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If you're planning a trip to New York City, you'll find that December is
one of the most fun and exciting times to visit. With the coming of the
holidays, you'll find a variety of special events, from ice skating, to
holiday markets offering seasonal treats, or simply the incredible lighting
displays. Be sure to dress warmly however, as NYC weather in December can
easily drop to freezing, with the average snowfall for the month being 11.5
Hotel prices and airfares are high, as this is peak travel time to the
city and visitors flood the most popular attractions, the shopping fever
is at its peak too, so plan your days out.
Book your flights and accommodation in advance for best prices, midtown
& times square are the most popular choices, but there are plenty of
other options, especially in Brooklyn with convenient transport options to
Planning your trip is a key to a balanced budget, use free online resources
like our maps & guide or the itinerary tool, if you are going to visit
some iconic attractions, get a sightseeing pass, it will easily save you 50%
on regular admission prices – see more
The quickest way to travel around, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from
as low as $2.75 per ride, with stops usually every 8-10 blocks.
If the top taxi number is illuminated it's available, minimum metered fare
is $2.50, which increases 50 cents every fifth of a mile or every minute.
These buses connect major attractions all over the city and provide many
photo opportunities, it's also a good way to catch a break or eat your
sandwich while still sightseeing.
Nothing says New York City in December more than the Rockefeller
Center Christmas Tree. This is a famous yearly tradition in the
Big Apple, and both tourists and locals flock to the tree lighting
ceremony, which can take place in early December or late November.
The tree is notable for having 50,000 LED lights in a dazzling
array of colors and stands at 100 feet tall. On top of the tree
you'll find the "Swarovski Star," which is 9.5 feet in diameter,
weights 550 pounds, and contains 25,000 sparkling crystals with
over one million facets. For a closer look at the star, a replica
can be viewed up close inside the Rockefeller Center.
Ice skating in Central Park is an absolutely iconic December New
York activity. If you're looking for a fun activity to enjoy with
the family, or in the mood for something romantic, this is perfect.
Nothing beats ice skating with someone you care about with the
beautiful New York City skyline in the background. In Central
Park you'll find two ice skating rinks. The Wollerman Rink is on
the east side, close to Central Park Zoo, and Lasker Rink is in
the middle of the park. Ice hockey and lessons are also available.
Fifth Avenue is New York City's shopping Mecca, and walking through
during the holiday season is truly a treat. With stunning LED
displays and decorations everywhere, it's the perfect chance to
take in the joy of simply experiencing the city itself. The Sak's
Fifth Avenue Holiday Windows offer delightful displays in the
spirit of the season, with a radiant lighting display illuminating
the store's facade.
In between visiting all the amazing landmarks in New York City, be
sure to take some time out to visit one (or more!) of the city's
famous holiday markets. These pop-up markets offer a wide variety
of types of shopping, from clothing, to arts and crafts, to gourmet
food. Nothing beats having a hot drink in your hand as you enjoy a
chilly December evening. The Union Square Holiday Market, Bryant
Park's Winter Village, and the Grand Central Holiday Fair are among
the largest and most famous.
New York City's most popular Christmas show is undoubtedly the Radio
City Christmas Spectacular, featuring the famous Rockettes. Visitors
have been treated to a magical performance featuring traditional
Christmas scenes, dancing, singing, and an original musical score
for over 80 years. Constructed between 1932 and 1940 and featuring
a stunning Art Deco style, this is a famous landmark that everyone
should visit at least once. To make things even more festive, the
front of Radio City Music Hall is decorated with a dazzling
Christmas tree whose color is always changing.
Millions of people visit Saint Patrick's cathedral yearly, and is a
must-visit New York City landmark. There's no better time to visit
than the holiday season, especially if you check the schedule and
arrange to hear some traditional holiday music in a truly amazing
Taking a Broadway show will chase away any rainy day blues during your visit to
New York City. It might not be possible to get last minute tickets to every show,
but you can find something a couple of hours before the show starts by visiting
the box office of the theatre. With every sightseeing pass purchased on this site
we offer a $40 credit voucher, valid for many of best NYC Broadways shows -
Your weather app says it’s going to be raining the whole day? Head over to one of
the best NYC Museums. Whether your interest is in art, science or city history,
there’s something for everyone in just about every neighbourhood. Pick from
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, American Museum of Natural History, Whitney Museum of American Art oMuseum of the City of New York.
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Daily insiders Travel Tips for selected destinations