Whether you’re a native New Yorker, a recent resident, or even a tourist, everyone loves Christmas in New York. From the lightly falling, crisp, white snow, to the spectacular midtown decorations, or joyful skaters – wearing bright fuzzy mittens – spinning on the ice at Rockefeller Center, it’s truly a magical time of year. Here are a few things that make NYC so special in winter; a few New York Christmas facts so to say.  

Rockefeller Tree Lighting

This is a memorable event to watch. Gathering with your family, or sweetheart, dressed in a warm jacket, and cameras ready, it’s an awe-inspiring moment when the giant tree at Rockefeller Center is finally lit and on full holiday display. Breathtaking memories are made every year. Its grand lighting is actually on November 28th, but if you miss that event, it remains glowing brightly until January 7th. This is a true Christmas in New York experience.

Christmas Windows

Children and adults alike are awed each holiday season by the creative, highly imaginative holiday window decorations that define a traditional Christmas in New York. Some of the favorite yearly window designs are seen at Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, and Macy’s. Many viewers bring their children, and even grandchildren, to enjoy what they loved themselves as children. Some traditions never grow old.

Christmas Windows

Literary and Film Classics

New York City has always been the center of powerful Christmas movies and books. Why not break out the popcorn, make some hot cocoa, and watch Miracle On 34th Street for the millionth time? It always seems like the first. Or, how about putting on some holiday music and re-reading O’Henry’s Classic short story, The Gift of the Magi?

If you really love nostalgic New York City Christmas Trivia, stop by Pete’s Tavern on Irving Place, where legend has it that the classic holiday short story was actually penned. Both the classic Christmas film and the book have their roots in New York City. So, what better way to usher in the holiday spirit than to experience them all over again?

Christmas Extravaganzas

Little will put you in the mood for Christmas like these must-see New York City traditions. It’s a well-known fact that nobody performs the Nutcracker like the New York City Ballet. The Sugar Plum Fairy, young Clara on a mission, and a big hoop dress revealing a hidden dancing surprise.

And don’t forget the spectacular production of Handel’s Messiah with the New York Philharmonic. This one creates New York Christmas memories that will last a lifetime.

The Rockettes are always a great New York City tradition, but the Rockettes’ Christmas Spectacular is on a whole different holiday level, sleigh ride, new finale and all.

New York City Christmas Tours

For those overwhelmed with the enormity that New York has to offer, especially during the holidays, there’s always the option of a professional tour. Narrow your list to what matters to your family: lights, store windows, shows, and even holiday baked goods, since there’s a New York Christmas tour designed for everyone. Leave the details, and stress, to someone else.

But no matter what you choose, remember to slow down from all the holiday hustle and bustle for a moment, take a deep breath, and truly appreciate the season. After all, it’s Christmas in New York, and there’s magic in the air.

To set the tone for a perfect Christmas in New York, stop by High Bar for a spiked eggnog, or a variety of other festive holiday cocktails. From the rooftop bar of the Doubletree, at 346 West 40th, you’ll take in a spectacular, panoramic New York City holiday skyline. Cheers!

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