What to do in New York City in December 2024

Why you should visit New York City in December

December is a magical time to visit New York City. The city comes alive with dazzling holiday decorations, festive events, and a vibrant energy that is unique to the holiday season. From ice skating in iconic locations to experiencing the dazzling Christmas lights, New York City offers an enchanting atmosphere that is perfect for creating unforgettable memories with loved ones. The chilly but invigorating weather adds to the holiday charm, making December the perfect time to immerse yourself in the bustling energy of the Big Apple.

New York City Weather in December

In December, New York City experiences winter weather with average temperatures ranging from 34°F (1°C) to 43°F (6°C). Visitors should come prepared for cold weather, including warm coats, hats, scarves, and gloves to stay comfortable while exploring the city’s outdoor attractions. Additionally, occasional snowfall can add a picturesque touch to the city’s landscape, creating a magical ambiance for holiday sightseeing and activities.

New York City Events in December

Holiday Markets at Union Square and Columbus Circle

New York City‘s holiday markets are a must-visit, where you can explore a wide array of festive vendors offering unique gifts, delicious seasonal treats, and traditional crafts. The markets at Union Square and Columbus Circle are particularly popular, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere for holiday shopping and browsing.

Rockettes Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the world-famous Rockettes is a dazzling showcase of precision dance and beloved holiday numbers, making it a quintessential part of the New York City holiday experience. This iconic show is a timeless tradition that captivates audiences of all ages with its visual spectacle and heartwarming performances.

Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden

Visitors can marvel at the enchanting Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden, where model trains traverse intricate miniature replicas of New York City‘s iconic landmarks, surrounded by lush, wintery landscapes. The exhibit is a delightful blend of artistry, engineering, and holiday cheer, making it a delightful experience for families and train enthusiasts alike.

New York City’s top places to visit in December

Central Park

Central Park transforms into a winter wonderland in December, offering picturesque landscapes for leisurely strolls, ice skating at Wollman Rink, and scenic views of the city dusted with snow. The park’s peaceful ambiance amidst the holiday bustle makes it a serene retreat for visitors seeking a moment of tranquility amidst the festive fervor.

Rockefeller Center

The iconic Rockefeller Center is bedecked with dazzling holiday decorations, including the famous Christmas tree and the ice-skating rink. Visitors can revel in the festive atmosphere, take in the stunning displays, and even catch a performance from the world-renowned Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall.

Dyker Heights Christmas Lights

A visit to Brooklyn’s Dyker Heights neighborhood promises a spectacular display of elaborately decorated houses adorned with extravagant Christmas lights, animatronic figures, and festive decorations that draw visitors from near and far. The neighborhood’s light displays are a must-see for those seeking a magical immersion in holiday cheer.

The Met Fifth Avenue

With its renowned art collections and special holiday exhibitions, The Met Fifth Avenue provides a cultural escape from the winter chill. Visitors can explore world-class art, seasonal performances, and festive events that add a touch of sophistication to their New York City experience.


For a cozy experience, consider indulging in festive hot beverages and treats offered at numerous cafes and bakeries throughout the city.

By following this guide, travelers can seize the enchanting opportunities that New York City has to offer in December, creating cherished memories and a deep appreciation for the city’s holiday spirit.

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