Top 10 New York City Holiday Activities for Families

New York City really shines during the holidays with glitzy holiday window displays, decked out stores and holiday markets, iconic holiday shows and the city’s famed Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. Pack your comfy shoes and check out my picks for the Top 10 New York City holiday activities for families.

Top 10 New York City holiday activities for families

Bergdorf Goodman's 2017 holiday windows feature a To New York, With Love Theme showcasing several NYC institutions including the American Museum of Natural History with a window of crystal covered dinosaur skeletons.

Bergdorf Goodman’s 2017 holiday windows feature a To New York, With Love Theme showcasing several NYC institutions including the American Museum of Natural History with a window of crystal covered dinosaur skeletons.

1) Holiday Windows and Displays in New York City

People wait in line to see NYC’s famous holiday department store windows and in-store displays so try to go during the week or early on weekends. My favorites are Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdales, Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. Be sure to step inside Henri Bendel, Bergdorf and Saks for some the most elaborate holiday displays in town.

Ice Skating is free at NYC's Bryant Park so just bring your skates and helmets.

Ice Skating is free at NYC’s Bryant Park so just bring your skates and helmets.

2) Ice Skating in New York City

The Rink at Rockefeller Center is the classic choice with the best holiday vibes in town.  Central Park is another option for ice skating with gorgeous backdrops. Winter Village at Bryant Park offers free ice skating right in the center of midtown. The Rink At Brookfield features ice skating in an outdoor plaza and overlooks the Hudson River.

The holiday light show at Saks is one of the Top 10 New York City holiday activities for families.

The holiday light show at Saks is one of the Top 10 New York City holiday activities for families.

3) Saks Fifth Avenue Light Show

Located right across from the Rockefeller Christmas tree, the Saks Fifth Avenue light show is a must see. Watching the 10-story-tall theatrical light show with the accompanying music will make the whole family say “wow” out loud.  If you’ve got Disney fans, don’t miss this year’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs themed holiday windows. Shows are on the 5th Avenue facade every 30 minutes starting at dusk.

Rockefeller Center is one of the Top 10 New York City Holiday Activities for Families

Rockefeller Center is one of the Top 10 New York City Holiday Activities for Families

4) Rockefeller Center in New York City

Rockefeller Center is the center of NYC’s holiday activities. From the world famous Christmas tree to the decked out Channel Gardens and shops galore, every holiday visitor comes here. Top of the Rock offers great views of the city’s skyline and kids will love visiting the American Girl Place in its newest location and city’s famed Lego Store.

Macy's in Herald Square features Santaland and gorgeous window displays for the holiday season.

Macy’s in Herald Square features Santaland and gorgeous window displays for the holiday season.

5) Santaland at Macy’s in Herald Square

New for the 2017 holiday season, Santa is making advance appointments in Macy’s Santaland at Herald Square so definitely sign up for a 30-minute window before you visit. The famed 13,000 square foot Christmas wonderland is super popular so try to go midweek or early morning.

Tourists and locals alike love shopping at Union Square's Holiday Market.

Tourists and locals alike love shopping at Union Square’s Holiday Market.

6) Holiday Markets Galore

New York’s holiday markets rival those found in Europe with culinary treats, great gifts and special events. The most famous holiday markets are located in Union Square Market, and Bryant Park.

The New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show is great for multigenerational visitors.

The New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show is great for multigenerational visitors.

7) New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show

Head to Brooklyn for the New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show,  where families can watch model trains zip past more than 150 miniature New York landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and Rockefeller Center as they travel along a half-mile track. This is a great option for a multigenerational outing.

Don't miss The Rockettes at the Radio City Christmas Spectacular

Don’t miss The Rockettes at the Radio City Christmas Spectacular

8) The Rockettes at the Radio City Christmas Spectacular

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love seeing the Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the famed Rockettes. A holiday fixture since 1933, the spectacular now features techno-tricks, amazing costumes and backdrops and super talented dancers who really steal the show.

Seeing a Broadway show is fun tradition for families visiting NYC for the holidays.

Seeing a Broadway show is fun tradition for families visiting NYC for the holidays.

9) Family Friendly Broadway Shows

You can’t visit New York City for the holidays without seeing a Broadway show (or two). For 2017, families will find a good variety of options including The Lion King, Aladdin, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, School of Rock, The Play That Goes Wrong and Sponge Bob SquarePants. If you’re not picky, get last minute rush tickets (when box office opens for day of shows) or try the TKTS booth.

Tea at The Plaza hotel is a holiday favorite. Top 10 New York City holiday activities for families.

Tea at The Plaza hotel is a holiday favorite. Top 10 New York City holiday activities for families.

10) Family Friendly Shows and Attractions in New York City

There are so many family friendly shows and attractions for families in a variety of price points. Some popular choices for tots are Gazillion Bubble Show, The Hungry Caterpillar and Central Park’s Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre. For older kids, The Ride, Tea at the Plaza, Gulliver’s Gate, Big Apple Circus, Blue Man Group and various Nutcracker performances are all great options. For a magic show the whole family will love, don’t miss Believe in Magic at The New Victory Theater.

Have you visited New York City for the holidays? What was your favorite memory or what would you most like to experience?

signature

If you don’t want to miss a post, subscribe to Globetrotting Mommy for daily updates!

Comments

  1. This is so inclusive. Something for everyone. Can’t wait to send some holiday time in NYC.

Leave a Comment

*