New York City during the holidays is nothing short of magical. People worldwide travel to NYC to be part of this amazing winter wonderland. And like anything New York City does, they do it the biggest, the most over-the-top, and the best, including Christmas. The halls are decked in holiday cheer, millions of twinkling lights, and festive decorations adorning every street corner. This guide will help you find the most stunning holiday-filled Christmas decorations in NYC.
Happy holidays, let’s go to New York City!
I will start with our favorite places to see Christmas decorations in New York City, Hudson Yards and the Vessel. Hudson Yards is so pretty and has over 50,000 Christmas lights and hundreds of lit trees. We visited last holiday season and went twice during our short trip because it’s beautiful.
The Hudson Yards is one of Manhattan’s newest neighborhoods and is a popular tourist destination because of its trendy shopping, amazing restaurants, and the centerpiece of it all-the Vessel.
The Vessel at the Hudson Yards: The Vessel is a honeycomb-shaped interactive artwork and is at the center of the Hudson Yards, comprised of 154 interconnecting stairs — almost 2,500 steps and 80 landings.
During the day, visitors can climb this structure and see views of the city and the Hudson River.
But that is not the best time to visit the Vessel during Christmas in New York City.
It is at night when millions of light illuminate the neighborhood, turning it into the most wonderful holiday destination. The Vessel’s structure is lined with tiny lights making it the most spectacular and unique Christmas decoration in NYC. The Vessel is surrounded by hundreds of white-light Christmas trees in the Public Square and Gardens. It’s truly a sight.
The Shops at Hudson Yards: The most beautiful and dazzling Christmas decorations in NYC, must be the Shops at Hudson Yards. This light display throughout the mall has over two million lights adorning the complex of luxury shops, floating Christmas trees, and air balloons. The light display is Monday-Saturday 10 am-9 pm and Sunday 11 am-7 pm.
Of course, the best time to see the lights in full display would be after dark.
Hudson Yards Address: 30 Husdon Yards New York, New York 10001
New York City Travel Tip: The Hudson Yards area is a great place to stay in New York City. The Equinox Hotel overlooks the Vessel and the Public Gardens if you are looking for a luxury hotel to stay in NYC. You can check out Equinox Hotel Here.
New York City Guide: The Edge at Hudson Yards, Experience the Best Views of the NYC Skyline
The famous Rockefeller Center is always a popular attraction for NYC Christmas decoration displays and the famous Rockefeller tree lighting.
This year’s tree lighting is on December 1, 2022. The public tree lighting always takes place the Wednesday after Thanksgiving.
The Rockefeller tree is of course a must-see while in New York City for the holidays. However, Rockefeller Center has many other Christmas activities as well. Glide the famous ice skating rink, The Rink, see the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall and do a little holiday toy shopping at stores like FAO Schwartz, Lego, or the Nintendo Store.
Rockefeller Center Address: 30 Rockefeller Plaza New York, New York 10112
New York City Travel Tip: Our very favorite chocolate chip cookies are in Rockefeller Plaza, Chip City. Try one of these large, warm, gooey cookies after a spin around the rink or after you explore Top of the Rock!
Christmas in New York City is a special time. The streets are filled with holiday shoppers, the stores are decked out in their holiday best, and the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center glows brightly.
One of the best places to enjoy the Christmas spirit is Bryant Park Winter Village. Every year, the park is transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with an enormous Christmas tree, twinkling lights, and festive decorations.
Visitors can skate on the rink (free), and sip a cup of Max Brenner hot chocolate while enjoying the view of the Empire State Building. Plus, there is tons of shopping in the Christmas Market!
Bryant Park Winter Village: Located between the Avenue of Americas and Fifth Avenue, and between W 40th & 42nd Street in Midtown Manhattan.
New York City Travel Guide: Where to stay in New York City, our favorite, affordable hotel near Bryant Park and Summit One NYC.
Christmas Markets NYC 2022
If you are looking for more Christmas Markets in NYC, there are several options. There is plenty of shopping, eateries, and Christmas decorations to admire.
- Brooklyn Borough Hall is the newest Christmas Market by Urbanspace. This festive outdoor holiday market will feature over 100 Brooklyn food, artisan, antique and vintage vendors This New York City holiday market will be open on November 28 and last through December 26.
- Union Square Holiday Market: this is one of the most popular holiday markets in all of America. With over 160 vendors and unique gifts from local craftsmen, artists & entrepreneurs you will be able to find a gift for everyone on your list. Union Square Holiday Market: November 17 – December 24, 2022.
- Columbus Circle Holiday Market: If you are looking for beautiful, glittering Christmas decorations in New York City as well as shopping and delicious eats from local artisans and designers, make sure Columbus Circle Holiday Market is on your list. Market dates: November 28 – December 24, 2022.
Christmas Markets in NYC: You can find more detailed information on holiday markets in New York City HERE.
Chelsea Market is one of the most visited, trafficked, and written-about destinations in New York City, for good reason. This iconic food hall located in the heart of the Meatpacking District is considered one of the greatest food and retail marketplaces in the world today. Visitors can find a variety of unique shops, restaurants, and some of the best Christmas decorations in NYC during the holidays.
Chelsea Market is decked out with garlands, sparkling lights, and festive decorations, making it a truly magical place to visit during the holidays. In addition to the Christmas decorations, Chelsea Market also offers a wide variety of food and shopping options, making it the perfect place to find gifts for family and friends.
Whether you’re looking for unique NYC souvenirs or delicious holiday treats, fresh baked cookies, pies, chocolates, meats, and cheeses, Chelsea Market is a must during the holiday season.
Brooklyn Botanical Garden
One of the best ways to enjoy the holiday season is by taking a walk through Brooklyn Botanical Gardens’ illuminated trail-Lightscape. This year’s trail features new works of art alongside returning favorites, all lit up with over a million dazzling lights.
So bundle up and head to Brooklyn Botanical Gardens for an enchanting winter experience that you’ll never forget.
The Brooklyn Botanical Garden Lightscape is a popular event and sells out quickly.
Lightscape will be featured in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens from November 16, 2022-January 8, 2023. Lightscape is closed November 21–22, 24, 28–29; December 5–7, 12, and 25; and January 3. You can purchase your tickets in advance here.
Lotte New York Palace
The Lotte New York Palace is one of New York’s most beautiful luxury hotels and has been featured in many movies and TV shows (xoxo Gossip Girl). The New York Palace is an NYC landmark that is especially popular during the Christmas season.
Thanks to its magnificent holiday decorations, the New York Palace has become one of the city’s most cherished traditions. Every year, the Palace’s team of designers creates an exquisite display that draws visitors from all over the world.
From the dazzling lights to the intricate ornaments, every detail is carefully planned and executed. If you are looking for a luxury hotel inwillYork City, The New York Palace would top off your holiday vacation in New York City. Be sure to get a room overlooking St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Book and save on your New York trip right here.
NYC Christmas Tours
One of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit is to see the Christmas lights in New York City. There are plenty of ways to do this, but one of the most enjoyable is to take a Christmas lights tour.
NYC Christmas lights tours typically last about two hours and take you to some of the best displays in the city. You’ll see NYC landmarks like Rockefeller Center and Fifth Avenue decked out in their holiday finery, as well as sights like Brooklyn’s Dyker Heights neighborhood.
Dyker Heights Brooklyn
If you’re looking for something a little more unique, jump on an NYC Christmas tour to Brooklyn and check out the Dyker Heights Christmas lights. This neighborhood goes all out when it comes to decorating for the holidays, with over-the-top displays that will leave you feeling both impressed and filled with holiday cheer. It’s definitely worth a visit for your Christmas in NYC. Find the best tours right here.
Christmas Tours in New York City: Looking for the best NYC Christmas decorations or want to head to Dyker Heights? We rounded up THE BEST Christmas lights tours in NYC HERE.
Private New York City Tour
Christmas in New York City means fabulous shopping, and holiday window displays. Get a personalized, 6-hour guide and get a personalized introduction to New York City during Christmas.
Create the perfect itinerary for your interests such as the Dyker Heights Christmas lights, New York Christmas stores, and window displays, Rockefeller Center, or any other stop on your holiday NYC Christmas decoration list.
Your New York City Christmas tour includes:
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Book your private NYC Christmas lights and windows tour right here.
Christmas Decorated Restaurants NYC
New York City doesn’t do anything small-scale, ever. That is why some restaurants in New York City go all out for Christmas. These restaurants turn into a holiday spectacular with lights, trees, and festive boozy drinks.
Here are some of the top Christmas-decorated restaurants in New York City worth getting a reservation for (and check out the entire list, here):
Lillie’s Victorian Establishment
One of the most popular places in New York City for Christmas decorations is Lillie’s Victorian Establishment. Lillie’s is named for Lillie Langtry, a late British actress and socialite of the 19th century.
The décor at Lillie’s was shipped across the Atlantic from a Victorian mansion in Northern Ireland. The Christmas decorations at Lillie’s are some of the most ornate and beautiful in all of New York City.
Lillies Victorian Establishment has two locations, Times Square and Union Square. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made here.
This is one of our favorite spots in New York City, even outside of the holidays. It is one of the most beautiful establishments there is. If you are traveling to New York City for a girls’ trip, the drag queen brunch is an absolute must while sipping your “50 Shades of Dorian Gray.”
From the outside, this establishment owned by the same owners as Lillie’s Victorian Establishment. can easily be mistaken for an antique store from the outside.
When you step into Oscar Wilde, you’re transported to another era. The rich, luxurious decor is reminiscent of a time when craftsmanship and quality were paramount.
You will find New York City’s longest Carrara marble bar at 118.5 feet long filled with libations to make your Prohibition-inspired cocktail dreams come true. The walls and furnishings are covered in an extensive art and object collection, Milanese painted glass, Victorian clocks, and a fireplace of grandeur proportions make your holiday in New York City feel like old-world opulence.
Papillon Bistro NYC
Not only is Papillon Bistro & Bar stunning on the outside with its beautiful, grand red facade, but the inside will also take your breath away, especially around the holidays. From floating Santas, ornaments, craft cocktails, and lights galore, it’s everything your Instagram feed needs.
After you enjoy your holiday meal and many drinks, Papillon is steps away from Central Park, MoMA, and the famous 5th avenue shops to see all the Christmas windows NYC is famous for (see details further down).
Papillon Bistro & Bar: 22 E 54th Street, New York, NY 10022. Reservations in advance for the holiday season are highly recommended here.
This iconic German restaurant is located in the heart of Gramercy and is known for its beautiful, over-the-top Christmas decorations. Rolfs NYC is decked out with a dazzling display of lights and holiday Victorian decorations complete with ornaments, wreaths, fir Christmas trees, millions of lights, and, um, porcelain dolls.
To make a reservation at Rolfs call 212-477-4750 or 212-473-8718; During the holiday season this restaurant is generally booked, so plan ahead!
Christmas Decorated Restaurants NYC: Find a detailed list of the best Christmas restaurants in New York City HERE!
Christmas Stores & Window Displays NYC
New York City Christmas window displays and stores are some of the best decorations in the city and bonus, you can get some major shopping done too. These beautiful stores go as far as turning the entire building into one giant decoration and some of the best photo and Instagram spots in New York City.
Here are some of the very best Christmas stores and window displays in New York City:
Of course, the largest Macy’s in the world should be at the top of your list, with the outside window displays and inside for decorations and shopping. Macy’s is classic New York City Christmas.
Of course, Macy’s is one of the most popular destinations for holiday shopping, and its flagship store in NYC is something special. The store goes all out for Christmas, with decorations throughout the building and a massive holiday display in the windows.
Even if you’re not doing any shopping, it’s worth a visit just to soak up the festive atmosphere.
Macy’s Herald Square: 151 West 34th Street New York, New York 10001
New York City Tip: Around the corner from Macy’s is our favorite hotel to stay at, it’s affordable, comfortable, clean, and centrally located to hop on the subway to all major New York City attractions. We highly recommend this hotel!
Saks Fifth Ave
One of the most iconic NYC Christmas decorations is the Saks 5th Avenue light show and window display. Every year, Saks Fifth Avenue goes all out to create a dazzling display that draws in locals and tourists alike.
The Saks window display usually features a special winter wonderland theme, complete with sparkling lights, snowflakes, and life-size nutcrackers. The light show is a water-and-light extravaganza, set to holiday music. It’s truly a magical attraction in New York City.
Saks 5th Avenue Address: 611 5th avenue New York, New York 10022
If you’re looking for the most opulent display of holiday cheer, there’s no place like Cartier. The iconic jeweler goes all out for Christmas, decking its Fifth Avenue flagship store in glittering garlands and shining baubles.
Inside, the store is transformed into a winter wonderland, with a towering Christmas tree and sparkling chandeliers. Even if you’re not in the market for a diamond necklace, it’s worth stopping by Cartier to enjoy the holiday decorations After all, ’tis the season to indulge in a little luxury.
Cartier NYC address: 653 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10022
More NYC holiday displays to consider:
- Tiffany 6 East 57th Street New York, New York 10022
- Dior: 767 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10153
- Bergdorf Goodman: 745 Fifth Avenue New York, New York 10022
- Bloomingdales: 1000 Third Avenue New York, New York 10022
- Louis Vuitton: 611 Fifth Avenue New York New York 10022
NYC Christmas Decorations- Final Thoughts
As anyone who has visited New York City during the holidays knows, the city is truly a magical place. The Christmas decorations are a big part of what makes the city so special during this time of year, it’s absolutely beautiful.
NYC always goes all out for Christmas, and 2022 will be no different. The best NYC Christmas decorations will be on display for all to enjoy. Bundle up, book your flight and let’s go!
If you love this list of where to find the best NYC Christmas decorations, we would love it if you shared it below!
New York City Money-Saving Travel Resources
Best Deals on Flights: Skyscanner | Tickets, Tours, Attractions: Get Your Guide | Hotels: Booking.com | Budget Hotels (Where our family stays) Herald Square or Arlo Hotels | Midrange Hotel: The Library Hotel | Luxury Hotel: Baccarat Hotel or Equinox Hudson Yards | Broadway Shows: Vivid Seats | Restaurant recommendations & reservations: Open Table | Sightseeing Pass NYC | CityPass NYC | NYC Travel Essentials
New York City Travel Guides-Further Readings
Summit One NYC: This is New York City’s other modern and newest observation deck. It’s an art installation, with three levels of experience, New York views, glass elevators, and observation decks. Summit One NYC is well worth Christmas in New York City. Read the Summit One NYC guide HERE.
New York at Night. If you are out and about the city at night looking for NYC Christmas decorations here are some additional cool things to do at night in New York City, this guide will give you some good ideas HERE!
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