Whether you’re looking to embrace the role of the traditional New York City tourist or prefer to explore outside the box, we’re sure there’s something for you on this list.

Many of these great activities are available on the New York City Explorer Pass®.

Choose as you go from dozens of top New York attractions and save up to 50% off combined admission vs paying at the gate. Or, build your own pass and save up to 25% off.

See all available passes, attractions & prices – Learn more.

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Rockefeller Center
December, 2015

rock treeThere is no more iconic Christmas tree in the entire country than the Rockefeller Center tree.

Carefully selected each year among candidates from across the country, this world-famous tree is the best of the best.

Lights go on in early December, and the tree is available on display for all to see for the entire month. It’s worth a visit to Rockefeller Center for even just a glimpse of this tree.

Take a tour of Rockefeller Center for the full effect.

Ice-Skating in the City

The Rink at Rockefeller Center
October – April (weather permitting)

Feeling festive and active? Go for a spin on the famed Rockefeller Center Ice Rink, the scene of who know how many romantic movies and no small number of fond winter memories from yours truly.

You need to reserve tickets in advance, but it’s definitely worth the time and effort. Can’t bear to be in such a touristy place? Bryant Park also offers ice-skating with fewer crowds.

Radio City Christmas Spectacular

Radio City Music Hall
December, 2015

We’ve brought this up recently, but it’s worth saying again – you absolutely must see this amazing Christmas show.

It’s a little bit different each year, making it practically mandatory viewing even for those who have seen it before. It’s got nutcrackers, dancing animals, flying presents, amazing special effects, and the world-famous Rockettes – what more could you possible ask for?

Can’t make the show? Take a tour of Radio City anyway!

Kwanzaa 2015: Energize, Recognize!

American Museum of Natural History
December 27, 2015

Image credit: The Official Kwanzaa Website.

Image credit: The Official Kwanzaa Website.

Here’s one for the traditionally underrepresented group amidst all the holiday bustle – Kwanzaa celebrators.

Come to the American Museum of Natural History on December 27 to celebrate African culture and heritage with fascinating dancing, energetic performances, and even some fun beatboxing.

This event is free with museum admission.

The Nutcracker

New York City Ballet
November 27 – January 3, 2016

Image credit: New York City Ballet.

Image credit: New York City Ballet.

This holiday tradition is a classic for a reason. Brought to life by the genius of George Balanchine, this year’s rendition of this Christmas favorite will have shinier sets, higher leaping ballerinas, a grander tree, and even more magic to go around.

Tickets can be quite pricey, so be sure to purchase in advance or look out for discounts online.

Save on Top Attraction Admission

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned vet, we know you’ll find something to love about the holidays in New York City. (Don’t forget about celebrating a Festivus for the Rest of Us!)

From ice-skating and tree-gazing to exploring museums and monuments, you can practically have it all this December.

While you’re planning that perfect holiday vacation, be sure to pick up a New York Explorer Passes® to keep you on budget so that extra money can go towards gifts for your loved ones.
New York City Explorer Pass

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