The Big Apple annually transforms itself around the time of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Mother Nature often dusts New York City with snowflakes and the city plays host to all types of holiday activities. Whether you're content to stay out of the cold or don't mind a frosty nose, there are activities to keep you jolly.
Keeping Warm and Toasty
Only one street keeps hot during the coldest months, and it happens to be in the heart of The Big Apple: Broadway. Check beforehand for more information about what will be playing, or to purchase tickets. Discount tickets are available for many matinee shows at the box office at Times Square.
Before or after the show, get your insides warm and toasty with toasted marshmallows. Sip hot chocolate while making your own s'mores at Cosi restaurant. The Cosi on 13th and Broadway stays open until midnight, and 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
If you're prepared with mittens and scarves, take advantage of ice skating opportunities during the Christmas season. There are multiple arenas for skating and for observing. Skating at Central Park provides you a larger surface to perfect your triple lutz, but the smaller rink at Rockefeller Center has an incomparable view of a world-famous Christmas tree.
The Rockefeller Center Ice Rink is between 47th and 50th streets and Fifth and Seventh avenues. Central Park has two rinks: Wollman Rink, near 62nd Street, and Lasker Rink, near 108th Street. Rinks at Rockefeller and Central Park offer skates for rent and charge per session. In the midst of the Christmas season, expect to wait in line at any of the rinks.
On a Budget
It will cost you nothing to stroll down Fifth Avenue and be dazzled by the red, green and glittering decorations on the storefronts. Also, Macy's department store in Herald Square annually fills its windows with holiday displays that draw visitors well into each new year.
Magical holiday cheer leaps and kicks across the stage each Christmas season at Radio City Music Hall when the Rockettes present their Christmas Spectacular. Purchase Rockettes tickets ahead of time to get the seat and date you desire, and then prepare to be enchanted.
No New York City Christmas would be complete without a stop at Lincoln Center. In perhaps the most famous of ballets, New York City Ballet's ballerinas create a magical world in George Balanchine's "The Nutcracker." Purchase Nutcracker Ballet tickets early, because they do sell out.