The holidays are a beautiful and bustling season in New York City. The city features a wide range of festive events, pop-up stores, live performances, and seasonal displays that add extra glitz and glitter to the gorgeous cityscape. If you're looking for something fun to do during the holiday season, you'll find no shortage of options in the city. Check out these top picks.
Bank of America Winter Village
Image via Flickr by grits2go
When: October 29, 2021 to January 2, 2022
The Bank of America Winter Village is so popular that it takes up residence in Bryant Park before Halloween. Here, you'll find the only free ice skating rink in the city. Spanning 17,000 square feet, this rink offers ample room for festive visitors to twirl and glide. You can rent skates on-site if you don't have a pair of your own. Though the rest of the village closes up at the beginning of January, the skating rink will remain open until March 6, 2022.
Beside the rink, you'll find The Lodge by Prime Video. Here you can grab a cocktail and enjoy a bite to eat as you warm up after your skating adventure. The Lodge offers a great view of the rink, so this is also a great option if you need a break but the kids still want to skate.
The Winter Village also features over 100 holiday vendors. Artisans from around the world set up shop in the unique greenhouse-like "jewel box" kiosks of the open-air market, making it the perfect place to get started on your holiday shopping.
Columbus Circle Holiday Market
When: November 29, 2021 to December 24, 2021
The Columbus Circle Holiday Market enjoys a prime spot at the entrance to Central Park at 59th Street and Central Park West. The market features a wide variety of vendors offering glittering jewelry, one-of-a-kind art, eye-catching home goods, and tasty treats. The European-style market evokes the air of a quaint German village while sitting right at the heart of New York City.
The market is divided into three sections and features nearly 150 vendors. It closes early at 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve, but this should still give you plenty of time to pop over, peruse the wares, and get your gifting on.
Classic Harbor Line's Holiday Cruises
When: Select dates in November and December
Hop on board an elegant 1920s-style yacht sparkling with holiday decor and take in one of the specially themed cruises that pop up just for the season. Each party on the cruise has access to a private table and designated deck viewing zone. Expansive windows and large skylights provide 360-degree views of Manhattan throughout the excursion.
On the 2.75-hour Holiday Brunch Cruise, you'll enjoy a three-course prix fixe menu that includes a mouthwatering selection of holiday treats like gingerbread muffins, stuffed quiche, and spiced glazed ham. You can make your own masterpiece at the waffle station and complete your meal with a mimosa, spicy bloody mary, juice, tea, or coffee.
The Cocoa and Carols Holiday Cruise features a live band performing classic holiday carols throughout the 90-minute cruise. If you prefer livelier tunes, the 90-minute Holiday Jazz Cruise features a jazz band. On both tours, a complimentary drink is included. Choose from beer, wine, champagne, or hot cocoa.
The Holiday Cocoa Cruises deliver rich hot chocolate, festive decor, and breathtaking views during their 90-minute tours. You can choose a sunset cruise of the Hudson River or a Statue and Skyline tour that offers close-up views of the Statue of Liberty.
Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights
When: Select dates from November 19, 2021 to January 9, 2022
The Holiday Lights celebration at the Bronx Zoo promises a wild time with over 260 illuminated lantern sculptures that represent nearly 70 species. In 2021, 79 new lanterns of 30 animal species will make their debut. Strolling the beautifully illuminated pathways, you'll discover other delights as well, such as ice carving demonstrations, costumed characters, and stilt walkers.
The Holiday Train is back for 2021, offering engaging tours of the zoo. You can also stop for a puppet show at the Wildlife Theater or indulge in one of the seasonal treats available like hot cocoa and gourmet s'mores. You must reserve your ticket in advance for this delightful outing.
Radio City Christmas Spectacular
When: Select dates from November 5, 2021 to January 2, 2022
Grab your tickets for the world-famous Rockettes in their time-honored Radio City Christmas Spectacular. This performance has lit up Radio City Music Hall since the 1930s. The show begins with a 3D film of Santa touring New York City. The live performance then includes favorites like the "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers" and "Living Nativity" as well as original performances that keep the show interesting year after year. Naturally, the Rockettes famous kick-line is always featured, and Santa will drop in and make an appearance from the North Pole.
New York Botanical Gardens Holiday Train Show
When: November 20, 2021 to January 23, 2022
The Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Gardens returns for its 30th year in 2021. In the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, you'll find an expansive miniature train display featuring over 175 New York landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge, Yankee Stadium, Rockefeller Center, and the Statue of Liberty. Constructed from natural materials like pine cones, bark, leaves, and acorns, the city takes on a fairy tale look.
Over 25 G-scale model trains traverse the city on a track that covers almost half a mile. You'll even see some of the trains soaring past overhead on aerial bridges. While you're at the botanical garden, you can also catch the NYBG Glow exhibition on select dates between November 24 and January 22. This display illuminates the grounds outside the conservatory in a festive display.
Did we include your favorite holiday events and excursions on our list? If we missed something spectacular, contact our team at Martin Busch Jewelers and let us know so we can update our recommendations. We always want to offer the best suggestions to our customers when they're looking for something memorable to enjoy over the holidays.