Photo Credit: JGI/Jamie Grill
35 Things To Do In New York City This Holiday Season
New York City. The Big Apple. The city that never sleeps.
If you can’t find something to do here, you’re doing it wrong. No one — literally no one — in the history of NYC has ever walked away saying that they couldn’t find something to do.
And that becomes doubly true over the holiday season. Regardless of which holiday you celebrate, the five boroughs — Manhattan, Brooklyn (Kings), Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island (Richmond) — have you covered. There’s a whole neighborhood in Brooklyn that actually hires professional light decorators to get started the day after Thanksgiving with the holiday lighting festivities.
“The Dyker Heights Christmas Lights 2021 display has become one of the best New York attractions during the holiday season,” reports Time Out New York. “The Brooklyn neighborhood is home to the most over-the-top Christmas light decorations with life-sized Santas, sleighs, snowmen and some houses even bump Christmas carols from loudspeakers. Crowds of all ages flock to the Kings County neighborhood to wander down the multiple blocks and avenues and experience one of the top things to do in New York City in the winter. It truly is the center of all things Christmas.”
And that’s just the beginning of amazing things to do in NYC during the holiday season. Here are 35 more options to choose from.
Take a Cupcake Bakeries Tour
Indulge your passion for cupcakes on a walking tour of New York City, and discover the latest food craze of the city. Visit a variety of boutique bakeshops, and learn about the history of the cupcake. Prices start at $50/person.
Take a Gangsters & Ghosts Tour
Explore NYC from the perspective of its ghosts and gangsters. Take a two-hour history-based guided tour and discover the city’s best gangsters and ghost stories. Uncover the city’s dark side as you walk through world-famous neighborhoods. Prices start at $35/person.
Tour the Guggenheim Museum
Visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic architectural masterpiece, housing one of the world’s finest collections of modern and contemporary art. Prices start at $25/person.
— Guggenheim Art Bot (@guggenheimbot) November 27, 2021
Take a Chocolate Tasting Tour
Wishing all of you a very SWEET Thanksgiving! Here, we partnered with our beloved neighbors in Industry City, Lilac Chocolates, and created a turkey-ful centerpiece with their amazing chocolate! Yum! pic.twitter.com/WZWC2UHvod
— David Stark Design (@davidstarkinc) November 25, 2021
Indulge your passion for chocolate on a 2-hour tour of New York’s decadent dessert boutiques. Sample truffles and salty caramels at food stores, stop for sidewalk tastings, and look inside venues such as the Chocolate Bar and Lilac Chocolates. Prices start at $50/person.
Visit all 'The Sopranos' Sites
Here’s a tour perfect for fans of the hit HBO series, “The Sopranos.” See film locations from the legendary show on a bus tour through “Sopranoland.” From Fr. Phil’s Parish to the booth where Tony sat in the last episode, all the major sites are covered. Prices start at about $281/person.
View One-of-a-Kind Art at the Whitney Museum
“…a token painting or print each (not always the best) by 27 artists, a few of them canonical but most virtually unknown.”
Whitney Museum’s ‘Labyrinth of Forms’ does no justice to the role women played in shaping the American avant-gardehttps://t.co/etP3hRRE9J pic.twitter.com/3npF6VoWVB
— Mark Baxter 💙 #3.5% (@badgerspark) December 2, 2021
See a magnificent collection of 20th-century American art with an entrance ticket to New York’s Whitney Museum. Explore the permanent collection and temporary exhibits as well as city views from the outdoor terraces. Prices start at $25/person.
Stop by the Museum of Natural History
Get to know the perentie! This large lizard is the second largest in the world—second only to the Komodo dragon. It can reach lengths of 6.6 ft (2 m) or more & hails from western Australia. It prefers dry habitats & eats a range of animals, from birds to mammals to other lizards. pic.twitter.com/Jl49t637uC
— American Museum of Natural History (@AMNH) December 3, 2021
Visit the American Museum of Natural History, the most interactive natural history museum in the world. Upgrade your general entry ticket to include special exhibitions. Prices start at $23/person.
Visit Coney Island
Wtf is goin on in New York? 😭😂 pic.twitter.com/kU0ojRK3ew
— DJ Kam Bennett (@KameronBennett) November 17, 2021
New York City is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world and full of contrasts between its different boroughs and 8.5 million residents. Get off the beaten path and explore amazing neighborhoods in four of the five NYC boroughs. Prices start at $80/person.
Visit the Intrepid Museum
On this day 18 years ago, the Concorde joined the Intrepid Museum collection. The Concorde out flew world time zones, crossing the Atlantic in under three hours, or less than half the time of any other jetliner flying the Atlantic. Tag your best photos of this aircraft below. pic.twitter.com/9NVTmEAHnO
— Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum (@IntrepidMuseum) November 26, 2021
Take an interactive journey through history and innovation as you explore the legendary aircraft carrier “Intrepid”, the space shuttle “Enterprise”, and the world’s fastest jets. Prices start at about $30/person.
See all the Christmas Lights in Dyker Heights
See the Christmas lights of Dyker Heights and the Bay Ridge district of Brooklyn, illuminated for the festive season. Admire the holiday decorations of New York’s residential homes adorned with thousands of lights, toy soldiers, and more. Prices start at about $60/person.
Tour around Manhattan in a Helicopter
— Ines Vieira (@Icpv_images) December 2, 2021
Enjoy a bird’s-eye view of New York’s Manhattan Island on a sightseeing helicopter flight. Take in the city sights in a specially designed helicopter, offering 180-degree views from the sky. Prices start at $194/person.
Visit Madame Tussaud's
New York City’s Madame Tussauds in Times Square is the only place with no ropes or barriers holding you back from getting photos with your favorite stars. It was voted as one of New York’s most unique attractions. Prices start at about $40/person.
Stop by the Newly Constructed Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park at the Nearby American Dream Mall
Call me Zuko because…LOOK WHO I FOUND!!! I FOUND THE AVATAR! 🌊🌎🔥💨
I found Aang and Appa! ❤️ And they’re both in East Rutherford, NJ (lol) at the Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park in the American Dream Mall!
Ngl, I lost my mind when I saw them 😱 pic.twitter.com/LUXmcbydc0
— Abby Espiritu 🎸 LET’S ROCK ‘N ROMIN!!! (@missabbyespirit) November 25, 2021
Experience the biggest indoor theme park in the Western Hemisphere, full of action-packed experiences for all ages. Thrill at some of the tallest, the steepest, and the longest rides in the world. Prices start at about $52/person.
Tour the Chelsea District and the Meatpacking Markets
Visit the Meatpacking District, now the pinnacle of the New York art, leisure, and foodie cultures. Take a tour of Chelsea Market and the Highline. Prices start at $47/person.
Visit the Central Park Zoo
Photography at Central Park Zoo in November 2021 pic.twitter.com/9xpWgn3NfO
— Sogee (@sogeegf) December 1, 2021
Discover the city of New York and learn about its history, culture, and legends on a 3-hour walking tour with a local guide. See over 20 of the city’s most iconic landmarks, then visit the Central Park Zoo, which houses over 150 species of animals. Prices start at $55/person.
Take in the Best of Brooklyn Street Art
Brooklyn Street artist Tristan Eaton's Audrey Hepburn mural, Mulberry Street NYC. pic.twitter.com/KMmoQmPxn2
— Arthur David Spota (@ADASpota) November 30, 2021
Discover the exciting world of graffiti taggers and street artists on a walking tour of Brooklyn. See some of the most incredible murals in NYC while learning about contemporary urban artists, their lifestyles, and the styles and techniques they use. Prices start at $20/person.
Take a Holiday Yacht Tour around Manhattan With Carols & Cocoa
— Max Guliani (@maximusupinNYc) February 11, 2018
Climb aboard a luxury yacht and sail around Manhattan on a holiday season cruise. See the New York skyline, decked out in its Christmas clothes, and warm up with cocoa and cookies as you listen to live entertainment and carols. Prices start at $125/person.
Go Shopping at Woodbury Common
Get discounts on designer goods at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Central Valley, New York. Benefit from reserved seating and round-trip transfers from New York City. Fill your bags with bargain fashion items from over 200 stores. Prices start at $40/person.
Experience the Fotografiska
Went to Fotografiska…amazing! pic.twitter.com/CuWzcUJKSu
— Mcrob2012 (@Mcrob201241) November 26, 2021
Fotografiska New York is a new museum experience showcasing photography and culture, located in a historic Flatiron District building. Upgrade your experience with the “A Date with Warhol” package and raise a glass to an art icon. Prices start at $23/person.
Tour Brooklyn by Limousine
Head out in a private limousine to see New York’s best Christmas light displays on this 3-hour tour. Prices start at $719/person (hey, it’s Brooklyn).
Tour the Catacombs by Candlelight
last day stop in nyc catacombs&pizza👻🍕 pic.twitter.com/UTL8NtHMNF
— ɯǝɹ (@tsulala) October 9, 2018
Go behind the scenes at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral and see parts of the church that are otherwise off-limits to visitors. During this unique experience, you’ll walk through the only catacombs in New York City open to daily tours. Prices start at $37/person.
Get Your Eat on in Little Italy
Starting my day here in Little Italy pic.twitter.com/bQTnhgi0V7
— #Vaccinated in Chicago (@ChiTownSports) December 2, 2021
Savor the flavors of Italy, American style, on a 2-hour food tour of Manhattan’s most colorful neighborhood. Sample pizzas, prosciutto, and cheeses in Little Italy, and learn the history and culture of the neighborhood at family-run bakeries and dairies. Prices start at $50/person.
Take a Cruise Around Ellis Island and See the Statue of Liberty
— Statue of Liberty NM (@StatueEllisNPS) December 2, 2021
Get up close to one of the world’s most famous monuments and the emblematic entrance to New York’s harbor. Sail around the Statue of Liberty on a 60-minute sightseeing cruise that also journeys under the Brooklyn Bridge and over to Ellis Island. Prices start at about $30/person.
Take in a Harlem Jazz Concert
— Robert Burnett (@RobertB43131715) December 2, 2021
Enjoy some of the greatest jazz music performed by top musicians at a Tuesday afternoon or Friday evening concert in Harlem. Choose either Tuesday at 12pm or Friday at 7pm. There are two sets at each concert. Be prepared for an uplifting experience! Prices start at about $22/person.
Take in the Infamous Radio City Christmas Show — & Ride A Double Decker Bus Downtown
— NBC Entertainment (@nbc) December 2, 2021
Holiday in NYC when the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes are playing. You can also join the NYC Holiday Windows walking tour and see the amazing lights of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree, plus go on a downtown double-decker bus tour. Prices start at $179/person.
Tour St. Patrick's Cathedral
St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York pic.twitter.com/dfAqg3vMac
— 🌸💕Africa Mia🌸💕 (@_Taylor_77) November 29, 2021
Explore St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City at your own pace. Discover the building’s impressive architecture and captivating history on a self-guided audio tour. Prices start at $30/person.
Take a Walking Tour of the Shops and the Christmas Lights
LET THERE BE LIGHT: The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York City was lit up Wednesday as the holiday season gets underway. pic.twitter.com/caYxqupvxR
— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 2, 2021
Find unique Christmas gifts on a 4-hour walking tour of New York’s festive markets. Discover local art and crafts, and try traditional foods while warming up on Christmas drinks. See the festive lights and department store window displays. Prices start at $45/person.
Visit the 'Sex & The City' Hotspots
Explore the Manhattan immortalized in the TV series and Hollywood movies of Sex and the City. See more than 40 New York locations from the sexy, sassy series and walk in the footsteps of Carrie and her co-stars. Prices start at $66/person.
Watch the Sunrise Over The Empire State Building
— 🧀 NYcheesy (@NYcheesy) December 1, 2021
See the sunrise from the highest outdoor observation deck in New York City. Avoid the crowds for this unique, magical experience of the awakening of the Empire State on the 86th Floor. Prices start at $125/person.
Do the Mirror Maze at the Brand-New American Dream Mall Just Outside NYC
Experience amazement as you navigate your way through a mind-blowing landscape filled with neon lights, electric beats, endless corridors, and clever twists and turns around each corner. Prices start at about $10/person.
Get Your SPYSCAPE On
— Hi, I am Daniel (@bigbroncosfan) November 24, 2021
Discover your inner spy at New York’s SPYSCAPE Spy Museum which features world-class galleries of spy gadgets and stories, plus fun immersive spy challenges. Spot liars, break codes, and dodge lasers to reveal your spy role with interactive challenges. Prices start at about $42/person.
I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for the Museum of Ice Cream
Museum of Ice Cream in NYC 🍦This is the perfect date 😍
— ❤️🎇 (@bucketlistdates) April 20, 2020
Enter a realm where anything is possible at the Museum of Ice Cream. Enjoy an immersive experience, delivering joy and entertainment for the whole family, rain or shine. Savor signature ice cream flavors and sweet treats as you explore the museum. Prices start at about $50/person.
Tour the 9/11 Museum
Words cannot describe the 9/11 museum. The base of South Tower, last standing structure removed and fire truck from Ladder 3. pic.twitter.com/jblJuF2YZi
— Bobby Behnsch (@BobbyBehnsch) November 26, 2021
Take a poignant tour of the World Trade Center site where the tragic events of September 11, 2001, took place. Pause for reflection at the 9/11 Memorial Pools, and skip the ticket lines to the One World Observatory for panoramic views of New York. Prices start at $59.99/person.
Take a Ghost Tour of Greenwich Village
Discover what goes bump in the night in Greenwich Village on a spooky ghost tour after dark. Check out some of the most haunted places and hear spine-chilling stories from a local guide. Prices start at $35/person.
Take an Overnight Niagara Falls Trip
Niagara Falls frozen over 💙🤍💙 pic.twitter.com/jVs00mY32p
— Lella.M 🐶🐱🐾🦋🐞🌱💚 (@LellaMore64) November 25, 2021
Discover one of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world from the American side only. Take a ride on the iconic “Maid of The Mist” to get up close to the powerful falls and visit Goat Island. Prices start at $179/person.