Share on Pinterest
Share with your friends


There’s nothing quite like the holidays in NYC. Department stores reveal enchanting window displays with great fanfare, brightly lit Christmas trees stand tall above cheerful crowds, and the shopping, oh the shopping. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!

Related: Where to eat in New York City now.

Of course the tourists love it, but even New Yorkers who were born and raised in the city admit that Manhattan during Christmastime is a spectacular sight to behold. So we talked to a few of the city’s most in-the-know locals to find out what they recommend you see and do.

Sip Spiked Hot Chocolate at the High Line

“Visit the outdoor hot chocolate bar at The Standard, overlooking the High Line and ice skating rink,” says Roy Kirsh, attorney and real estate developer for Urban Company RE. “You can order a variety of hot chocolates with your choice of booze. Three of the best options, in my opinion, are milk chocolate with peppermint schnapps, peanut butter hot chocolate with whiskey, and white chocolate with Patrón XO Cafe.”


Sip on a hot chocolate infused with your favorite liquor, then strap on a pair of ice-skates and test your skills at The Standard Ice Rink located below the High Line at West 13th Street.

Watch A Christmas Carol Come to Life at the Morgan

The Morgan Library & Museum displays a first edition copy of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol for guests to enjoy throughout the holiday season,” says Caitlin Kelly, a fine art expert for Frenkel & Company International Insurance Brokers. “The museum also hosts readings from the book throughout December that are reallymagical to attend.”


Gather together in Mr. Morgan’s Library and be dazzled as the Grand Falloons Company brings to life Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol with a spirited reading of short excerpts from the classic holiday tale.

Catch a Show and Visit the Columbus Circle Holiday Market

“I think one of the best things about New York during the holidays is the opportunity see amazing performances. One of my favorites is the New York City Ballet’s rendition of The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center,” says Mike Z, creator of @datethiscity, a popular local Instagram account. “After the ballet, I like to stroll a few blocks down to Columbus Circle and see all of the Christmas lights in the Time Warner Center. Then I grab a hot chocolate at the holiday market and go for a snowy stroll in Central Park.

George Balanchine’s

Stroll amidst a winter wonderland at the Columbus Circle Holiday Market, situated at 59th Street and Central Park West, near the southwest entrance of the park. Photo by @datethiscity.

Go Window Shopping on 5th Avenue & Ice-Skating in Central Park

“Don’t miss the holiday window displays at department stores like Bergdorf Goodman,” says Alissa Benishai, founder of yoga apparel brand Phat Buddha. “Spend the day ice skating at Wollman Rink, then head over to the Plaza Hotel for a stroll through Eloise’s home. Finish the day with a horse and buggy ride through the city.”

Bergdorf Goodman

Don’t miss the impressive collection of Bergdorf Goodman window displays at 5th Avenue and 58th Street. This one features designs by Libertine. Photo by Ricky Zehavi Photography

Ready to book your trip to NYC? It’s not too late to save on hotel rooms during the holidays.

discount airline tickets

Tagged: Christmas Travel Ideas, Family time, New York

Note: Orbitz compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

Kara Franker
A purveyor of the coastal life and a self-admitted beach addict, Kara is a travel writer based in Miami. Follow her on Instagram @KaraOnTheCoast and check out her blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *