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Christmas Activities, Events, and Shopping in New York City

Because New York has so many attractions and destinations, it may be hard to plan your New York trip for the holidays. To help you have the best New York getaway this Christmas, we've comprised a list of attractions, activities, and shopping destinations that you won't want to miss!

If you see any places or activities that you would like to read more about, just click on the titles, and you'll be taken to more articles, descriptions, and online reservations.

Shopping, Shopping, and More Shopping!

Whether you're on Fifth Avenue or in outlet malls in New York, you're bound to find just what you need for everyone on your list this Christmas. You'll want to explore the many districts of the city to visit a variety of stores. Go to the Diamond District for jewelry, the Garment district for the newest fashions, Herald Square for Macy's, Fifth Avenue for Sak's, Bergdorf Goodman, and Versace, and Madison Avenue for Barney's New York, Calvin Klein, and Valentino, among others. For the little ones on your list, you'll want to stop at FAO Schwarz, where you and your little shoppers can dance on the famous giant piano featured in the movie Big. Also, you and your family will want to take some time to look at the exquisite Christmas decorations at the Fifth Avenue shops--a New York Christmas tradition at its finest. Check out any outlet New York for fantastic bargains that are well worth the short drive from the city.

Christmas on Broadway

There's no better Christmas present than a Broadway show, and with so many different shows playing, you'll find just the right show to take your friends, family, or significant other. Broadway shows cover a variety of topics, so you're bound to find something that will suit your holiday visit to New York. Though numerous shows are playing during the holiday season, below is a list of our top recommendations:

  • The Phantom of the Opera - This Broadway classic about the love and trial of the disfigured 'phantom' is a favorite among numerous Broadway fans.
  • Blue Man Group - This one-of-a-kind performance features theatre, percussive music, art, science, and vaudeville that the whole family will enjoy.
  • Tarzan - Based on Disney's animated film, this is a show that will delight both kids and adults.
  • Spamalot, The Musical - Based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail, this rendition of King Arthur's search for the grail will have you rolling with laughter.
  • Stomp - The energetic show is a multi-sensory experience that features the movement of bodies and objects with non-traditional instruments.

Ice Skating in Central Park

Ice skating is a winter activity that is great for families, groups, or couples. Adults and children alike will have a blast gliding around the ice or helping one another to do so. There are few other activities that provide great togetherness, and Central Park in New York City has become famous for its winter ice skating. This activity is great for families and friends who wish to relax and have fun after a long day of shopping. Both Wollman Rink and Lasker Rink at Central Park have rentals and lockers available as well, so you can either bring your own skates or borrow some right from the park. Even if you don't want to skate the whole time, you can explore this 843-acre park and its winter beauty with some hot chocolate from a nearby coffee shop.

Holiday Events

Holiday events in New York City are so famous that they have become national traditions. One such event is the Macy's Day Parade on Thanksgiving Day and another is the lighting of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree. Musicians such as Christina Aguilera, Martina McBride, and Lionel Richie will join in the celebration by sharing their musical talents. Besides the tree itself, you can see several beautiful Christmas decorations, including large angels, numerous lights, surrounding the tree through the first week of January, so even if you can't make it the lighting on the 29th, you'll have plenty of time to see the awe-inspiring decorations and even skate in the rink below the tree.

Also, while you're in Rockefeller Center, don't forget to stop at Radio City Musical Hall to see New York's annual Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Every night, from November 1st to January 1st, you'll be able to see this classic Christmas show that features dancing bears, marching wooden soldiers, and even Santa Claus himself.

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